Bristol-Based Christian Charity Appeals To Churches & Schools To Help Ukrainian Refugees This Harvest

A BRISTOL-BASED Christian charity is appealing to churches and schools to use this year’s Harvest Festival season to help feed Ukraine refugees fleeing to neighbouring eastern European Countries, where inflation in some is nearly 30%.

For the past 30 years, Transform Europe Network (TEN) has sent hundreds of thousands of parcels and hot meals, worth over £2.5million, to partner charities and churches in eastern Europe.  Now, with the UNHCR estimating 10-million Ukrainians fleeing the war-torn country, TEN is extending its reach to help provide food aid to refugees being cared for by TEN partner churches.

James Vaughton, CEO of TEN said: 

Here in the UK, every individual and family is feeling the pinch of the rise in the cost of living, including fuel.  But in eastern Europe, not only are they coping with the economic impact of Covid, but many eastern European countries we are working in are also offering hospitality to Ukrainian refugees.  In Moldova, where our partner churches have an active refugee programme, inflation is currently at 29%, and Moldova is already Europe’s poorest country.

This Harvest (September), we want to ensure that as well as meeting our existing partner’s needs to their local communities, we can provide food aid, so refugees are well fed this autumn and winter.

TEN is suggesting to churches/schools that in addition to any local Harvest food project, they might do a ‘one-off’ fundraising event for TEN’s ‘Harvest For The Hungry’ Appeal.  Through decades-worth of partnerships with local churches, TEN says it will guarantee all donations gets to where most needed. TEN says that due to local purchasing power, just £15 will feed a family for one week.

Mr Vaughton added: 

Harvest is an ideal time for people to think about the realities of those living in poverty. Maybe Christians belong to a home group and would love to watch a short video and discuss issues of poverty.  Or a church would like to book a HFTH speaker to hear how in recent years, donations from churches made a huge local impact. Or, a church youth group, or a secondary school might organise a fundraising carwash, knowing every penny would feed a young person in eastern Europe.  This year, in addition to the Ukrainian refugees, we are also highlighting the plight of Europe’s 10 million Roma people who are severely marginalised and often persecuted.

Donations at fundraising events/in the church can be made via texts, the TEN website, or gift envelopes can be provided.

TEN has a wide range of free resources to help would-be church or school participants take part. Online resources, including a short film, PowerPoint slides with stories of hope, along with a poster and graphics for 2022 harvest events can be downloaded from www.harvestforthehungry.org  

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