Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

ISKCON Relief Week 17 Report
By ISKCON Relief   |  Jul 02, 2022
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Figures

Devotees from Europe and other parts of the world have tirelessly continued their sincere endeavour to help devotees from Ukraine find shelter, care, and support. The following figures are for week 17 of this devotee care/relief effort.

Country Refugees being Hosted
Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) 44
Bulgaria 37 (incl. 18 children)
Czech Republic 77 (incl. 36 children)
France (New Mayapur) 2
Hungary 38 (incl. 10 children)
Ireland 15 (incl. 4 children)
Poland  125
Slovakia 18 (incl. 8 children)
Spain 15 (incl. 5 children)
Sweden 31
Switzerland 62

 

Reports

Latvia

Last week the City Mayor of Riga Mr. Mārtiņš Staķis inspected the Ukrainian Refugee Center. When he saw our prasadam distribution, he came and thanked us for the good work we are doing. Our Prema Tarangini dd had a very nice conversation with him.  Our Team is distributing around 70 meals a day for Ukrainian refugees and additionally 400 meals per day for local people.

 

Sweden

Sweden has so far received 35 refugees. 17 of those, including 8 children, are living in the Almvik Farm community South of Stockholm. 12 are living in Gothenburg and two are at the New Radha Kunda Temple. 4 refugees have transited. The children at the Almvik Farm are going to school. The kids like their school very much. They like the creative and fun-filled education and have now managed to learn some Swedish. 

Four of the refugees have already found jobs. One couple is now cooking in the Govindas Restaurant in Gothenburg and one devotee has found work as a carpenter. He now plans to stay with his wife and two children at the Almvik Farm long-term. They are staying in one flat at the farm, his wife is doing wonderful service at the temple, and the kids are going to school. 

Three of the refugees are getting support through the EU project ‘European Solidarity Corps’ for which ISKCON Almvik is certified with their ‘Quality Label’ granted some time back.

On the weekends and during holidays, Sarasvati Gopi dd (the Swedish Coordinator) and other devotees arrange excursions and fun-filled activities. Recently they went to an open-air museum with animals and old Swedish houses. They also regularly organize bonfires and grills at the lake on the farm, and when the weather is warm, they go swimming. For the upcoming summer holidays, there are already planning other activities. 

The farm also gets daily donations of vegetables and fruits from local shops, as well as monetary donations for food, hygiene articles, and other necessities for the refugees from congregation members and friends.

 

UK

Last week 8 new Ukrainian devotees arrived in the UK, 4 of them are children. Some arrived in London and others in different cities and towns. Many families have been separated since the beginning of the war and are now being reunited in the UK. Some are just settling for a short period while waiting for a suitable time to return home and others are planning to settle long-term in the UK and become part of the community there.

Devotees currently staying with their non-devotee host families are studying English or starting to look for work. Many though would like to live in a devotee community and we hope such opportunities will arise in the not too distant future. 

We are continuing to meet every Sunday. At our last meeting, we had special guests – Jai Nitai Das and Bhava Bhakti DD  (ex-president of Sri-Sri Radha-Londonisvara temple of 14 years and his wife) and on a previous Sunday, we organised an ecstatic central London harinam. Also, several Ukrainian devotees participated in the all-day Bournemouth harinam with Kadamba Kanana Swami, as well as another 120 devotees or more!

We would like to congratulate Madhuri Kunda dd, Ukrainian Devotee who received her 1st Initiation from HH Indradyumna Swami at the Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara temple. Madhuri Kunda dd came to the UK a few weeks ago with her parents, via the ISKCON refugee-host matching program.   

If you have any questions about the UK program for Ukrainian devotees, please contact; ukrainecrisis@iskcon.london

 

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