Yuri is not a pensioner, he is not disabled or homeless.
He is just an ordinary man living with his family in the war-affected town of Krasnohorivka.

The man works at the local technical school making about 2,000 UAH ($70) per month while his wife works at the local clinic making 600 UAH ($23) a month. The regional hospital was destroyed by several direct hits in the spring of 2017 leaving many locals without jobs. A grave inflation came alongside with the war in Ukraine. The cost of a US dollar increased 4 times and all of the utility bills grew correspondingly. For the people who are still living in the war zone, it has been increasingly difficult to survive in these new circumstances. Over half of Yuriy’s family income is spent to cover the utility bills. A very small amount is left for food, especially for a family with two sons who are still students.

When the war broke out, our gas supply system was damaged. We couldn’t afford it to buy a boiler to heat the house, – Yury tells us. – We tried to save money for a boiler for the last three years but couldn’t do it! Well, I went to the scrap metal point and bought a very old used gas boiler, which someone had brought there because it was useless. I took it home. With the help of a welding machine, I made a solid-fuel boiler out of this junk. It’s a good thing that my father had taught me to do everything with my own hands… This experience came in handy.

It was risky, of course, to start this old boiler at home. But the desire to warm up was stronger than the fear to blow up the house. So, this boiler lasted for two years with many repairs. There were some holes in the boiler and you could feel the smell of burning in the house. And this year God really blessed us!

We heard from our neighbors that some people were installing boilers for free. I couldn’t really believe that something can be done for free but I still applied. To our great surprise, they did install a solid fuel boiler in our house! Our joy was endless! This boiler had been our dream for the last 3 years! We could never afford to buy one! Just look! It’s brand new, clean, and, most importantly, it heats all the rooms and does not let the smoke out!  This was a real Christmas miracle for us!

The man wasn’t too emotional as he was talking to us but it was obvious that he was happy. While listening to him, we could really rejoice for him and his family knowing that their house became warmer and safer and we know for sure that this boiler will not explode!

“CBN-Emmanuel” is grateful to “Pope for Ukraine” Initiative for the trust and the opportunity to serve these people of war and to warm their homes with boilers and briquettes from the Pope. This winter, 2186 families have received such a “warm” help!

We are grateful to Pope Francis and all Catholic Christians from Europe who answered the Popes call for help the conflict-affected people of Donbass!