As you may already know, parts of Western Ukraine are under water due to strong torrential rains that have been falling for several days in the past week. Two regions, Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi, were affected the most. In the Ivano-Frankivsk region, over 4,600 houses were lost or flooded, 550 kilometers of roads were damaged or washed away, and 90 bridges are gone. In addition, at least three people lost their lives. Thousands of people had to be evacuated leaving their homes and properties behind. Many have lost their belongings and savings.
This is the time when our brothers and sisters in Ukraine need help. Patriarch Sviatoslav has sent a letter of appeal asking us, “to show Christian solidarity and social service, so that those who are suffering might receive assistance as soon as possible. Therefore, I call upon our faithful and churches in our Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada to act in the spirit of the Good Samaritan of the Gospel, to support those who are deprived of their homes and have come face-to-face with misfortune.”
In response to our Patriarch’s request and in the spirit of Christian love and fellowship, we are announcing a campaign to raise funds for people who lost everything due to the floods and now need food and basic necessities.
Make your donation directly on-line through the CNEWA Office on their website: https://cnewa.org/ca/donate/ and from the drop-down “Donate To ”section, choose “Ukraine”.
No donation is too small or too large. However, your donation will change someone’s life and God will repay a cheerful giver hundredfold. Please keep people of the affected areas in your prayers!
Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR
Eparch of Saskatoon Eparchy
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Papal agency collects funds for religious organizations providing humanitarian relief services, as well as pastoral care, throughout Western Ukraine
Ottawa, July 9, 2020 – Catholic Near East Welfare Association invites Canadians to remember victims of the worst floods to hit Western Ukraine since 2008. On June 30, just a few days after the floods submerged more than 300 towns and villages in the region, CNEWA began accepting donations that will go to deliver food, fresh water, shelter and spiritual support to those most in need.
“These are excruciatingly difficult times for the people of Western Ukraine,” said Carl Hétu, national director of CNEWA Canada. “First an economic crisis accentuated by war and conflict and now the pandemic and floods. Families and the elderly are especially suffering. We’ve been working with the Ukrainian Catholic Church for more than 28 years and we are confident they will reach those most in need. We invite all those who can to contribute, and everyone to join in prayers for the many who have lost everything.”
In 2008 CNEWA collected $85,000 to help people devastated by a similar flood in Western Ukraine.
On June 26, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, launched a global appeal asking members of his church to rally support for the victims of the disaster.
“I appeal to all communities of our Church in Ukraine and throughout the world to support those who are now deprived of their home and have come face-to-face with misfortune,” said Shevchuk. “I direct my request to the world community and to international humanitarian organizations: be open to respond to the needs of those who have become victims of the disaster that has afflicted regions in Western Ukraine.”
With rivers rising as much as three meters above normal levels, the floods have devastated thousands of families as well as roads, bridges, dams and property.
Environmental experts have joined a chorus of local residents in laying at least part of the blame for the floods on excessive logging and deforestation. According to a BBC article, there has been a threefold increase in logging on mountain peaks in the Carpathians since 2001. Worse of all, up to a third of all logging in Ukraine is believed to be unreported and outside of government regulations.
Donations can be made online at cnewa.ca, selecting Ukraine as the recipient region for the gift, or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. Cheques can be mailed to CNEWA Canada at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, ON K1H 6K9, marked “Ukraine floods”. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.
An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Ukraine Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA provides pastoral and humanitarian support to the churches and people of the East.
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