When there is warmth, there is good:  The Christian Rescue Service within the Pope for Ukraine Initiative provided wood briquettes in 30 villages of the “grey zone”

What else could one person  give another apart from a little warmth? And what was more than that? (Erich Maria Remarque)

    Notwithstanding the fact that the wood briquettes distribution project within the Pope for Ukraine Initiative was accomplished a couple months ago, the Christian Rescue Service continues to receive messages of appreciation from the “grey zone” citizens for care and remembering.

    The Christian Rescue Service, due to the Pope for Ukraine Initiative’s funding, ensured provision of 2741 tonnes of wood briquettes within three months. This help was received by almost 7 thousand people (or 2285 households) in 30 near-front villages by Mariupol.

    Despite the most active period of the project turned out to be in spring, it didn’t lose its efficiency. For many people living in the “grey zone” briquettes constitute the only reasonable source of energy that helps them to cook. Even in the areas with coal or gas provided, most citizens simple cannot afford it. The CRS-Mariupol clergymen know it from their own experience since they perform their ministration in the near-front zone, live and communicate with those people every day. As other CRS teams monitoring shows (CRS-Avdiivka, CRS-Starobilsk, CRS-Bakhmut, CRS-Marinka), providing local citizens with wood briquettes makes one of the key problems even during warm seasons not to mention winter period.

    With deep understanding of the aforementioned problem, representatives of the public authorities in villages who cooperate with the CRS locally, assisted the wood briquettes provision project in every possible way: provided rooms for the CRS group, helped in keeping publicity informed, etc. 

    Experience has proven that for exhausted by war Ukrainians, the Pope’s Initiative is  manifestation of love and care from the Catholic Church. Spiritual and moral state of people affected by war is very complicated. Pope’s help became a break in the clouds for them as brothers and sisters in Europe constantly remember them.

    “On behalf of the citizens of our village, we would like to thank you for wood briquettes. Your help is priceless at this difficult time. Pensioners and lonely old people take attention from your organisation as a stream of fresh air, a break in the clouds, reminding that we are not alone. Your help gives us not only material assets, it provides us with joy and hope that the war will come to an end soon and smiles will again appear on faces of our people and fear will leave us” – wrote citizens of the near-front village Kamianka (Volnovaskyi region) in their letter.

    “As far as we understand, the goal of the Initiative is not only to fulfil current material needs of people suffering from the war. As much important and obviously another top-priority is to give Faith, Hope and Love – the only thing that can actually change lives of people and bring long awaited peace to this troubled earth. For this reason everywhere where the way of the CRS clergymen goes, there is communication and prayer. Moreover, there are evident signs of the God’s mercy on the long suffered earth with war going on” – said headquarters manager Andriy

Chmilenko.