As the world watches the situation in Ukraine change almost daily, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) affirms its commitment to our current work in the country. MCC also offers continued support and prayers to our partners and the people of Ukraine in this time of uncertainty and turmoil.
“We remain concerned that the situation could lead to escalating conflict in the region, and we continue to hope for a peaceful resolution, where all voices are heard,” say Ruth Plett and Krystan Pawlikowski, MCC’s co representatives for East Europe.
In Crimea – which has been annexed by Russia – MCC continues to work with a long-term partner organization on multiple projects.
One project involves volunteer medical staff, including doctors and nurses, who run mobile clinics in villages or areas not currently receiving reliable health care. This assistance includes free medication for people on low incomes.
MCC is also working with this partner in Crimea on an HIV and AIDS project. Volunteers such as trained psychologists visit centres where young people await trial. The volunteers lecture on healthy lifestyles choices and HIV prevention, and offer one-on-one counselling if requested.
We are not providing the name of the partner in Crimea to protect the organization’s privacy during this difficult time.
Outside of Crimea, MCC is working with several other partner organizations in places such as Nikopol, Zaporozhye and Kirovograd.
Much of our work is focused on HIV and AIDS, including education programs in schools, supporting people with HIV and AIDS in prisons, and providing residential options for released inmates.
Through our partners, MCC purchases milk or milk powder for vulnerable children and families and supports skills training for orphans. Since last October two shipments of material resources have been distributed in Ukraine. This includes canned meat, blankets, and hygiene and school kits.
“This work with our many partners in Ukraine will continue, and we are thankful for your prayers and thoughts in these uncertain times,” say Plett and Pawlikowski.
The Mennonite presence in Crimea dates back to the 1850’s, and Ukraine has been a part of MCC’s history since its formation in 1920. As a result of discussions during that first year, essential items such as food, used clothing and tractors were sent to Ukraine in 1922.
More recently, after the fall of the Soviet Union, MCC relocated its office from Moscow to Ukraine with the help and support of a partner in Zaporozhye.
MCC has not yet received requests from our partners in Ukraine for additional support during this time of upheaval. However, we are in constant contact with our partners and would respond with compassion to requests for further assistance.
MCC is thankful for your ongoing support and we welcome your donations for our work in Ukraine.