Church-based Charities Gather Speed in Russia

  • Here's one example of many
  • A convoy of private cars will travel through 9 provinces (the equivalent of US states), distributing aid to the homeless

This article originally appeared at the hugely popular Russian Christian website

On November 10 the new “Nadezhda” (“Hope”) car rally was to start in Moscow, organized by the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Ministry as well as the “Helper and Protector” charitable foundation.

In a span of 18 days the car rally participants are planning to visit 9 regions of the country on a specially equipped coach, reports

Homeless people of Tula, Bryansk, Orel, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Tambov, Ryazan will receive new winter clothes, hot dinners as well as a doctor’s and social worker’s advice.

“By means of the car rally we would like not only to prepare the homeless for the winter season, but also to support those who help the homeless in the regions, to share our experience with them, to attract more people to this ministry,” says Ilia Kuskov, the “Helper and Protector” foundation director, who is in charge of the homeless program at the Synodal Department for Charity.

In the course of the car rally the guests from Moscow will visit state and church orphanages and social adaptation centers, will share their experiences at the workshops with regional volunteers and social workers.

The car rally began with a supplicatory prayer service at the Synodal Charity Department building at 10.00 on November 10. Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, chairman of the Synodal Department, headed the prayer service.

The “Nadezhda” car rally is named in honor of Nadezhda Monetova, a worker of “The Kursk Railway Station. Homeless Children” Orthodox movement for the homeless, who was tragically killed on March 20, 2012, at the Ryazan railway station aged only 28.

Nadezhda Monetova knew life in the street by her own experience: workers of the Service for Homeless first met her at the doors of a church in Moscow, where she begged alms with a small child on her arms in order to make the ends meet. After the volunteers had helped her stand on her own feet, she herself began to help homeless people.

In 2012 the Synodal Charity Department established the All-Russian Award of Nadezhda Monetova for assistance to homeless people, and in 2013 the first “Nadezhda” car rally was organized. During the previous car rally its participants rendered aid to the homeless in Vladimir, Cheboksary, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Penza, Yoshkar-Ola, Samara.

In Russia over 100 different church social services render regular assistance to the homeless; there are 61 church shelters for the homeless with 2047 places in various regions of the country.

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