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"Action by Churches Together" mission:  Winter Aid Program

Program implementation

The implementation of the second part of the international church aid program for children's food began in mid-June 1999. The program has been carried out jointly by Action by Churches Together, the Hungarian Interchurch Aid and the Russian Orthodox Church. In the previous issues of our Newsletter we gave detailed reports about the work carried out under the program from February to June 1999.

The summer stage has been special in that free meals have been offered not only in soup kitchens functioning in cities since February 1999, but mainly in church summer camps for children from low-income families.

Wholesome hot meals were given to 3.400 children for two summer months in the four cities in Russia, namely, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Klin and Zheleznovodsk. In total 43.450 portions were distributed. The fact that daily meals could be arranged for children in country summer camps made the camps themselves possible. As we already informed our readers in the July issue of the Newsletter, the plan for summer camps was nearly frustrated because of the lack of financial resources for feeding children.

Children from low-income families were given an opportunity to have a rest in summer. Even for a short time they could be diverted from the pressures of poverty and be just children. As a sociological survey has shown, otherwise they had no other opportunity for a rest and good food.

The success of the program's second stage, its utter relevance and the high professionalism with which it was implemented led the Western Christian agencies to decide to continue the program till early October 1999.

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