Cloth Cares for Kids in Kyiv
Cloth diapers are offering a layer of comfort for a pair of sisters and their young children, separated from their husbands and dads as the conflict in Ukraine continues.
Claudia Pardo is hosting the Ukrainian refugees in her Switzerland home. Some Ukranians working at the United Nations created a nonprofit to connect hosts and refugees, and when she found out she applied.
“They are from Kyiv. They left when the bomb/war started,” Claudia wrote. “The dads wanted them to be safe. They left and spent days/weeks moving around in Europe (Poland, Romania, Bulgaria). Once I confirmed I could host them, they came here."
The group includes the two sisters and their 3 children, all ages 2 and younger. Their husbands and parents are still in Kyiv, as men ages 18 to 60 years old are not allowed to leave Ukraine unless they have more than 4 children or have disabilities, Claudio explained.
“They feel grateful to be here and safe, but guilty they can have peace while the rest of their family/friends are under conflict,” Claudio said, adding that the uncertainty of the conflict takes its toll, too. “The moms are always very anxious until they can have the daily call with family at home to make sure they are still alive/good.”
Claudia reached out for cloth kits from Jake’s to ease the financial burden of diapers on the group. There was a transition getting used to the new material and cloth process, but Claudia said it has already made a difference.
“They still don’t feel comfortable wearing cloth when they go out, but are getting there bit by bit! So far, it’s been really helpful given the high costs of diapers!” she wrote.
As the conflict continues, its unclear how long these refugees will need to continue sheltering in Claudia’s home. She said they use Google translate to overcome language barriers, and have adjusted to the extra activity that an additional 5 people brings to one home.
“It's really difficult for them to go from having completely independent lives to feel like a burden. The amount of times they don't want to interfere and be discreet is amazing. One of the moms shares a queen bed with the 2 year old and the girl falls off the bed multiple times in the week (although I added a bed rail) so when I suggested to add a mattress on the floor or a toddler bed for her, she said ‘I rather be awoken by the cries of my child because she fell off the bed than because we are being bombed.”