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Work Rushes Ahead on Ukraine Devotee Shelter as Temperatures Drop

By: for ISKCON News on Oct. 9, 2014

Workers set up the shelter's foundations

With temperatures falling to freezing at night, devotees are working as quickly as possible to erect a new building to shelter Vaishnava refugees in Ukraine.

According to ISKCON leader Niranjana Swami, the current crisis in Eastern Ukraine forced many Ukranian devotees, including families with small children, to flee their homes.

Digging the foundation of the new devotee refugee shelter in Ukraine

“The situation was extremely dangerous, with some devotees leaving as snipers fired on their vehicles,” he said, adding that some later received news that their homes had been destroyed in  their absence.

The new shelter to house these devotees is being built outside of Kiev. The ten-room building includes a communal kitchen and a sawdust-fueled boiler for cost-effective heating and hot water. Four wells are also being constructed for water and septic.

The mould of the shelter's foundations has been installed

So far, the foundation has been dug and the foundation mould installed. Electricity has also been brought to the plot of land.

Meanwhile plans are underway to purchase an adjacent property to house even more displaced devotees. 

Well-wishers from all over the world are currently sending in funds to help through These will go towards not only the shelter, but also food, clothing, transport and security.

Unloading steel reinforcements

“I’m grateful from the depths of my heart to Niranjana Swami and the other devotees for helping the residents of East Ukraine,” writes one devotee refugee, Natalya Jigulina. “I was in a difficult situation – I had no place to stay, no job, and no income. I was depressed, bewildered, and did not know what to do.

“In this moment, the Lord showered His mercy on me through His devotees. I was submerged in an ocean of care. They helped me find a place to stay, and I got a job that I like, and the firm conviction that no matter what bad things might happen to me, I’ll always get love and support in the society of devotees.

“Thank you so very much for your work.”

Electricity has been brought to the plot of land

$70,000 is currently required to shelter and provide basic necessities for the refugee devotees in Ukraine. To help by donating, please visit

For more information and regular updates, visit

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