Some Roma people in the far west of Ukraine are Hungarian speakers. While Blythswood’s partners in Hungary could distribute every shoebox they receive in their own locality, they make a special effort to take some to these communities across the border, to brighten the lives of some of the poorest families in Europe.
“There are many children in these mud-brick villages,” says Patricia Varga who works with a charity based in Budapest. “Their parents try to find work on a day-to-day basis but unemployment is very high and it’s difficult for them to earn sufficient to feed their families.
“These children were thrilled to receive Christmas boxes. All the gifts inside were considered treasures. They love colouring books, crayons and small toys like cars and dolls.
“Both children and parents really appreciate the personal items of soap and shampoo, shower gels, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“For them all things are a joy and they wanted us all to know they are so thankful for all the effort that goes into buying, packing and bringing things to them!”
Photo above: For these children in western Ukraine, every gift is a treasure.