Philippe C. is a Frenchman who has been living in Ungheni, Moldova, for several years. In 2003, together with Sister Josette - then in post in Romania, now Provincial of France - and a group of Romanian and Moldavian friends of our Institute, of which he has been a member for more than 20 years, he created an association, "Degetel" (Little Thumb), which is very well known by the local authorities for its important humanitarian work in favour of schools and hospitals.
He is currently hosting a family of 16 Ukrainian refugees, including eight children, who want to be able to return to their country as soon as the conflict is over, in order to find their fathers who have stayed behind. He says: "The war is madness. If the fighting continues, what will happen to the poorest people, who have not been able to flee? The first to cross the borders are the richest, with their fortune in their suitcases, followed by those who were able to and who find themselves with nothing. We give them all the help we can. Two members of my association are doctors and come to treat them for free. I was able to get the children into school. One of them is disabled, with no elbow joints. I am a bit like their grandfather, they come to my lap! And they all take good care of me. Thanks to the solidarity of my friends, the Sisters of the Infant Jesus and my family in France, I can feed them all for the moment. I am trying to prepare for the post-war period. The needs will be immense, and we will have to be vigilant to meet the real needs. In conjunction with doctors' and pharmacists' associations, we are preparing a convoy of three trucks of medical equipment (medicines and consumables) to recreate a hospital. I will take care of the logistics and, thanks to the contacts I have in Kiev, I will be able to ensure that they are delivered in the right way and used for the most needy. We are not a big association and we are in touch with the real needs. We must keep hope alive, against all odds! »