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Exodus from Ukraine

Maranie Staab | Ukraine and Moldova

Women and children wait in a parking lot to be evacuated from the port city of Odessa, Ukraine on March 21, 2022.

For Salam Aldeen and Team Humanity,the day begins well before dawn in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, and often ends nearly 24 hours later. Before daybreak, a caravan of vehicles sets off for the border with Ukraine and into Mykolaiv, a city under siege by Russian forces. On some days there are up to 20 checkpoints before reaching aparking lot of women and children, suitcases and pets in hand, waiting for transportation to relative safety. The vehicles are quickly filled and the caravan then begins the long return to Moldova.

“We are doing two jobs at once. We go there [Ukraine] with food and supplies for the people and we bring out women and children who are desperate to leave,” says Aldeen.

To date, Team Humanity has evacuated well over 1,000 people; most are women, children, babies, and the elderly from Mykolaiv.

“My daughter motivates me to do this. When I see her happy and with food and with a good life it makes me want to do more. We are saving lives but we could do more.”

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