Sit-out continues for Ukrainian refugees

Wednesday March 16th 2022


Habitat for Humanity Poland aiding refugees as they arrive from Ukraine.

Dean Stephen Forde resumes his Black Santa Sit-out for Ukraine on March 16.

Becca Harkin from Habitat for Humanity Ireland will join Dean Stephen Forde on the steps of Belfast Cathedral on Wednesday afternoon (March 16) as the Black Santa Sit-out for Ukraine resumes.

The Dean has undertaken to hold his Sit-out from 12 noon until 3pm each Wednesday during Lent for six weeks. In the first week, £15,000 has been raised, and this money goes directly to partners Christian Aid and Habitat for Humanity who have colleagues on the ground working with refugees feeling Ukraine.

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat, has shared this update.

  • Habitat Romania continues to support families arriving at border locations and at Bucharest Train station.  More than 500 families have accommodation sourced through Habitat’s efforts.
  • Habitat Poland, in coordination with the Warsaw Government, is working at main train station managing Solidarity accommodation service; matching refugee families with the 4,000 home stays offered by the public. Habitat ReStore in Poland is also supporting families with key housing related items – 1.7 million people have fled to Poland since war began (UNHCR).
  • In Slovakia, Habitat is working with local civil society leaders to support shelter related services
  • Habitat Hungary continues to provide practical support at the border and is also very focused on solidarity accommodation matching.

Jenny said: “So many of the images and stories move us, people arriving at the border and at train stations with only what they can carry, with children, with pets. Older people who remember previous conflict and are re-traumatised.”

She added: “One thing which jumped out at me this week as we have talked to colleagues is that Habitat Poland has already supported Ukrainian families into shelter; refugees from 2014 – some of those families are now helping Habitat support and translate at the train station in Warsaw. Love in action continues to build hope.

“Habitat has supported the shelter needs of families in Central and Eastern Europe since 1992 and we will be there for the long-term to provide shelter, advocate for affordable rental, repurpose empty spaces to ensure people have a safe place to call home.”

If you are unable to visit Belfast Cathedral while the Dean is on the steps, you can make a donation online at

Habitat for Humanity Ireland is hosting Prayers for Ukraine. These will be held online on Wednesday March 16 at 7pm – register HERE – and in-person on Tuesday March 22 at Re-store, Lisburn.

Back to latest news

Site Directory