Study abroad program aids Ukrainian refugees

Theresa Balick
Copy Editor

With the rising crisis in Ukraine, Franciscan University of Steubenville faculty, staff and students studying in Austria have responded generously by taking in several Ukrainian refugees at the Kartause, as well as preparing care packages for other displaced refugees who have fled to Austria.

Junior Emily Rodriguez, who is studying at the Kartause, said, “We have taken in several refugees at the Kartause and have been touched by their courage and faith. They witnessed to how difficult it is to not be home, even though a few months ago, they would have been thrilled to be somewhere, such as Austria.”

In addition to welcoming these refugees, the Kartause community has received donations from the local community in Gaming, Austria, Rodriguez said. The donations will be distributed to refugee families and to Catholic parishes that are serving displaced families in Western Ukraine.

Students also donated money to help with the collection of supplies. Some of the monetary donations will also be sent to Ukrainian priests to be distributed to those who need it most in their communities.

“After … coordinating with the Byzantine priest who brought his family here, we decided to collect donations as well as physical items to be sent to Ukraine. Most of our current students in Gaming donated money and many local families donated clothes, blankets (and) medical supplies,” Rodriguez said.

The Kartause community has also opened a link for others outside of the Kartause to make a donation to help their effort. Donations can be made through the official Franciscan University Cashnet site.

While not tax deductible, 100% of the donations will be used toward purchasing items for care packages and medical supplies for refugees and people in Ukraine. The link can also be reached on the bio of the official study abroad Instagram account, @austriastudyabroad.

Rodriguez said, “The people of Ukraine have so much strength, and we continue to pray a daily chaplet of Divine Mercy as a community for peace in the world.”

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