Mary Martz of Chilliwack decided she had to fly home to Ukraine this week despite the unrest.

Chilliwack woman on mission of mercy to Ukraine

"We're hoping things will stabilize," Mary Martz said in Chilliwack before getting on a plane Wednesday.

Mary Martz of Chilliwack is forging ahead with a mission of mercy to conflict-torn Ukraine.

“We’re hoping things will stabilize,” she said before getting on a plane Wednesday.

Foreign Affairs officials are advising Canadians against all travel to the part of Ukraine known as Crimea.

Martz, a translation volunteer with Hungry for Life, is flying to Ukraine with a friend to aid an orphanage that is about to run out of food, as well as visiting family and friends.

Martz said she has several siblings and her parents to check on, as well as helping some struggling elders in the community who have not been receiving their pensions.

The situation in Ukraine gained the worldwide attention last month after Russian Federation’s military forces invaded and occupied key Ukrainian installations, with bloody skirmishes that saw protesters killed.

Canada views the federation’s actions as a “violation of international law” and responded with a statement from Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada that said:

“Canada has been among the most vocal in the international community in expressing our disapproval over democratic back-sliding and repression in Ukraine. We remain very concerned about the situation in Ukraine and continue to monitor developments with considerable interest.”

The government message continued: “Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their fight for a free and democratic Ukraine.”

Martz said she plans to lay flowers at the memorial site in Kyiv “where so many lost their life fighting for freedom,” and wants to see the luxurious digs of the former president.

But she will be careful to avoid conflict of any kind at all costs.

“I am flying into the west part of Ukraine,” Martz told the Progress. “I am definitely not flying to the eastern section at this point. It’s not safe. I do have a backup plan if things get out of control.”

She’s planning to stay 18 days, but will cut things short if need be.

“It’s my mom’s birthday while I’m there but she doesn’t know I’m coming, so it will be a surprise.”

It was an orphanage in Priazovskoje, a small town in Ukraine, that Hungry for Life had supported last winter with aid for food and electricity.

“I found out they had run out of funds by December and only had a few days of food left,” she said.

The unrest and violence gave Martz pause, and she hesitated, wondering if she should postpone the trip for a month or so, to see if the situation would stabilize in time.

But after her recent call to the orphanage, she decided she had to go as planned.

Martz had to work to reassure her daughter, who was still feeling nervous the day she was set to fly.

“There are still a lot of unknowns. The Russian forces are still there, but I don’t think anyone can predict what Putin or the other governments of the world will do. I’m hoping the world will help Ukraine.”

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: NatureKids “critterscape” at Cheam Lake Wetlands

A group of children helped keep invasive species in check at the local park

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

Most Read