With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Moscow Patriarchate donated 43 million rubles to church social assistance centers and shelters for mothers to support their activities during the pandemic, reports patriarchia.ru. The funds were received by 53 organizations from 45 dioceses in 35 regions of Russia. Among them there are 36 shelters for mothers in difficult life situations, and 17 humanitarian aid centers. This is the second tranche of the Moscow Patriarchate during the pandemic, sent to church organizations that provide assistance to families and pregnant women in difficult life situations.
The allocated money will help to cover the current needs of organizations providing assistance to families and pregnant women in difficult life situations until September 2021. They are used to purchase food and hygiene kits for people, as well as to pay for the utility costs of the centers and pay salaries to employees.
“Thanks to the transferred funds, we will be able to support thousands of needy families in the most remote villages and small towns in the regions where our humanitarian aid centers or shelters for mothers operate. The funds will cover the payments to drivers and the cost of gasoline, so that humanitarian aid could be delivered to these remote settlements to those families who found themselves in difficult life situations,” said Maria Studenikina, head of the Maternity and Childhood Protection Department of the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service.
The Russian Orthodox Church will send another 30 million rubles from Vladimir Potanin within six months to direct assistance to those in need through the diocesan social departments.
Over the past 9 years, the number of church shelters for mothers has grown from 1 to 77, the number of humanitarian aid centers – from 66 to 218. During the quarantine period, social church services organized support for those in need throughout the country.
In addition, food supplies are organized by the Rus food fund in many dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church. With the support of the Synodal Charity Department, 317 thousand needy people in 23 regions received more than 990 tons of food from the Rus food fund through dioceses and church non-profit organizations, in 2020 alone.