5/1 to 5/31 Recap
5/1 to 5/31 Recap
5/1 to 5/31 MUSIC PROGRAM UPDATE
Nadiia, Music Program Manager and Instructor, is working to return refugee children to their music training. The program has 5 instructors for 10 children: Joel (Saxophone), Emin (Piano), Mariam (Piano), Nadiia (Violin), Svetlana (Guitar). A guitar instructor is needed. A location for Saxaphone practice near the U4 Ober St. Veit area. The music program is a partnership with Kimu Wien (@kimu_wien), Liberty Education, and Domivka. VM4U donations are used for instrument maintenance and instruction materials.
5/1 to 5/31 FURNISHINGS PROGRAM UPDATE
Nathan, Furnishings Program Manager, continues to work with Olga, The Feel Good Store, to transfer furniture and appliances directly from donors to refugees on nearly a daily basis using the VM4U van. The furnishings team includes Pasha, Artem, Oleksandr, Arkady, Jake, Michael, Anatolii, David, Adam, Lauren, and others. VM4U donations are used for van fuel.
5/1, 5/8, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29 FOOTBALL PROGRAM TRAINING
Coach Oleksandr, Football Program Manager, and Coach Sergii continue to host football training for children ages 6-11 on Monday nights from 17:30-19:00 in cooperation with Domivka. As of 5/1, training returned to the outdoor fields at Sport Center Donau City. Roxy, Psychological Support Program Manager, continues to bring snacks to the kids after each session which has become tradition. On 5/29, a guest coach, Coach Liz, joined practice to offer a special goal keeper training for Luisa, an 8 year old girl, who shows talent as a goal keeping. Field costs of €50/session this month were supported by program specific donations from Julia, Sharon, and Steven.
5/2 NOTABLE VOLUNTEER ACTIVITY
Eileen sponsored a young music student by purchasing a digital piano. The piano was then transported to the family by Nathan.
5/4, 5/7, 5/11, 5/18, 5/21, 5/25, 5/28, GERMAN PROGRAM SESSIONS
Holly, German Program Manager and Instructor, and her team of instructors including Maeve and Zoe, continue to offer adult and children’s German language courses at Domivka. The German team offers A1 courses for adults and children on Sundays and a C1 course on Thursdays (as of 4/20) to assist adults in preparing for the Österreichisches Sprachdiplom (ÖSD) exam (i.e., German Language Diploma issued by the Austrian government). Holly and Maeve are wrapped up the C1 course with the final lesson on 5/28 and Zoe will wrap up the A1 course soon on 6/8. We are all very grateful to Holly, Maeve, and Zoe and Domivka for creating a warm and customize learning environment for refugees to learn and practice German together. VM4U donations cover the cost of classroom supplies.
5/5, 5/8-5/12, 5/15, 5/24 ART PROGRAM WORKSHOPS
Juliia, Art Program Manager, hosts an arts and crafts workshop, typically each Monday, for children at Domivka. VM4U donations cover the costs of art supplies.
5/5 NATALIA SUPPORT CASE UPDATE – MEDICAL, INTEGRATION, ACCOMMODATION
Oksana’s mother Natalia is recovering from cancer surgery and undergoing chemotherapy. Through a special agreement between VM4U and Fonds Socialez Wien (FSW, Austrian government responsible for accommodations), Natalia and Oksana were permitted to stay with Robert, VM4U Host Family, while Oksana recovers and while FSW searches for an accommodation for them. On 5/5, Artem, VM4U Translator and Advocate, attended a meeting between the family and FSW. Unfortunately, Natalia and Oksana’s need for accommodation had been lost in the FSW system. Robert continues to host the family and VM4U continues to support Natalia and Oksana while FSW works to deliver them in a suitable accommodation. Natalia’s condition will require continued medical support.
5/17, 5/24 SVETLANA SUPPORT CASE UPDATE – MEDICAL
Svetlana requested transportation and translation support to bring her elderly mother to a series of doctor’s appointments. Svetlana’s mother has dementia and is in a wheel chair. These doctor’s appointments are a prerequisite to applying for disability status and related social benefits. Michael L. (driver w/ vehicle) and Artem (translator) assisted on 5/17, and Adam (driver) using Michael G’s vehicle assisted on 5/24. No VM4U donations were used, volunteers used their personal vehicle and covered fuel costs.
5/17 HOSTEL HUTTELDORF SUPPORT CASE – RELOCATION
On 5/17, at the request of Hostel Hutteldorf (dormitory operated by Volkshilft), Barry, using his personal vehicle, transported the personal belongings of two refugees from Haus Mira (dormitory operated by Caritas). No VM4U donations were used, volunteers covered the fuel costs.
5/17, 5/20 VAN MISSION – TYROL -> VIENNA, VIENNA -> KYIV
A VM4U van team transported 54 children’s beds and other assorted furnishings in the VM4U van for the Save Ukraine and Kleine Hertzen organizations from Tyrol to Vienna on 5/17 and Vienna to Kyiv on 5/20-5/23. On 5/20, a tire blow out (of a brand new tire) occurred in Czech Republic. The lug nuts on the wheel were too tight to remove and consequently the tire could not be changed on the spot. The van was towed to a service center where the rear tires were replaced and all lug nuts loosened to their appropriate tightness. VM4U donations were used for fuel, tolls, and new tires; the cost of the tow was covered by roadside assistance insurance sponsored by Markus.
5/19 ARTEM SUPPORT CASE UPDATE – RELOCATION AND WELFARE
On 5/18, Alsu, using her personal vehicle, transported and escorted Artem (significantly disabled and in wheel chair) from the Vienna Arrival Center (refugee center operated by Red Cross) to an accommodations interview at Hotel de France (dormitory operated by Samariterbund), which was successful. On 5/19, Rosina, using her personal vehicle, and Jake moved Artem and his personal belongings to Hotel de France. This marks an important success for Artem, who has been living on a cot at the Vienna Arrival Center since he was relocated there following the closure of the Haidehof Haus dormitory on 4/15. No VM4U donations were used, volunteers used their personal vehicles and covered fuel costs.
5/20 ORPHANGE SUPPORT PROGRAM – SAVE UKRAINE/KlEINE HERTZEN SUPPORT PROJECT
A few months again, VM4U was working with Save Ukraine and Kleine Hertzen to evacuate a displaced orphanage from Ukraine to Tyrol. However, a change in Ukrainian government policy no longer permits the relocation from Ukraine to Austria. Consiquently, the orphanage which had been prepared in Tyrol by Kleine Herzen needed to be transported to the orphans in Ukraine. Nathan, Project Manager, organized for the transport of the orphanage furnishings (about 26,000 EUR of beds, changing tables, etc.) from Tyrol to Kyiv during the 5/17, 5/20 Van Missions (with more missions to follow).
5/20, 5/25 VAN PROGRAM UPDATE – VAN MAINTENANCE
Summer tires were procured and installed on 4/27, however, following a blow out of a new tire while driving through a construction zone on the highway, two additional new tires were procured and installed on 5/20. The new VM4U van has had an oil change on 5/25. VM4U donations covered the cost of van service and new tires.
5/26 VAN MISSION – LVIV
A VM4U van team, Barry and Jesse, transported YOUkraine’s medical supplies and equipment, Oleg’s Insulin, and personal belongings from Vienna to Lviv, Ukraine for continuation on to Ukrainian hospitals. The personal belongings of several elderly and disabled refugees were transported to an elderly care facility in Shklo, Ukraine (near Lviv) prior to the arrival of these people. VM4U donations were used for fuel, tolls, and postage.
5/26 ANATOLII SUPPORT CASE UPDATE – INTEGRATION AND WELFARE
VM4U assisted Anatolii to get his blue card. After getting his blue card, Anatolii was successful at quickly finding a job even though he does not speak German or English. This is a huge step forward toward acheiving self-sufficiency. Anatolii has been living at the Vienna Arrival Center (refugee center operated by Red Cross) for months while his wife and daughter live in a dormitory for women and children. VM4U works with Anatolli to ensure he can get an apartment for him and his family as quickly as possible.
5/28 NAHZARI SUPPORT CASE – RELOCATION AND WELFARE
Yesterday, Adam used Michael’s car to transport Nahzari, an elderly blind gentleman previously staying at the Hostel Hütteldorf dormitory (operated by Volkshilft), to the airport and onto his plane. Nahzari will be received in Tbilisi, Georgia by his family. VM4U donations covered fuel, airport parking, and incidental excess luggage.
5/29 VAN PROGRAM UPDATE – UKRAINE OPERATIONS W/ UAID-DIRECT
VM4U plans to operate the VM4U van in Ukraine to deliver donated humanitarian aid from warehouses in Ukraine and Poland to internally displaced people across Ukraine. Volunteer VM4U van teams will be linking up with our partner organization UAID-DIRECT – they supply, we drive. Monitoring of the VM4U van teams during missions (for safety purposes and general support) will be performed by Palvo, VM4U Director or Operations. Scheduling of vehicles and volunteers will be performed by Nathan, VM4U Van Program Manager. Please contact Nathan to volunteer.
5/30 LENA SUPPORT CASE – MEDICAL
Dr. Viktoria supported Lena as a translator during an operation.
5/30 IGOR SUPPORT CASE – WELFARE
Igor, middle aged blind refugee, has gotten stuck in the bureaucratic gears and is effectively stuck indefinitely living at the Vienna Arrival Center (VAC, refugee center operated by Red Cross). Currently, none of the available social housing options are willing to accommodate Igor because he is blind. Svetlana, VM4U Case Manager, has been working hard to get Igor an accommodation since he arrived at the VAC on April 14 following the closure of the Haidehof Haus dormitory (operated by Samariterbund). Svetlana learned that as a result of Igor’s two past unsuccessful interviews with Thaliagasse 147 (operated by Samariterbund) and Hostel Haidehoff (operated by Volkshilfe), Igor’s file with the Fonds Soziales Funds Wien (FSW, Austrian government organization responsible for accommodations) as ‘a double reject’ which effectively prevents Igor from receiving further consideration. VM4U Volunteers, Michael and David, met with FSW today to advocate for Igor, explain the situation, and look for a solution. Some potential, yet complex, solutions were discussed with a follow-up meeting with SFW scheduled for next week. Unfortunately, the insistence on in-person interviews and in-person meetings by the different social housing providers and FSW is a very significant obstacle for refugees to obtaining accommodations, especially blind, disabled, infirmed, and elderly refugees which cannot use public transportation or taxi services – VM4U has been critical in filling the gaps between the large bureaucracies.
5/31 ZHURAVNO ORPHANAGE SUPPORT PROJECT UPDATE
VM4U launched a new fundraising campaign to raise €8,800 in project specific donations to supply the Zhuravno Orphanage with much needed industrial washing and drying machines. 2.2 k EUR in funding has been raised so far thanks to Christina, Alex, William, Gerarado, anonymous, Jesse, Susan (Rotary International – Maria Theresa Chapter), and Heather; procurement of 1 industrial dryer are underway with delivery to the orphanage planned for June.
5/31 SHKLO REPATRIATION PROJECT
On 5/31, VM4U transported 6 elderly people from Vienna (staying at Hostel Hutteldorf, operated by Volkshilfe) to an assisted living facility in Shklo, Ukraine (outside Lviv). Lyubov, 60 yo, takes care of her husband, Igor, 63 yo, who is recovering from a stroke, and her mother, Galina, 83 yo, with dementia. Volodymyr, 86 yo, was in Vienna alone but has become friends with Lyubov. Svetlana, 60 yo, takes care of her mother, Raisa, 86 yo. Lyubov has a brother who is displaced and is living in Lviv; her brother identified and organized the placement of these 6 people at the assisted living facility in Shklo. These people came to Vienna via volunteers from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia last fall. Svetlana, VM4U Project Manager, organized the transportation of these very fragile people. Last week, the VM4U van team forwarded the personal belongings to the assisted living facility ahead of the passengers. Seven volunteers in Vienna, Nathan, Arkady, Artem, Roxy, Brian, Svetlana, and Adam, along with staff from OBB, transported these people from Hostel Hutteldorf to Vienna Hauptbauhnhof and assisted them onto the train during the 8 minute window. While all passengers made it onto the train, several volunteers did not make it off the train and had to double back at the next station. Svetlana and Adam accompanied the passengers to Przemysl, Poland Main Train Station (on the Polish-Ukraine border). About 12 people assisted us to unload the passengers off the train without a wheel chair ramp. Two volunteer drivers from Ukraine with private vehicles then drove the 6 passengers from Przemysl to the assisted living facility and arrived by midnight. Svetlana and Adam caught an overnight bus back to Vienna. VM4U continues to monitor these 6 people should further assistance be needed. VM4U donations were used for refugee and volunteer train tickets and volunteer return bus tickets. Svetlana donated lunch for those on the train.