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Wellspring International Outreach Blog

Neale’s Trip To Ukraine

Posted by Neale Bayly on Jan 4, 2024 12:00:15 PM

[Originally published August 10, 2022]

Our time in Ukraine is over, but our work is just beginning. Traveling and working with award winning photographer Kiran Ridley, we spent close to three weeks riding BMW F850GS Adventures inside Ukraine. During this time we observed how the war is affecting everyone in Ukraine at some level.

As the weeks go by, we will release Kiran’s portraits of these victims of war and will be telling their stories. From young amputees who were on the front line fighting just weeks ago, to a 75-year-old Gentleman who lost his home and work shop in a missile blast yet somehow his 1965 Soviet replica Vespa survived. We met Mothers with destroyed homes, fishermen unable to work, and farmers forced to sell their grain at 20% of normal value. As we rode through this beautiful country it soon
became extremely clear, the strength and resolve of the Ukranian people is beyond anything either of us have ever experienced. The fierce loyalty, lack of self-pity and the way everyone works together is humbling. With so many place in need, we made our decision for our first donation, $10,000, to go to the children’s hospital in Lviv. Wellspring has always focused on the needs of children, so it was an easy decision.

Kiran had previously photographed a little girl called Sophia who was hit by shrapnel and brought to the hospital to remove it from her brain. She is currently receiving further treatment in Amsterdam. During our visit we spent time with Leo, an 11-year old boy who had been under severe shelling in Severodonetsk. With his Mother away working, he and his Grandmother were forced to take refuge in a local School shelter. Somehow, without any communication available, his Mother was able to go back and find him and they made the perilous journey under shelling to escape to Lviv. Now a refugee, Leo recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his leg, but, according to the Doctors, is unable to walk due to the trauma he has suffered.



Ukraine is still at war, children are losing their lives and being mutilated daily by Russian bombs, so the Lviv Children’s hospital is now fighting to adapt to these new needs that include massive skin loss, severe burns, missing limbs and shrapnel wounds. If you are here at this page you are considering a donation we thank you. Your contributions are of great help to the hospital administration as they work tirelessly to help these wounded children.

Tags: BMW F850GS, Kiran Ridley

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