Husband and wife Sergey and Yana, both from Russia, bought a building in Portimão a few months ago. They had the idea of opening it up as a hostel and, while thinking about the options, the events started happening in Ukraine.
Immediately their thoughts turned to the suffering and wanted to help. Without a second thought, they went fully into action mode and decided to offer it to Ukranian refugees free of charge.
They mentioned their ideas to friends one Friday and by Sunday, through the power of social media and word of mouth, the hostel went from an empty building to a fully equipped and ready to open hostel.
The first families are now in and they are expecting up to 100 people in total. What is so powerful is that they, as Russians, cannot return now to Russia. If they do, they face a long jail sentence for helping the Ukrainians. But they are not put off. They realise that the refugees need their help and they are not going to turn their backs on them.
Despite being fully equipped, they are in need of a heating system. The cost of such a system is going to be €3999.72. Can you help with this?
As a registered charity, Algarve Network for Families In Need would be grateful of people making donations through them, and this can be done via the Algarve Families In Need bank account or PayPal (Marked as Ukranian appeal please)
Account name: Nadia Cann FIN
Account number: IBAN PT50 0007 0000 0051 4134 7272 3
PayPal address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Russian born Algarve resident Yana Pshenichnikova-Semenets writes...
"A vivid impression of my childhood is films about the war. There were many of them and they all told about exploits and suffering, losses and grief, difficulties and hardships, heroism and betrayal. But all these films were united by one main idea - the war should never be repeated, and the Soviet slogan - 'peace to the world' called for preventing bloody madness. Then it seemed to me that the war had turned into a legend and could exist only on the cinema screen or on the pages of books. But then February 24th, 2022 came and people living in Europe suddenly realised that the war might not be somewhere far away - the reality being it is here, next to us.
Dying people are not actors who, after shooting, will wash off their makeup and go home to their families. No, this is all happening here and now for real. The entire civilised world, for which the value of human life is unconditional and indisputable, has rallied to help Ukraine in its struggle for independence against the treacherously and without warning Russian attack. There are no and cannot be excuses for those who unleashed a bloody massacre and decided to use brute force instead of negotiations and dialogue.
How can you help the people and the country that have been subjected to a monstrous attack? Now everyone answers this question in their own way. People from all over the world support the brave Ukrainians in word and deed and try to alleviate the suffering of innocent citizens. To provide shelter to those in need, to give them the opportunity to feel safe - in our opinion, the most important thing when blood is shed and people die. Fortunately, the European Union has decided to facilitate entry for Ukrainians forced to flee, and since the beginning of the armed conflict, about 2 million people have taken advantage of this opportunity. Portugal could not stand aside and the government decided to simplify the procedure for refugees to enter the territory of the state.
We decided that we could also contribute to the cause of helping people whose lives were in danger and provided them with a hostel building located in Portimão free of charge. Before we had time to advertise and tell our friends that we needed all possible help, dozens of people responded to our call. Everyone contributed to the arrangement of temporary housing - people brought furniture and household appliances, people brought clothes and food, other wonderful people helped put the building in order and repair it.
Today the first refugees arrived, they cannot hold back their tears, they are confused and have lost their familiar world, they are frightened and want only one thing - peace and tranquillity. We want to believe that the war will end soon, people will stop killing each other and common sense will prevail, but for now we will meet and accommodate those in need. Let the horrors of war remain in books and films as a warning and a reminder that there is nothing more valuable than human life. Thanks to everyone who responded and helped us organise a shelter for Ukrainians and thanks to all those who will join and help bring the peace we all need."
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