Moscow, July 25, 2014
On July 23, the three-day journey to the Simferopol Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by staff members of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Charity came to an end. On the invitation of Metropolitan Lazarus of Simferopol and the Crimea, the Department representatives familiarized themselves with diocesan work in the sphere of rendering aid to refugees.
With the blessing of the ruling hierarch, the largest centers of temporary accommodations are distributed among the Simferopol Diocese’s parishes: priests are responsible for aid to specific pansionats (hotels with health facilities) and recreation centers where the refugees are accommodated – they deliver humanitarian aid and give spiritual support. There are offertory boxes in most of the diocese’s churches to collect funds for the refugees.
Staff from the Synodal Department for Charity have visited centers of temporary accommodation in Yevpatoria (the Femida Sanatorium[i] and the Letuchy Gollandets, or the Flying Dutchman Hotel), in Zaozernoye Village (the Mayak Sanatorium), two private sanatoriums in Nikolayevka village of the Simferopol district where refugees were accommodated. They have also visited Novofedorovka Village of Saks’kyi District and the Solnechnoye Recreation Center in Solnechnogorsk Village, where numerous refugees from the southeastern Ukraine took shelter as well. These vacation hotels need permanent help: the hoteliers are in want of their own means to pay for three meals a day and to cover household running costs. The refugees have been living for over a month in most of the hotels. For example, in the Mayak Sanatorium of Zaozerny Village 102 of 140 refugees are children. Many of them have not seen their parents since June 4.
The representatives of the Synodal Department of Charity gave humanitarian aid to the majority of the centers for temporary accommodation and talked with the refugees. On July 23, the ruling hierarch of the Simferopol Diocese Metropolitan Lazarus of Simferopol and the Crimea received the Department members.
[i] sanatorium – a kind of hotel with health facilities, used for vacation or recovering health.