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From Aliyah to Meals on Wheels: Shifting gears in Ukraine

Koen Carlier - 23 March 2020

In Ukraine, where Koen Carlier and his team are normally active helping Jews return to Israel, severe restrictions have been imposed because of the coronavirus. The Aliyah work has come to a standstill for now. However, Koen and his team are not waiting around.

In recent years we have built up good relationships with Jewish communities all over Ukraine. In many places, we regularly come with food parcels. But these communities also organise their own food services for the poor, often from small soup kitchens in the synagogues or community centres. As Christians for Israel, we also support them.

Now that corona restrictions forbid opening these soup kitchens, many communities are faced with a challenge: how can they still provide for the poor members of the community – often Holocaust survivors – in these circumstances.


Meals on Wheels
Our team in Ukraine has responded to this need. Now that most of the nine vans of the Aliyah work are not being used, we can just as well use them to help the Jewish community. In various places in Ukraine, food delivery services have started. In Vinnytsia, for example, food has been delivered three times a week to twenty elderly people in the city, but this will be increased to 100 deliveries at the end of March. Everyone receives two pre- packed meals with each delivery. Because it is quiet on the streets, this can be done relatively easily.

Cities in Ukraine where soup kitchens are located that we will be helping in the coming weeks with their meal deliveries.


Support
It remains to be seen how the measures against the virus will develop, but Koen and his team are creative and will use every opportunity to continue to support the Jewish communities in Ukraine. In the coming two months, our goal is to deliver over 300,000 Meals on Wheels.

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Meals on Wheels program in pictures

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