On Wednesday, April 20th, we received a message that there was a family requesting evacuation. Our sources told us that the family was located in the Chernihiv Oblast and did not have a vehicle to transport themselves. An oblast is an administrative division or region much like a county, and we were still unsure of the family's exact location. As our teams began collecting more information, our sources told us that the family's location was about 1.5 miles away from the Russian border. On a positive note, this area was safer than other cities in the southern region, such as Mariupol, but Russian activity was still unknown. We were able to get in contact with the mother (Natalia) and gauge the situation. Our main goal was to evacuate this mother and her three children while avoiding any Russian checkpoints or interactions along the way.
Early Friday morning, our driver started his journey East. Due to the previous fighting in that region, our driver encountered many destroyed bridges and had to reroute over 200km. We finally reached the family around noon. Together they loaded into the vehicle and drove away, leaving their home to become a cherished memory. We transported Natalia and her family to Kyiv from Hrem'yach, where they planned to take a train to join their family members in a much safer region. This operation was coordinated on many levels and required constant monitoring. We communicated with the family and the driver to ensure the timeline was on track. Thank you to our Ukrainian driver, our translator, and our donors for making this operation possible. Together we can continue saving lives.
"Thank you very much for taking us away despite the long distance. Now we understand that the world is not without good people. Our sincere thanks!"