Žalec – A group of 43 refugees from Ukraine arrived in Žalec on Wednesday. They will be temporarily taken care of by the Celje Caritas, which will also help them with paperwork, before they are accommodated with families.
The group has been brought to Slovenia by Tamino Petelinšek, a photographer of the Slovenian Press Agency who had been commissioned by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternity, to photograph a shipment of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Having spent four days in Lviv, he met numerous Ukrainian families that had been displaced. With Russian attacks near Lviv escalating, a group of 43 decided to join him en route to Slovenia with the help of the Knights of Columbus and the Caritas.
“They can stay here for a week or two and during this time we’ll help them find a more long-term accommodation,” said Petelinšek. Many of his friends have expressed willingness to open their homes to the refugees.
Efforts are also under way to find work for some of the refugees, though their lack of knowledge of Slovenian makes it difficult to find work they are qualified for.
There are two nurses, who have already been promised work at an aged care home, while others have the option of menial jobs such as cleaning or stacking store shelves.
“There are also some options opening up in manufacturing companies,” according to Petelinšek.