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An individual's journey from being an Afghan refugee to becoming an aid worker in Ukraine.
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An individual’s journey from being an Afghan refugee to becoming an aid worker in Ukraine.

After experiencing war in Afghanistan, Ali understood the extensive impact that widespread military operations have on innocent civilians.

After the Ukraine war began, Ali and his wife, who run a small clothing store in Odessa, started providing aid and donating clothing to those who were displaced from their homes because of the conflict.

He informed UN News of his efforts for The Tenth of April humanitarian organization, which collaborates with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Ukraine.

UNHCR is assisting people whose apartments were damaged by a deadly night blast in Odessa, Ukraine.

© UNHCR/Victoria Andrievska

‘More focused on the conflict in Ukraine’

“I was brought to this country by my parents along with my siblings twenty-four years ago, as we sought refuge from the war and oppression in Afghanistan. This nation became our newfound home.”

We are deeply troubled and anxious about the state of affairs in Ukraine compared to Afghanistan, and we are making efforts to offer assistance to the best of our abilities.

In a time of great need for our country, it is crucial to take action and contribute to making a positive impact.

I am heavily involved in providing assistance to those affected by the bombing in the Odessa region. Our efforts involve distributing essential humanitarian aid to those in need.

Every day, more and more individuals are looking for help.

I am proficient in multiple languages, allowing me to partner with The Tenth of April in assisting refugees and asylum seekers who previously sought refuge in Ukraine. I currently work as a social worker and logistician.

Ali (left) has been working for the humanitarian organization The Tenth of April for more than a year.

©Tenth of April/Yuliia Marchenko

Frontline destruction

The situation in the villages near the frontline is extremely dire. The infrastructure is in ruins, with houses destroyed and people struggling to survive.

The thing that motivates me the most is the appreciation I see in others. It helps me push through any exhaustion I may feel. One day, a young girl from a displaced family in Kherson gave me a handmade yellow and blue ribbon, and it truly touched my heart. These are the moments that stay with me forever.

The employees of this institution provided assistance to my family while we were seeking asylum in Ukraine. I witnessed their dedication and determination in their duties.

My spouse and teenage son are determined to stay in Ukraine and are doing their best to assist in any way possible.

My son and I were present during the distribution of construction materials to the residents of a house damaged by shelling in Odessa. He assisted with unloading and stayed with me until evening.

Today, some of my coworkers are individuals who have been displaced from Kherson and Mykolaiv. I admire their dedication and it motivates me to work harder and accomplish more.

  • According to the United Nations, approximately 18 million individuals will require humanitarian aid in the current year.

  • The needs of humanitarian aid are especially critical for individuals who have been displaced for a prolonged period of time and for those who have stayed in areas near the frontlines during the war.

  • The UNHCR, or UN Refugee Agency, works together with 29 different partner organizations, including The Tenth of April, to provide assistance to individuals in Ukraine who are facing difficult circumstances.

  • With the assistance of its contributors, UNHCR’s goal is to provide aid to 3.6 million individuals in Ukraine by the year 2023.