Refugees gather around a van offering transport after fleeing from Ukraine to Romania, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the border crossing in Siret, Romania. | CLODAGH KILCOYNE


Dear Sir,

Sitting at home in Mallorca we all see the images and hear the rhetoric from the war in Ukraine and like so many others who have never experienced an attack by any form it is hard to understand what it must be like for the peaceful Ukrainian people.

PLEASE, just take a minute to think seriously about how you would feel if your house was suddenly destroyed, everything gone, you job, house, car, possessions and worse still, your family, children, parents, friends, or even a much loved pet.

GONE! Can you even imagine this in 2022?

Recently my family took a young lady from Kyiv into our home. She doesn’t say too much about the war but she was forced underground during several days of bombardment by Russian forces. Then she managed to flee, leaving behind her parents teenage brother and her dog in Kharkiv.

Can you even imagine having to do this?

Put your life in a small bag & leave your home, family and country!

This week I was introduced via a friend here in Mallorca to another aspect of this terrible war. A guy from Romania called Ovi.

Ovi has a job, a home, family and he is just a normal guy, like most of us, doing normal daily things, just as we do.

Ovi is proof of the flip side of this war and of the kindness of humanity at its greatest.

On Saturday he borrowed a friends minibus at 03.00 and drove 6 hours to the Moldova/Ukraine border to collect our family fleeing Odessa, 3 generations of women, children and grandparents. Once he had the family loaded into a minibus he borrowed from a friend he then drove 3 hours to his uncles home where he took the family in. They received food, showers and a warm, safe place to stay for two nights. Finally Ovi drove them 2 hours to the nearest airport where we had arranged flights to Barcelona and onwards to Mallorca. All he asked was money for fuel!

Ovi is a hero he doesn’t need a gun, he helps fellow humans, neighbours, people who have lost EVERYTHING, people he doesn’t even know. A true inspiration and someone that has touched the hearts of all the refugees he is helping and all of us in Mallorca. Ovi and his family are helping lots of families every week.

Ovi is not alone of course and whilst we sit comfortably in our dwellings on our calm, safe island we should remember the world has a lot of people like Ovi and maybe, just maybe we could all strive to be more like them!

Can you imagine that? A world that actually cares about neighbours, friends and even strangers from another country in desperate need.

God bless our new friend Ovi and all the people caring for the refugees who don’t deserve this war.

We will take our whole family into our home now too, until a longer term solution can be found, we just need to find people like Ovi here in Mallorca willing to help resettle the refugees and make them feel safe and welcome in Mallorca.

This war is not their fault, they did not deserve this and neither did any of the everyday people of Europe. None of them wanted to leave their homes and lives.

I’ve never met Ovi, I hope one day I shall. But for sure, I will never forget his kindness to my family.

Martin Whyte