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By Koen Carlier.. Good and bad news! Let’s start with the good news. The additional emergency aid action is now in full swing. During the past weeks we were able to pack and distribute hundreds of extra food parcels. Next Monday (February 6) we expect another truckload to pack another one thousand food parcels! Wednesday night we were able to bring two minibuses with olim to the airport for their departure to Israel. Their flight was scheduled to take off at 3 o’clock in the morning, but due to dense fog their flight was cancelled. Therefore we took all olim back to their villages. Last weekend we took them to our shelter in Kiev to spend the night. On Monday morning they finally left for real! Amongst the olim was an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor.
Jews in the threatened city of Mariupol receive a food parcel.
"A number of Jewish families who wanted to leave for Israel cannot do so because of the unsafe situation."
Worrisome situation in East Ukraine
The acts of war in East Ukraine flared up again at the end of January 2017, with a lot of casualties on both sides and also resulting in civilian casualties. It is piercing cold now with temperatures far below zero at night! Most fighting takes place some five kilometres way the big city of Donetsk. The number of its over one million inhabitants has been halved since the conflict broke out.
People from the Jewish community in Chernovtsy receive a food parcel from Christians for Israel | Photo credit: Jaco Klamer
Near the town of Avdeeka the fighting takes place, but also in the vicinity of Mariupol, an industrial city with 450,000 inhabitants, on which a large number of missiles where fired from the flash-point in January 2015, resulting in 165 civilian casualties. This week I already received two phone calls from rabbi Mendel from Mariupol. He told me that during morning prayers the walls of the small synagogue were trembling because of the heavy artillery.
Jews in Mariupol
In the city live another five thousand Jews, maybe more! Many young families have left for good to Israel but the elderly are in doubt! In cooperation with rabbi Mendel we were able to open a small soup kitchen there. We also support the people who need medication but can’t afford them.
A truck load full of food products. These are portioned out over the food parcels by volunteers and then handed out.
This winter we could hand out 650 food parcels in East Ukraine already. This week a new truckload with food products arrived for the very poorest! More will be needed in the near future! A number of Jewish families who wanted to leave for Israel soon from the war zone can’t get out because of the unsafe situation.
The Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) in the East is following the situation closely. We have two mini buses there. We ask your prayers for the protection of our field workers and co-workers of the Jewish Agency and also for rabbi Mendel who lives in the East with his wife and three little children!
About the author
Koen Carlier is aliyah field worker for Christians for Israel and working in Ukraine. He supports the Jewish community in Ukraine and calls upon them to hear God’s call and return to the Promised Land. When Jews decide to make aliyah he helps them with transportation to the embassy or the consulate for exit papers and ultimately for transportation to the airport to leave for Israel. Koen is married to Ira. They have three children and live in Vinnitsa.
The food parcels are regularly distributed among Holocaust survivors, poor families, Jewish refugees, children and the sick. A food parcel is more than a bag of food. It’s a sign of your friendship and your support, a testimony to our Jewish brothers and sisters that they are not alone.
Will you help?
The cost of one food parcel is 10 euros or 11 US $. For this amount we buy wholesale products. The parcels are packed by volunteers and distributed throughout Ukraine. Will you help with one or more food parcels? Your support is desperately needed!
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1 food parcel costs 10 euros / 11 US $ and consists of:
1 kg of sugar
1 kg of rice
1 kg of grits
2 kg of pasta
1 liter of oil
1 kg of flour
500 gr of oatmeal
1 box of tea
250 ml of condensed milk
1 can of fish
1 box of cookies
1 bar of chocolate
200 gr of coffee
1 can of peas
1 can of corn
Watch some more photographs below