Sunday, July 24, 2022


A note to Dream of a Better World and all of our supporters.  There has not been nearly as much US news coverage lately, but for Ukraine... the WAR CONTINUES and their needs are great. This UPDATE comes straight from our Laura Pauli who is now in Poland, working with the woman who runs all of the volunteers for World Kitchen.  Here is her update and a few photos.

My name is Alina. I’m from Kherson, Ukraine originally but now I live in Poland. At the beginning of March, 2022 the city was invaded by Russia and is now occupied. A lot of people were trying to escape the city through other cities in Ukraine (Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia) or through another occupied territory- Crimea. The first way is much more dangerous, because officially there are no green corridors for citizens to leave the city safely. Families trying to flee Kherson, are unsure if they will survive or not. The second way through Crimea is easier as Russians feel that both territories are their property. Some citizens chose the second option to go through Russia to Georgia, Turkey, Poland etc.

Those who were unable to escape the city for any reason are now doing their best to survive. Kherson is now a humanitarian catastrophe. I have a short list of problems city has now:

1.     Humanitarian aid is not allowed to enter the city. The city is blocked by enemy forces.

2.     Many people have lost their jobs due to all factories, plants, shops, pharmacies, restaurants, or banks closing. People were fired from hospitals, utility companies, schools, and universities. The occupiers have forced remaining people with jobs to collaborate with the new government and new system. The same with police and local government: either you collaborate or you lose your work and salary. Citizens trapped in Kherson fear if they work with the russian government, they will be guilty of treason when the territory returns to Ukrainian control. To find work is nearly impossible.

3.     Retired people are unable to receive their pension by cash from the local post office. As Ukrainian post office doesn’t exist anymore, more than 30,000 retired people are unable to receive their pensions. The Russian government has proposed some payments, but locals are unsure how their new system will work.

4.     The banking system no longer functions at all. People can’t withdraw money, pay by card, make money transfers, receive money, etc. They can only use cash both in Ukrainian hryvna and Russian rubles. There are no official currency exchanges, only black market.

5.     Grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies that existed before the occupation are now closed. The only option to buy anything is to go to an open air market. It looks like old Soviet Union market of 1990s when people where selling food, medicines, etc from their cars’ trunks. (photos attached). Some Russian companies started their work in the region (grocery shops) but the prices are so expensive, it’s impossible to buy anything.

6.     No cellular service, internet or wi-fi. The occupiers have blocked all cellular service, the city is cut off from the world. Most families have lost their connections with relatives and friends.

7.     To call for ambulance or police is almost impossible. If people need medical attention or emergency assistance, they may not receive help at all.

8.     If a family leaves their house vacant, Russians can use it for their needs without asking.

9.     It is not safe. People (especially those who are pro-Ukraine, politicians, social workers etc) have disappeared.


A lot of people need support, medical attention, food and money. I can’t even imagine what’s happening in small villages. I have relatives in one very small village in Kherson region (Podo-Kalinovka), and I haven’t heard from them at all since March 26th. To go there is dangerous, you need to go through several military check points and risk interrogation.

As I’m from that city, I know a lot of people who need help, whom I can trust, who lost their jobs and just want to try to live normal lives. It is impossible, for sure, but at least we can try to support them as much as possible.

Dream of a Better World is continuing to forward all donations to Laura for disbursement in helping meet the needs of these beautiful families.  

THANK YOU ALINA AND LAURA AND WORLD KITCHEN!  Thank you for caring enough to be there every day to help sustain and repair the shattered lives that have been so devastated by this senseless war.