Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
back-to-school and winterization efforts in Ukraine
While the world watches intently for any small victory of reclaimed land and systems in Ukraine, the region is well into winter weather now, and concerns mount for those who have fled homes, tried to return home, or are making a new home elsewhere. From winterization and school restoration projects to specialized support for refugees with disabilities, Week of Compassion has come alongside longtime ecumenical partners, on behalf of the whole Disciples church, to respond to multiple needs across the region and in communities that are especially vulnerable and underserved.
partners respond, and look ahead
Six months ago, on February 24, 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. From the beginning, Week of Compassion, through ecumenical partnerships with ACT Alliance and other partner networks, has been and continues to respond both to immediate needs and long-term recovery plans. Today, we recognize the six-month mark of this crisis - and note that Ukraine should be freely celebrating their nation’s independence day, August 24.
Ukraine appeal & response update
Today marks 125 days - just more than 4 months - since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, and the destruction, casualties, and horror have not ceased. The Ukrainian people have gathered in force, receiving military aid, and holding out far longer than most global experts anticipated. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis has grown, overflowing Ukraine’s borders into the surrounding nations that are welcoming and tending to millions of refugees, even as millions more internally displaced persons remain in country. The repercussions will be felt for years, and while relief supplies and aid have been immediate, the ripple effects and response will be long-lasting.
highlights from the World Council of Churches Central Committee, June 2022
“Joyful to share the work of the church with these Disciples leaders as part of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.” With one sentence and a photo from the General Minister and President, the whole Disciples church came into the room in Geneva, Switzerland, joining global ecumenical partners for a week-long conversation and discernment about the church’s direction and faithful witness in turbulent times.
Week of Compassion is responding in Ukraine and in neighboring countries where families are fleeing for safety, through our ecumenical partners in ACT Alliance. Recently, Simon Chambers, ACT’s Director of Communications, visited ACT partner AIDRom in Bucharest, caring for Ukrainian refugees as they escape, resettle, and imagine life in new ways and places. Here is just one of many stories Simon shares from the people he met:
From the beginning, Week of Compassion has been engaged with ecumenical partners to do the work of alleviating suffering. On behalf of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we serve together - individuals, congregations, denominational colleagues, and ecumenical partners - to not only envision but work for a world where God’s people transform suffering into hope.
Week of Compassion is responding through partners to support Ukrainians all along their arduous journey - welcoming and hosting refugees as they flee, getting them safely to where they need to be, and preparing to provide trauma care as they rebuild their lives.
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