A Taiwanese Volunteer Choose to Remain Near War Zone– Find Out Why | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A Taiwanese Volunteer Choose to Remain Near War Zone– Find Out Why

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Mr. Wang is a Taiwanese volunteer, He has been living in Ukraine for seven years as a result of studying abroad, after the Russian invasion he took refuge in Poland.

Medyka, a border town between Ukraine and Poland, is lined with tents set up by aid groups from around the world. There are more than 40 tents. Volunteers lined up in front of the tents, talking to evacuees who came on foot, offering them food such as sandwiches, soup, and fruits, and helping them to carry their belongings.

Most of them are Westerners. A few Japanese volunteers seem to come and go, but Asians are by far the fewest. Both the American and British youths I spoke with had taken about a week’s vacation at their workplaces before entering Ukraine. In Japan, it is difficult to take such leave, and even if they could take such leave, the concern about the new coronavirus is probably holding them back from traveling abroad.

When I arrived in Warsaw, the capital of Poland on March 23, most Poles were not wearing masks. It was almost embarrassing to see them wearing those. So, for the first time in almost two years, I am living a life free from wearing a mask. Then I met a fellow Asian who continues to volunteer in the city of Medyka.

He asked me, “Is there anything you need? You can take anything you see here for free.

Nanying Wang, 40 from Taiwan, was speaking fluent Ukrainian to the evacuees who had come to the tent where toothbrushes and other daily necessities were lined up. He has been working as an interpreter for an aid organization because of his ability. He also speaks Russian, English, Japanese, and Korean.

Ms. Wang is also a refugee who came to Poland from Ukraine.

All the Taiwanese who evacuated from Ukraine have returned to Taiwan. But I am the only one who wants to return to Ukraine. I promised my Ukrainian friends that I would rebuild the houses that were destroyed by the Russian army. I cannot leave this country and go to Taiwan.

Wang began living in Ukraine seven years ago. It was there where he studied at the National Aerospace University in Kharkiv, the second largest city. There, he completed his master’s degree and joined a Chinese construction company. The site was in the southern Muiqolaiu Oblast facing the Black Sea where he was involved in a wind power generation project. He went to the site at 5:00 a.m. that day to check on the materials. However, due to an invasion by Russian troops, sounds like a gunfight were soon heard.

The first three days were extremely scary. I couldn’t eat or drink water because I thought I might be the next target. I even called my mother in Taiwan and told her that I might not be able to return to Taiwan.

Wang evacuated with a Ukrainian colleague.

“We hailed a cab, which finally caught on after 27 attempts.” Narrated by Wang.

On the way, he took a bus provided by the Taiwanese government and arrived in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. There, he was introduced to someone he met, which led him to his current volunteer work.

One of the evacuees shed tears, saying, “I finally had food because I hadn’t eaten anything for two or three days. There are people whose own homes were destroyed in front of their eyes and who will never be able to return to their hometowns. I hear such sad stories all the time. So this is not the time to talk about my work or money. Now I am thinking about how many people I can help with my own power.

In a volunteer environment dominated by Westerners, Wang’s presence seemed conspicuously large, as if Ukraine were her second home.

In addition to Ukrainian, she speaks Russian, English, Japanese, and Korean. She also serves as an interpreter for a support group.
The border town of Medyka is lined with tents set up by aid groups from around the world.
Most of the refugees from Ukraine are elderly people, women, and children.
  • Interview, photos and text Takehide Mizutani, Nonfiction Writer

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