SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The U.N. Refugee Agency says the Russian invasion in 2022 triggered one of the fastest-growing refugee emergencies in history … the largest since World War 2. Searing images from the beginning of the war showed families desperately trying to leave Ukraine as bombs hit numerous cities.
Dr. Andrij Barin, the President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee, Capital District Branch, said, “the war is not over, but they have already built some apartment buildings, and people don’t want to live in the wreckage.”
Jenn Moak is part of a Facebook group helping thousands of Ukrainian refugees find host families so they don’t have to live in the wreckage.
She has been helping displaced families from the start of the war.
“I was just watching their plight… You know, sitting in basements, huddled in basements with their dogs,” she said.
That’s when she decided to get involved with North America for Ukraine Facebook group. Their mission is to help find host families and homes for refugees in the U.S. and Canada.
Moak has so far helped more than 200 families since the war started.
“They come to stay with family and friends,” she said. “And then we find a paper sponsor to help bring them.”
Individual Ukrainians and families are matched with host families who can help make a fresh start with a safe place to stay. But Moak says only some people know a refugee from Ukraine can start working upon arrival.
“Every time I place a family, it’s like…sticking it to a bully. Because that’s what it’s about,” she said.
And that is what keeps her going. Moak says that she will continue to place families as long as there is a need.