NORFOLK, Neb. (KCAU) — Twenty-two Ukrainian refugees flew into Omaha, Nebraska, Tuesday night on three different flights, and Norfolk residents said they’re proud to give these refugees a place to call home.
When refugee Dmytri Galae arrived in Norfolk, he said community members gave the refugees a heartwarming welcome to their new home.
“We didn’t really expect this kind of welcoming that many people here together today, we were thinking we were just going to get to our place, and just unpack our suit cases, but when we see all these people waiting for us, it was really emotional for everybody,” said Galae.
Orphan Grain Train led the efforts to bring the refugees to Siouxland. Vice President Grant Schmidt said the team was met with several obstacles along the way.
“The invasion happened in February. We started back in March to figure out what Orphan Grain Train can do. We started with trying to find a way to get supplies shipped and actually found out we had to airlift them,” said Schmidt.
Schmidt said the City of Norfolk provided transportation for the refugees. Mayor Josh Moenning said the city is preparing for more refugees in the future.
“At this site, at this location, in addition to the existing structure, there will be some temporary housing structures that are placed,” said Mayor Moenning.
For refugees, adjusting to their new life in Siouxland will still take time.
“It’s really hard to describe right now what we’re feeling because on one hand we left our country and it’s a really big pain. On another hand, we’re here, we’re safe, our kids are safe, but it’s really hard for them to process this experience,” said Galae.
The refugees will live with a host family for 2 weeks until they finally move into their new home.