Russian Church’s Charity Department in 2023: humanitarian aid, hospital care, pregnancy centers, and more

Moscow, January 4, 2024

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At a joint meeting of the Holy Synod and the Supreme Church Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on December 26, His Grace Bishop Panteleimon of Verey, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for Church Charity and Social Service, presented a report summing up the Church’s charitable endeavors throughout 2023.

His Grace explained that in 2023, the entire Church participated in helping victims of the war in Ukraine. Headquarters and resource centers for assistance were established in Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Rybinsk, and Simferopol. Coordination centers were opened in Mariupol and Moscow, reports

A total of 3,670 tons of humanitarian aid were distributed by the Synodal Department—2,425 tons to the conflict zone, and 1,245 tons to refugees who moved to various regions of Russia.

Heaters for 7,000 people in Severedonetsk have purchased, and fundraising continues for them.

More than 1,200 volunteers participated in trips to hospitals in Donetsk, Gorlovka, Lugansk, Mariupol, and other cities. Courses for volunteer care began at St. Alexei’s Hospital in Moscow in May. Courses are also offered in the cities of the war zone.

More than 100 trips were made by employees of the humanitarian center of the Crimean Metropolis, including to help evacuate victims of the flooding of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station and to bring humanitarian aid to settlements right on the front lines.

The Church also organized a large project to restore homes in Mariupol. Since March, 639 volunteers from all over the country have helped repair more than 180 homes for the elderly, disabled, and single mothers.

More than 18,000 people received care at St. Alexei’s Hospital, including those evacuated from the war zone and refugees in Moscow. The hospital’s branch in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, also opened a prosthetics center.

Throughout the year, four new shelters for mothers were opened, bringing to total number of such centers to 84. Two new Church centers for the homeless were also opened.

The Synodal Department also launched online volunteer training courses, especially to help with the wounded in military hospitals. 600 people from 83 dioceses have already taken the course, while more than 2,000 from 171 dioceses have already signed up for the next round.

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