Ukrainian Family Finds Shelter from War on Maryland Farm
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has left thousands of families displaced and in search of safety. One family, the Radius family, has found refuge on a Maryland farm. In this opinion piece, we will discuss the struggles faced by the Radius family and the program that helped them find a new home in America.
The Struggles Faced by The Radius Family
Mark Radius stopped speaking after Russian missiles destroyed an apartment building near his home in the Ukrainian city of Odesa last summer. The little boy began having panic attacks that left him mute. That’s when his parents knew they had to leave Ukraine, even if it meant saying goodbye to family members they might never see again. Andrei and Violetta Radius posted a request for American sponsors on the Facebook group, Uniting for Ukraine‐US Sponsorship, shortly after the July 1, 2022 attack.
After posting on this Facebook group, they managed to find a sponsor, Jordan Stave and his partner, Anthony Blake Clark, who provided shelter in their 18th-century farmhouse in Fallston, Maryland. Unfortunately, Mark still suffers from PTSD due to the attacks he experienced in Ukraine. Despite this, the Radius family is grateful for the help they have received in the United States.
The Program Helping Displaced Ukrainians
The U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration founded Uniting for Ukraine in April 2022, two months after the Russian invasion. This program streamlines the process by which people in need of humanitarian aid could gain admittance the U.S. These visitors, known as “parolees,” can enter the country on an emergency basis for two years.
Previously, those seeking to enter the U.S. either had to obtain a short-term visa in their homelands or prove they faced persecution due to political or religious reasons – a process that on average takes more than 18 months, according to Ruben Chandrasekar, acting director of the International Rescue Country’s Mid-Atlantic region.
The Uniting for Ukraine program provides a pathway for vulnerable Ukrainians to enter the U.S. and be supported by everyday Americans who want to help people seeking protection. Instead of working through government offices or resettlement agencies, Ukrainians seeking to leave their homeland post requests on the Uniting for Ukraine Facebook page. Benefactors choose an individual or family to sponsor and message them directly. Once an agreement has been reached, both parties register with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
– More than 270,000 displaced Ukrainians have relocated to America since the Russian invasion, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
– The pitches on the Uniting for Ukraine website are determinedly upbeat, optimistic, and heartrending, attempting to reassure potential sponsors that the immigrants won’t be a burden.
The Radius family’s story highlights the importance of programs like Uniting for Ukraine. As conflict and political instability continue to displace people around the world, it’s critical that we work together to help those in need. While America has always been a beacon of hope for immigrants, the current political climate makes it all the more necessary for ordinary individuals to step up and offer assistance.
The Radius family found refuge from war on a Maryland farm thanks to the Uniting for Ukraine program and the generosity of their sponsors. Their story highlights the importance of humanitarian aid and the power of individuals to make a difference in the lives of others. We must continue to support programs that help those in need and work toward compassion and understanding in a world filled with conflict and suffering.