Aid worker returns from Ukraine mission

Aid worker John Murphy had to wear body armour during his latest Samaritan's Purse charity mission in Ukraine

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Taynuilt aid worker John Murphy is home after five weeks in Moldova and Ukraine helping refugees.

The maintenance man is on call for Samaritan’s Purse, a charity that uses funds pre-supported by Christian-giving to get volunteers out where they are needed when disasters strike.

One of the refugee centres being supported by volunteers from Samaritan’s Purse

Despite only returning to the UK less than two weeks, he has already been asked by the charity to return to the Ukraine soon.

John flew to Romania and because of a no-fly zone had to get on an ‘Indian Jones style’ bus for an eight-hour bouncy ride on bad roads to Moldova where he spent the first  part of his mission being in charge of water sanitation and hygiene, setting up shower blocks and toilets at refugee centres and supporting government buildings.

After the situation quietened there, he was sent into Ukraine to support field hospital work, making sure there were enough water supplies.

‘Crossing the border into the Ukraine was a bit like you see in an old spy movie. I had to walk across the border wheeling my suitcase and go through several checkpoints,’ he said.

There were between two and four air raids a day and there were bombings.

John said: ‘It was a tense atmosphere all the time but I noticed it more once I left and got to Poland. It felt like taking a heavy rucksack of my back.’

Over the years John has also served with Samaritan’s Purse in Nepal after an earthquake, war-torn Iraq and in the Greek Islands helping refugees. He was also in Germany more recently after the country was hit by devastating floods.

To support the work of Samaritan’s Purse go to to make a donation.

Over on Tiree, an island wide response to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal has raised £3,250 so far.

Tiree Community Business Ltd organised the response encouraging other organisations on the island to join it and its directors who started the ball rolling by pledging £500.