A flight with 63 Ukrainian refugee children landed in Trapani, Sicily, on Wednesday. The children had been evacuated from orphanages in the Donetsk Oblast.
This was the first humanitarian plane with Ukrainian minors on board that arrived in Trapani on the southern Italian island of Sicily. The flight from Krakow landed on Wednesday afternoon.
The children had been evacuated from orphanages in Mariupol and Kramators'k in the Donetsk Oblast and were accompanied by 21 adults, including guardians of the children and educators.
A group of regional government officials and local religious leaders welcomed the 84 Ukrainian refugees at the airport.
'Orphans fleeing a terrible situation'
"This is a great chance on the one hand because the children will find an extraordinary welcome, as seen from the excitement in the airport. It is however also a sad moment because we are speaking about children who are orphans and who are fleeing a terrible situation," Trapani prefect Filippa Cocuzza said.
Local bishop Pietro Maria Fragnelli said he felt like "a mother and father at the same time, and I am happy that so many men and women from our territory have said that they are willing (to be involved in) this special parenting, made up of heart, civility, and faith."
The children and their caretakers will be hosted in several different places in Italy.
27 children and adults will be hosted in two facilities of Trapani province, in northwestern Sicily. Fourteen people -- 12 children and two adults -- will hosted at an educational center in Erice, a town near Trapani. Thirteen people -- 11 children and two adults -- will stay at buildings of the parish Anime Sante di Alcamo, roughly 50 kilometers east of Trapani. The remaining others will be hosted in Catania and Ragusa, two provinces in southeastern Sicily.