On March 28th in Zaporizhia, representatives of the Malteser Relief Service from Ivano-Frankivsk officially handed over to Caritas Ukraine three field kitchens for use in the buffer zone. These field kitchens are equipped with fuel and food through the Action ‘the Pope for Ukraine’.
After the official transfer of multifunctional field kitchens, they were consecrated by Donetsk Exarch of the UGCC Bishop Stepan (Meniok), auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya of the RCC Jan Sobilo, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Initiative “the Pope for Ukraine”, and Father Andriy Bukhvak, director of Caritas Zaporizhia. Later, volunteers of the Malteser Relief Service instructed Caritas workers on the work of field kitchens. They prepared together the first dinner and invited the audience to taste it.
“After the recent challenges in Avdiyivka when the city was isolated from the electricity, gas and water, thousands of people were found completely exposed and unsecured on the streets in sub-zero temperatures. Caritas initiated the idea to create mobile groups of rapid response. Our partners from Germany gave us three field kitchens. We plan to form mobile groups of Caritas workers. They will be responsible for Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Avdiyivka directions. After the briefing they will be ready to go” -said Roman Yaruchyk, head of the Malteser Relief Service in Ivano-Frankivsk.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing reduction of aid to Ukraine. Last year, only 20% of UN programs were financed. Thus, many organizations are finishing their activities in Ukraine, especially when it comes to international organizations. Meanwhile Caritas expands its opportunities for work. We make every effort in order to help the people who are most in need.” – commented Hryhoriy Seleshchuk, head of the Humanitarian Projects of Caritas Ukraine. He expressed deep appreciation to the initiative “the Pope for Ukraine” and the Malteser Relief Service for providing Caritas with an opportunity to deepen and expand the instruments for assisting victims of hostilities in eastern Ukraine. “According to various estimates, more than 400 thousand people are living in the buffer zone now. 70% of them are older people who need help the most. Certainly hot meal is a great support for them. It is a reminder that they are not forgotten, not abandoned”- said Hryhoriy Seleshchuk.
Commercial price of field kitchens transferred by the Malteser Relief Service to Caritas is about 10 thousands euros each. They can operate with solid fuel, gas and diesel fuel.
According to the director of Caritas Zaporizhzhia Father Andriy Bukhvak, field kitchen can provide dinner with two courses for 2,000 people during the day. “We are very pleased to receive additional resources to help the needy in the buffer zone. Surely, hot lunch will warm not only their body but also the soul.”