Like most countries, Ukraine is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. Universities, schools, kindergartens, nursery schools, some workplaces, and shops were closed on March 16 and public transport was suspended. Pharmacies and grocery stores are always open, but everything is more expensive. As of June 1, 2020, 21.905 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Ukraine; 7,995 have recovered and 685 have died. The government has extended the quarantine until June 22.
The medical system in Ukraine has not undergone efficient reforms and as a result, today Ukraine is facing pandemic with lack of medical personal and health care workers, lack of medical equipment and protection kits, and an insufficient number of beds for a large number of infected people. In addition, the people are affected by unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, hopelessness, and lack of clear perspectives for young people and suffering a lack of proper care of the government.
The Churches in Ukraine have taken the government quarantine restrictions very seriously. Holy Mass has been celebrated in the Church without the participation of the faithful. This ban applied not only to the Catholic Church, but also to the Orthodox Church, mosques and other houses of prayer. During this time the faithful stayed at home and prayed there with the message of Radio Maryja, Radio Voskresynnya, Zyve TV, EWTN, or Internet.
In the eastern part of Ukraine, there is still a war. People are killed or injured every day. The medical staff there is also affected by the disease. CARITAS and volunteers help as well. More than 80 medical personnel are in quarantine in the house of the patriarchal curia of the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) in Lviv.
Existence aid for religious sisters
Rev L. DUBRAVSKYI, bishop of Kamyanets Podilskij asks us to help 150 sisters from 24 communities working in his diocese. Normally, this diocese does not ask for such assistance, but the economic effects of the Covid-19 restrictions mean that the diocese can no longer afford to pay the sisters. Many sisters are active in pastoral work, helping the parish priests in catechesis, in the offices, or in other structures of the diocese. Some communities run dormitories for girls, some work in hospitals or orphanages, or in kindergartens. Since the beginning of the health crisis, they receive no salary. Some communities are originally from Poland, but since no one can travel anymore, they cannot return to live in their Polish provincial houses.
Even in these difficult times of the Covid pandemic, the sisters receive many visitors. People trust the sisters and, especially at this time, they need someone to speak and to be heard. For many, the sisters are always the first person to turn to and ask for help in difficult life situations or to ask for prayers.
ACN has committed to helping each sister with a €500 allowance. This is only part of what they will need for several months, but the diocese will take care of the rest. Total budget is: 150*500=75.000€