Prince Charles visits Romexpo

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The Prince of Wales recently visited Romexpo, in Bucharest, Romania, where further assistance is being provided to Ukrainian refugees. He met with representatives of The Salvation Army and other nonprofits, and Romexpo continues to be a fundraiser, collecting hygiene items, household items and children’s toys for distribution.

Over 30,000 refugees have been assisted by The Salvation Army since the conflict in Ukraine started in February. Both Prince Charles, and Princess Margareta of Romania, thanked The Salvation Army for their service and for doing “an amazing job”.

Prince Charles visits Romexpo Bucharest Romania-ArmataSalvarii-25May2022-6

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Nina and Tatiana find relief from the war in Ukraine when assisted by The Salvation Army at the Romanian border

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Nina and Tatiana


‘It was frightening,’ Nina summarises, her breath visible in the bitterly cold Romanian air. She and her newfound friend Tatiana are reflecting on the circumstances that led them both to flee their homes in Ukraine. It’s before 8am. They’ve only just met, but are now sharing their experiences with each other in The Salvation Army’s tent at the border crossing in Siret. Listening attentively, Major Olga Iniutochkina, The Salvation Army’s divisional leader for nearby Moldova, bringing valuable assistance to the local team.

Twenty-something Nina describes her life as a florist in the Kyiv suburb of Pozdnyaki. ‘Mainly weddings,’ she says wistfully, as if she can no longer quite imagine such a thing happening. ‘I love the colours, the fragrance, the shape, the composition…’ Her voice, already soft, fades away.

A pause. A welcome sip of fragrant hot fruit chai. Tatiana takes the narrative, outlining her own emerging career in marketing based in the northern Ukraine city of Chernihiv. A pompierii (fire officer) who has been fixing the nearby gas heater silently takes a seat alongside the women to provide further reassurance. The fire and rescue team here are in overall control of the security and safety of the refugee operation here.

With renewed intensity, Nina speaks about the shelling of her neighbourhood. ‘Mercifully, I was out [when it happened], but when I got home, all the windows had blown in. It was awful.’ She corrects herself. ‘It IS awful. But it was not as bad as the neighbouring block. That was hit by a bomb, but sustained much greater damage. There was also a fire throughout the upper floors. I haven’t been able to make contact with some of my neighbours since.’

Another pause as Nina takes out her mobile phone. She becomes more assertive. ‘And not just my home, but my school.’ Shaking her head, she shows an image of a school building – it too with the glass blown clear out of the windows, into dangerous shards.

‘I’ve been careful what I share on social media,’ Nina adds. Tatiana nods in agreement. ‘Friends tell me that some photos were posted on Facebook of military transport vehicles parked underground at a shopping centre I use quite often. Within hours, that car park had been bombed… obliterated… completely destroyed. That’s a mall I went to frequently. It’s not a valid military target – there were no weapons there, just standard vehicles parked up.’Siret Border Moldova Team_220404_IMG_2364 2

The young women take a moment. Major Olga is attuned to the ebb and flow of such dialogue. Conversations that few people expect ever to be having. Confirming the veracity of the morning’s shocking news reports: ‘I saw bodies,’ adds Nina. ‘On the street.’

Major Olga, mindful of the risks facing two attractive young women, offers a leaflet on remaining alert to the potential for human trafficking, with a 24-hour helpline number. There’s a break in conversation as they read through, and then as a volunteer transport coordinator asks the major to assist with some paperwork. This inter-agency cooperation is crucial to effective working here at the border, to ensure efficiency, safety and greater levels of care.

Completing the paperwork provides another angle of conversation. ‘Bellissimo!’ grins Tatiana as she explains that she will be moving to Venice, Italy, to be with her mother for a while. ‘But I am going to miss my husband,’ she adds. ‘He’s in the military.’ She, too, tails off.

Nina, meanwhile, outlines her hopes to pick up temporary work in Dortmund, Germany. Eyeing the freshly-cut tulips on an adjacent table, she muses briefly about what kind of flowers might be available in this city. ‘But really, I don’t mind anything. I just want to work, and to be back in Ukraine when I can.’

Sensitively, Major Olga asks if they would like to be prayed for. There is no hesitation at all. ‘Please,’ they say, almost in unison. And so the women pray together, along with the unsuspecting pompierii still sitting patiently alongside. Their practical needs are also attended to, with offers of hot food and drinks, water, Europe-wide SIM cards and warm clothes. The women graciously decline – it’s not needed on this occasion.

Soon, word comes that transport to the nearest airport – still a two-hour drive away – is ready. ‘There is no rush,’ explains the pompierii. ‘You must remain here until you are completely happy.’

For Major Olga, too, there is no time limit. She will remain with the women until they feel comfortable getting into a vehicle, which will have been fully vetted before getting anywhere near the site. Sensing that there is still reluctance to board an unknown minivan, the major asks what the women think they are going to find most difficult.

‘Forgiveness,’ says Nina, without missing a beat. ‘Forgiveness is so, so hard. But we have to try. Ukrainians are united. The world stands with us.’ Tatiana echoes this sentiment, simply by restating that one word. ‘Forgiveness.’

With that self-motivation, the women gain the courage to leave the now-warm cocoon of The Salvation Army’s tent. With Salvation Army volunteers carrying their luggage to the waiting vehicle, there’s an opportunity for some further conversation with Major Olga on the short walk to transport area. Both women’s eyes fill with tears as they learn that there is no charge. Not for the transport, not for the chai, not for the emotional support, not for the other help that has been provided.

The tears meld with warm embraces all round, and as the van departs for their onward flights, enthusiastic farewell waves that would normally be indicative of a relationship developed over rather more than an hour and a half.

It’s all in a day’s work here at Siret for Major Olga and her compassionate, hardworking team. While it’s unpredictable exactly how many people will cross the border any given day, what can be assured is a caring and professional response, and one which will draw in as many other complementary services as is necessary for each individual’s specific needs and context.

There will be many more Ninas and Tatianas in the days ahead, each with their own unique experiences. There will be many more tears shed. And Major Olga and team will be ready with the tissues, the right words and the hugs.


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  • Nina and Tatiana shared their story with David Giles, a volunteer with The Salvation Army’s Romania Division emergency response team.


Born in the war, newborn and family found new hope in Italy with assistance from The Salvation Army

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Kirill turned 21 days old the day he crossed the Ukrainian-Romanian border through Siret customs. He was born on March 2, in the northern region of Kyiv, Vyshorod, in a bunker of a local hospital.

Valeria (29), his mother, says that among the first noises Kirill heard were those of rockets hitting the city. At the same time, four other children were born, and more than a hundred Ukrainian children were born in the hospital’s bunker. They left Kyiv the day before the destruction of the Irpin Bridge and took refuge in their parents’ house. As the bombing continued, Valeria and Iurii (26) decided to leave Ukraine.

Iurii’s sister’s house was bombed and destroyed, and that scared them even more. Iurii crossed the border with a certificate of disability, convinced that he could help his country in other ways and, at the same time, give Kirill a life away from the horrors of war. Iurii’s father still remains in Ukraine, but in four months he will turn 60 and is allowed to leave the country. Currently men 18-60 are forbidden to leave Ukraine, obligated to stay and fight the war.

They crossed the border at Siret after a long and difficult road, were taken over by The Salvation Army Romania’s volunteers and guided to the first minibus to Italy. There, in Pescara, Iuri’s grandmother was waiting for her, who confirmed to us that they arrived safely after another 20 hours spent on the road.


(Kirill at 1 month old now safely in Italy)


Photos and writing contributed by Marius Tudor.

View more photos on our Flickr.


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army annually helps people internationally overcome poverty and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 8 centres around Romania: Bucharest, Ploiesti, Craiova, Iasi, Bacau and Buzau. For more information, visit and

Media Release – Ukrainian Refugee Aid – 27.02.2022


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The Salvation Army Romania Assist Incoming Refugees at Ukraine-Romania Border

SIRET, Romania (27 February 2022) – The Salvation Army in Romania is assessing the situation and responding as needed. Three officers, including the Divisional Commander, Captain Ionel Sandu, along with Captain Yanick Termignone and Lt. Emil Ghenea, loaded a van in Bucharest of donated items, early morning on Saturday, 26 February 2022, and drove north to Siret, Romania, one of the border entries from Ukraine to Romania.

The team has assisted over 50 refugees with water, snacks, SIM cards, toys for children, gloves, hats and blankets. After driving 6 hours north, the team couldn’t reach the border directly, so they walked the remainder of the way to reach the border, walking over 3,5 km (2 mi). After over 21 hours of work, 3:45 am, the officers found a place to sleep for a few hours at a refugee shelter facility, a social center by Eagle House.

In Iași, Romania, near the Moldova border, the Corps Officer, Major Lilia Cojucari prepared and arranged lodging for 10 refugee families to stay overnight.

We thank everyone for all the support from the Romanian, and international, communities for stepping up to assist refugees entering into the country. Support and information for the work in Romania can be found at Photos can be found at


Media Contact:
Dave Haas
Romania Public Information Officer
+40 799 057 120 / +1 404 590 1879
[email protected]

Romanian language:
+40 727 116 466 (phone & WhatsApp)
[email protected]


Ukraine Refugee Response


About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps people internationally overcome poverty and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 8 centres around Romania: Bucharest, Ploiesti, Craiova, Iasi, Bacau and Buzau. For more information, visit and


Divisional Headquarters Building Dedication

On Friday, 24 September 2021, The Salvation Army Romania officially opened and dedicated their new building. Another monumental day in The Salvation Army Romania Division this year. This building is the first headquarters office in Romania owned by The Salvation Army, and after years of searching, due to barriers of documents with real estate properties in Romania and finding a good location and value, we finally settled on our new home at Strada Dumitru Zosima 16, Bucharest, Romania.

We moved into the building in February 2020 and originally planned to hold the dedication ceremony in April, but the global pandemic stalled all that until now. In the meantime, various small renovation and upgrades inside and outside to make the most out of the property. On the ground floor is a communal kitchen and meeting area, first floor are all the offices for employees and the second floor, the top floor, is an open space for hosting larger meetings and coffee with an apartment. The basement was converted into space for a counseling center, allowing beneficiaries to come in who are in need of emergency supplies and assistance and long-term assistance with obtaining documents and job search assistance, soon a shower and laundry facility will be present also. Outside a few storage areas were added to receive incoming donations and provide adequate storage as in-kind donations continue to grow.

On this dedication day, Territorial Leadership and Divisional Leadership were able to physically gather together to dedicate the building for the Lord’s work. We invite you to watch and share with your family, friends and colleagues. And we pray God’s blessing to you and for blessings to use this building to grow and continue serving the people of Romania.


Please view and share the Facebook Live recording below:

Direct link here:


And you can view the photos from the day here:
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We are thankful for all the support and impact made by so many individuals around the world.

Press Release – 25.02.2021 Human Trafficking is Hidden in Plain Sight



Human Trafficking is Hidden in Plain Sight.

February 25th, 2021 – “Shine a Light on Slavery” Day


Globally, over 40 million* people suffer from exploitation. Be it sexual exploitation, forced labour, minor trafficking, forced marriages or other forms of human trafficking, the victims of the phenomenon end up profoundly traumatized and, often without the protection and the services that they so desperately need.


Romania continues to be one of the main source countries for victims of human trafficking in Europe, 2880 people having been identified in the latest Eurostat Report**. We firmly believe that this will not change unless all relevant actors work together and coordinate efficiently on the issue, not only at national level but also at international level: state institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, intergovernmental organizations, and the general public.


Human trafficking knows no borders and does not take into account nationality, ethnicity, gender or age. Too many times, the burden is placed on the victims instead of calling out the phenomenon for what it is: organized crime and a grave breaches of fundamental human rights.


Seven embassies in Romania, Embassy of Canada, Royal Danish Embassy, French Embassy in Romania, Embassy of Israel in Romania, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Embassy of Sweden, The British Embassy in Bucharest, join efforts with eLiberare and thirteen other NGOs in the global awareness campaign End It Movement and mark on the 25th of February 2021 ”Shine a Light on Slavery” Day by saying a firm ”No!” to human trafficking and modern slavery.


The campaign is also joined by the following organizations: Abolishion, Institutul Bucovina, Fundația Missio Link International, Armata Salvării România (The Salvation Army Romania), LibertatED, JRS România, Acțiunea Catolică România, Asociația Centrul Creștin Betania, Asociația Dorcas România, Asociația Act Integration, Patrir, Open Doors and LOGS Grup de Inițiative Sociale


„Human trafficking and all forms of child exploitation is a horrific abuse of human rights and impacts all of us. Wherever it occurs human trafficking violates every value we stand for. Defeating it must unite us all in the fight to protect our most vulnerable citizens.” – Ambassador Annick Goulet, Embassy of Canada


“Human trafficking is an abomination, an affront to basic human dignity. There must be zero tolerance towards any form of modern slavery. To this end, we must shore up resources to ensure effective law enforcement at every level – locally, nationally and internationally.”  – Ambassador Søren Jensen, Royal Danish Embassy in Bucharest


“France is very concerned by the trafficking in human beings, which is predominantly a European issue; 70% of the identified victims and suspects in the EU are EU nationals. Most of the victims of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation are female nationals coming from Central and Eastern Europe. France is committed to work on common solutions to eradicate this phenomenon.” – Ambassador Laurence AUER, French Embassy in Romania


“The Embassy of Israel in Romania joins with determination the #EndItMovement. Throughout history, our people have endured many sorrows. From ancient times until only decades ago, when our brothers and sisters were exploited by a regime that regarded them as disposable slaves.  Shedding light on the subject and relentlessly promoting education and understanding are the means through which we can build together a brighter future. We invite everyone to join hands and say ¨No!¨ to human trafficking and modern slavery.” Ambassador David Saranga, Embassy of Israel in Romania,


“The Netherlands Embassy firmly supports efforts to fight trafficking of human beings. We can all agree that improving cross border cooperation is vital to better disrupt the business model of criminals, to help identify victims, to give them the necessary care and support and to prevent people from becoming a victim in the first place. Without a doubt, more effective implementation of policies is needed to push back on this terrible and highly profitable phenomenon. The Netherlands Embassy stands ready to work with Romanian governmental and non-governmental organizations to make this happen.”  – Ambassador Roelof Sander van Ees,  Netherlands Embassy in Bucharest


“The Swedish Embassy firmly supports efforts to fight trafficking in human beings. This is a global problem and we stand ready to support the #EndItMovement.” – Ambassador Therese Hydén, Swedish Embassy in Bucharest


This common awareness effort accompanies other concrete actions that the seven embassies are currently running in Romania, alongside civil society actors and state institutions: capacity building sessions, exchange programs, awareness campaigns, aftercare support and a clear focus on the issue in all the interactions with the Romanian state.


We are #InItToEndIt! #StopSclaviei #EndItMovement


*Global Slavery Index
**Third report on the progress made in the fight against trafficking in human beings

Contact person: Ioana Bauer, eLiberare President,  Tel: 0745902699


State of Emergency COVID-19 Response

We promised transparency, and we did. We have been at the forefront in this period, aligning and meeting the needs of the most affected by the pandemic that has hit the world.

We have responded in new ways to new challenges!

Starting with March 2020, just before the establishment of the state of emergency and until now (end of state of emergency – May 15, 2020), the Romanian Salvation Army mobilized exemplary in the fight against the effects of the pandemic and its impact on the disadvantaged population in the localities where we operate and also of other nearby localities.

The support provided consisted of:

  • 2,358 emergency food aid;
    • Hot meals
    • Food packages
    • Sandwiches
  • 947 of people to whom we served food packages;
    • Most of these people were either elderly people who could not travel to buy necessities, or children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds or families in self-isolation due to returning from abroad.
  • 7,904 clothing and footwear distributed to people in difficulty;
  • 1,268 educational support sessions for disadvantaged children (lessons in Romanian, Mathematics, English and French, music and creative arts) held online through various platforms;
  • 650 support phone calls and emotional counseling for people in solitary confinement at home;
  • 140 social counselors;
  • 38 medical consultations offered on the street to homeless people;
  • 494 packages of hygiene products, sterile masks and medicines distributed on the street, to homeless people, but also to disadvantaged people;
  • 16 Support groups for different ages: children, young people, adults and seniors. (Prayer, Bible study, children’s club, Sunday school);
  • 700 of participants in online support groups;
  • 258 showers for the homeless and disadvantaged;
  • 140 plush toys offered to children from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • 510 coffees and sweets;
  • drinking water,
  • furniture and small items that can have a major impact on the lives of those who are missing.

All these were obtained through the organization’s projects, sponsorships of companies or their employees (Amazon Romania, SOS Ploiești, ArhiDesign, Aprozărești Ploiești, 5toGo), own funds but also through hours of volunteering offered by brave and courageous people under the guidance of The Salvation Army officers and our employees.

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