Meet All4Aid’s House of Hope 2 in Bucharest, Romania!
As we continue to provide accommodation to ca. 80 Ukrainian refugees in different houses in and around Bucharest, the owner of the largest house we used needed the building back and asked if we could relocate. Thank God we quickly found another suitable house to rent! The new house is larger and more centrally located. So, this turned out to be a blessing to our team, who will have to travel less within the city to visit our houses as they support our Ukrainian guests.
Moving our guests – ca. 30 Roma-Ukrainians (one of the most vulnerable groups who fled Ukraine) – and all the furniture to the new house was not an easy task and took, literally, the whole day! Our All4Aid local team worked tirelessly alongside our Ukrainian adult guests on the move. The photo was taken at the end of the moving day.
Boys and girls love to visit our Community Centre on Lesvos, Greece, and every day many children come through our doors. They come together with their parents to collect food, clothes and hygiene items, to use our showers and laundry, or to simply have a nice time with tea and fellowship. Those are the regular services we offer. However, whenever possible, we also like to do something special for the children.
Offering music classes and times of singing, playing board games and cards, teaching English, hairstyling. The special activities we offer vary a lot and depend on the number of staff and volunteers we have on a particular month, as well as on their particular gifting and skills. But, as you can see, we have been collecting many special moments with the children this Summer!
Our All4Aid team serving at the Ukrainian Refugee Response in Bucharest, Romania, continues to be very busy! We are currently housing over 80 Ukrainian refugees who are accommodated in various All4Aid houses in and around Bucharest. One of the main tasks of our team is to take our Ukrainian guests for grocery shopping on a weekly basis.
We cover the costs for dry, staple food, as well as fresh food such as meat and vegetables. The Ukrainian guests create the shopping list, choose the items from the shelves in the supermarket and carry the goods back home (with the support of our team and our minibuses). They then organise themselves within each house to cook and prepare their own meals.
Who does not like a nice spa treatment?
This week, we started a pilot service providing spa treatments for women and girls at our Centre on Lesvos. We started with foot washing, foot massage and foot exfoliation. The idea of the pilot is to provide a few treatments for some time, see what people like the most and evaluate which treatments we could offer on an ongoing basis.
From the beginning, our goal for our Centre on Lesvos has been to be much more than a shower and laundry facility, a FoodBank and a Shop for distribution of clothing and hygiene items. We have always been committed to make our Centre on Lesvos a place of temporary rest and peace, a place where especially women and girls feel welcomed, supported and loved.
The spa treatments are just another way to demonstrate our love. Starting with foot washing is just a way to symbolically exhibit our commitment to serve humbly (one of our core values).
Would you like to serve with us on Lesvos? Do you have the skills to do massage, hair cuts, nail polish or any other spa and beauty treatments or even just a heart to serve in any other capacity? Visit the link in our bio to see our volunteer opportunities. We would love to hear from you!
Our Ukrainian Refugee Response programme continues at full speed! Besides managing three houses for Ukrainian refugees in Bucharest, the All4Aid team in Romania continues to personally take 6.000,00 Euros worth of food into Ukraine on a weekly basis.
All4Aid has an agreement with a local wholesaler which takes our list of food items, organises the food in pallets, and even helps loading the food into our vehicles. Our team then drives the food into Ukraine, a trip that involves a long drive, a ferry crossing, going through customs, and normally takes 24 hours to be completed.
The food is brought directly to our partners; churches in Ukraine that use their buildings as distribution centres to feed the community around them. Every week they tell us what items they need and we bring it for them. Initially our Ukrainian partners were able to drive to a village near the Ukrainian border and we handed over the food items to them there.
However, in the past few weeks there has been a shortage of fuel in Ukraine. So, our team has been driving into Ukraine all the way to the church buildings, which has significantly increased our risks. Please continue to pray for the safety of our team and for the safety of our Ukrainian partners involved in this operation each week.
In the past weeks, we have watched as the UNHCR has announced that the world has officially surpassed 100 million displaced people. Today, on World Refugee Day, we want to not only reaffirm that we stand with refugees, but also to reflect with you what standing with refugees can look like.
At All4Aid, standing with refugees can look like a variety of things. Whether it is welcoming a single mom at our Food Bank on Lesvos, providing shelter for a Ukrainian family in Bucharest, or getting new clothes into the hands of displaced men and women on Cyprus, we strive daily to see refugees attaining life in all its fullness.
How do you personally stand with refugees? What does standing with refugees look like in your community? Feel free to click in our social media icons below and use the comments in our Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to share any ideas and insights.
We have redesigned our food distribution programme at our Community Centre in Cyprus! Over the past few months, our team on the ground has put in time and effort not only to move the food distribution to a new space inside the Community Centre but also to transition into a new food distribution model.
The new choice model allows those whom we serve to freely choose the foods that best suit their wants and needs directly from the shelves, as if they were in a normal supermarket. We are excited to see the response from visitors and how the programme continues to grow.
We are thankful for all the support we are receiving for the FoodBank Programme in Cyprus and for the other All4Aid initiatives!
Great work continues to go on in Romania in support of Ukrainian refugees! Last month, we completed the setup of our third and largest housing unit in Bucharest: the House of Hope. Following our principle of working with refugees, and not only for refugees, we even invited the Ukrainians staying at the other All4Aid houses to come and help. They gladly assembled beds, fixed curtains and did many other jobs to help make House of Hope a beautiful and comfortable place for the new Ukrainian refugees who are now living there.
With several rooms spread over more than 250 sqm of living space, the House of Hope is able to comfortably accommodate 40 refugees, the vast majority of whom are women and children. The house offers bedrooms with proper beds and beddings, a good number of bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, as well as a common area / living room. In the area outside there is even a playground for the children.
We are very grateful for all the prayers, encouragement, financial donations and volunteering support we have received to make our work with Ukrainian refugees possible! The houses are basically set up but the work is far from over! We still need your support in this new phase of the work as we manage the houses, provide food for our guests and offer them help with transportation.