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Just before mothers Day this year, first lady Jill Biden — during a visit to Romania this weekend — heard stories she described as “heartbreaking” from Ukrainian women and children who were forced to flee their homeland amid Russia’s onslaught.
Many have found safety in neighboring Romania.
It is clear that the wounds of these mothers and children will take a very long time to heal.
Jill Biden said, “I think mothers will do anything for their children.”
A refugee mother told the first lady of a dramatic escape after she and her 8-year-old daughter hid in a cramped, cold basement during the attacks on their land.
Reaching Romania “was a game change[r] for us,” Svitlana Gollyak from Kharkiv, Ukraine, told Biden in her native language.
The conversation took place during the first lady’s tour of a public school in Bucharest that takes in refugee children, according to the Associated Press.
Gollyak said her daughter “feels much better here.”
There are “no more tears and she has adapted very well”, said the woman
Jill Biden told Gollyak and the other women, “I think mothers will do anything for their children.”
She also said they were “amazingly strong and resilient.”
Biden said her message to the families was “we are behind you”.
On Thursday, United Nations Emergency Response chief Martin Griffiths said humanitarian needs continue to grow in war-torn Ukraine — where an estimated 7.7 million people are now internally displaced, according to the UN.
Ms. Biden watched as the children wrote messages on paper cutouts of their hands.
In addition, more than 5.7 million people have fled Ukraine for shelter since Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine for the first time, the UN Refugee Agency said.
‘I want to go back to my father’
During the first lady’s visit, the children worked on a craft activity at the school.
Ms. Biden watched as the children wrote messages on paper cutouts of their hands. A young Ukrainian girl scribbled, “I want to go back to my father.”
First lady Jill Biden later told reporters the girl’s words were “heartbreaking,” the AP reported.
The first lady praised the Romanian government and aid organizations for the range of humanitarian aid they are providing to the refugees.
‘Teachers are the glue’
At the school, the first lady watched teachers help some of the roughly 900,000 Ukrainians who have fled to Romania since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
“We wake up every morning and think ‘this has got to stop’ – but it just keeps going.”
“In many ways, the teachers are the glue that helps these kids deal with their trauma and deal with the emotion and give them a sense of normalcy,” Ms Biden said.
“We’re all hopeful, right,” she also told reporters. “We wake up every morning and think ‘this has got to stop’ – but it just keeps going.”
About 7,000 Ukrainians cross the border every day and arrive in Romania, Pablo Zapata, the Romanian representative for the UN Refugee Agency, said the AP.
Mother’s Day this year in the US
The first lady’s visit came just before Mother’s Day in the US — a day normally celebrated peacefully, but a day when activist groups have pledged to disrupt Catholic churches across the country.
They are upset about the recent leak of a draft opinion of the Supreme Court† that would quash the historic Roe v. Wade abortion case, which effectively made abortion legal in the US in 1973
Before Sunday, May 8, pro-abortion activists organized by the group “Ruth Sent Us” published the home addresses of SCOTUS’ six conservative judges — and said they plan to gather in the judges’ private homes. to protest the likely overthrow of Roe.
The White House this week would not tell abortion activists to avoid Supreme Court houses, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki instead saying President Biden believes in “peaceful protests.”
But the administration had no “official US government position on where people protest.”
Kelly Laco and Maureen Mackey of Fox News Digital, as well as the Associated Press, reported on this article.