The Salvation Army in Eastern Europe support Ukrainian refugees

Many Ukrainians were scattered around the world as a result of the war that started on February 24th, 2022. All the Divisions and Region that constitute Eastern Europe Territory (Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine) expressed its unity and faith. Salvationists and volunteers are actively and comprehensively helping Ukrainians who were forced to flee from the horrors of war, losing their homes and relatives.

A great variety of help was available to Ukrainians – shelters, food kits, counselling, prayer support, and many other kinds of support needed. Salvationists and volunteers also listened as part of their ministry to the suffered – every story heard was about challenges and pain experienced. It is terrible that children suffer a lot. To respond to all the pain, Salvationists fill the hearts of Ukrainians with their care and hope that they are not alone, that God is in control.

The help of the Divisions and Region is diverse and impressive. Romania Division launched its ‘Voucher’ program in March 2022. This initiative helped parents of more than 25,300 Ukrainian children to buy some essentials. Over 100,000 vouchers were distributed to the families since the program started. Words of thanks to the Salvationists from Ukrainian parents give strength and inspiration to the Salvationists to serve the needy people 24/7. The words of thanks from the mother, whose child must adhere to a dairy-free diet using a special mixture, are impressive. Thanks to the voucher, the mother feeds her child and has confidence in the future.

This project was recognized as the best practice and implemented in other Eastern European countries. This initiative was recognized as an excellent practice during meeting in Prague in January 2023, where Salvation Army officials from around the world gathered to assess the rapid response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Georgia Division organized summer and winter camps for Ukrainian children. These camps aimed to help children who saw the horrors of war, could not sleep, woke up crying to overcome their fears and enjoy their childhood activities as well as make new friends.

Moldova Division invited Ukrainian women to participate in the Salvation Army Women Retreat Weekend.

Also, Ukrainian women in Moldova receive vouchers from the Salvation Army to purchase quality items for children. For example, a mother of two children received vouchers and purchased quality items for herself and her children in the Jysk chain of stores. All the children were happy, and the mother does not want to be left out and takes part in the distribution of things in the Central Corps in Chisinau. Her heart is filled with gratitude and joy, which she shares with other people, helping in the work of the corps. And most importantly, she is grateful to God for everything that is happening to her now.

Author: Ivan Berezkin
Eastern Europe Territory