A SLOVAKIAN refugee camp is caring for hundreds of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes.

Camp Žilina – within the Slovakian city of Žilina – along with another hostel in the city and a camp in Bratislava have provided 300 beds for people who have run away from the conflict and chaos in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion.

Viera Matysakova – who is from Slovakia but lives in Newport – is helping raise funds for the camp which is being run by many volunteers, including her sister and brother-in-law.

South Wales Argus:

“My sister and her husband have unused offices in Slovakia and are using them for refugees,” said Ms Matysakova.

“There’s around 300 people there at the moment, with volunteers bringing in food, but they need to prepare to look after them as time goes on.

“There are many many many volunteers who are trying to help refugees with everything that they need.”

South Wales Argus:

Camp Žilina gives people in need free accommodation which includes beds, toilets, showers, toiletries, and a kitchen with food.

Along with food and shelter, the volunteers offer support including organising paperwork and transport, getting SIM cards, medical help, financial help, psychological support, and more.

People are fundraising for items needed at the camp such as:

  • A washing machine;
  • A fridge;
  • Medical supplies – including antigen tests;
  • First aid supplies;
  • Food.

South Wales Argus:

“The situation is changing minute by minute, but this is where we’re currently at,” continued Ms Matysakova.

“We are trying to raise funds for Camp Žilina – knowing exactly where that money is going – because we do not have the capacity to collect donations and drive them to Slovakia.

“This may change, and we may be able to get vans but if people can support with donations and sharing we’d appreciate it.

“We are not being ungrateful [in not collecting donated goods to transport] – everyone is doing what they can, so it’s just raising awareness.”

People can read more or donate online at https://bit.ly/3KpidBS

You can follow the camp on Facebook facebook.com/groups/campzilina or look at their website campzilina.sk/en/

Newport business, Singaong with Liz, is hosting a free mum and baby music group session at 10am tomorrow (March 8) at Let Loose in Newport encouraging people to instead donate £4 (or more) to Camp Žilina.

South Wales Argus:

People can do this through Facebook via https://bit.ly/3HRCI8t or online at https://bit.ly/3KpidBS

Elizabeth Turner, who runs Singalong with Liz, knows Ms Matysakova through the singing group and said: “Her family and friends have helped set it up, are working there, and know exactly what is needed and where funds should go.

She added that the work at the camp is “nothing short of remarkable” and that she is “in awe of their efforts”.