Arjuna Das, Garston resident and manager of the Watford division of Food For All (FFA), is leading the construction of an emergency kitchen in Ukraine.
The FFA have been on the front lines since the conflict in Ukraine began, setting up kitchens to provide hot meals to struggling families.
On July 16, an FFA kitchen in Alchevsk, Donbas, was struck by a Russian missile. Two volunteers, Krishna-Tattva and Madana Gopal Das, tragically lost their lives in the attack.
The surviving members of the team came together and collectively decided to continue the project, despite the grave dangers of such an operation. With the bombed kitchen nothing more than a ruin, the local Mayor immediately provided a new building for a replacement kitchen.
In a van crammed with new cookers, burners, and all new pots and pans, Arjuna began the long and arduous journey to east Ukraine at once.
A spokesperson for the FFA, Parasuram Das, said: “We just have to kit the kitchen out and get it functional. There is an urgency. People are seriously hungry, no water, no electricity, no food.”
The area is mostly occupied by the elderly, who stayed at home rather than flee.
Parasuram said: “It is hard to get across any border in and around Ukraine. Arjuna has been stuck there, going to different checkpoints. He has a lot of essential equipment to get across.
After six days of difficult travel, Arjuna arrived in Donbas, ready to assemble a new kitchen and continue to support those in desperate need.
Parasuram said: “Arjuna is a proper hero.”