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Vancouver Island humanitarian group on track to establish breastmilk bank in Ukraine

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A Vancouver Island humanitarian group is one step closer to establishing a breastmilk bank at a children’s hospital in Ukraine.

Bob Beckett and his team travelled three times to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. The group has supplied the people of that war-torn country with hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid including medical supplies, fire rescue equipment and food aid for displaced people.

During the group's second trip they visited a children’s hospital in the west of Ukraine and discovered that because of the stresses of war, there has been a drastic increase in the amount of premature births in that country.

Often mothers are unable to breastfeed their children as their milk has not yet come in.

The group set out a goal of raising $50,000 to establish a breastmilk bank at the hospital that will serve the entire region. Now, thanks to donors, that money has been raised.

“We will now be providing the funds to the hospital foundation in Ukraine,” said Beckett. “They will in turn acquire the equipment either locally or in Europe and get the breastmilk bank up and running."

Beckett says the bank will serve a population of around 600,000 people.

“In the meantime, we aren’t standing still. Our organization, Vancouver Island Supports Ukraine, has set another goal of $50,000 to buy medical equipment that can be used in the regional hospitals and on the front lines for those very brave military personnel.”

Donations can be made at the Langford No. 1 Fire Hall or through the Vancouver Island Supports Ukraine website.

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