Ottawa, Ontario, May 25, 2015 – According to the United Nations, there are more than one million displaced people in Ukraine and another half a million seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Despite a ceasefire, daily violence remains a constant, with the death toll increasing and more families fleeing to save their lives. The fear that a major conflict will erupt at any moment is high.
“We have received dramatic calls for help from the Catholic churches of Ukraine and their relief organization, Caritas, which provides care for desperate families forced to escape the conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” said Carl Hétu, National Director of CNEWA Canada. “These people were already very poor, but now they’ve lost their homes, their churches, their way of life. They don’t know if they will ever be able to go back.”
“The Ukrainian people have gone through so much violence in their history, and are working to build a truly democratic and inclusive country that embraces its ethnic and religious diversity,” said Winnipeg’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, a member of CNEWA Canada’s board of directors. “I invite the Canadian population to be generous in helping these frightened people in need of shelter and basic supplies, who, above all, need to regain their dignity and hope in these turbulent times.”
Canadians interested in making donations to help CNEWA and its partners in Ukraine are invited to do so by visiting www.cnewa.ca or to write a cheque to CNEWA Canada (Marked Emergency Ukraine) at 1247 Kilborn Place, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 6K9 or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. As a registered charity, CNEWA will issue a tax receipt.
CNEWA, founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, works on behalf of the Eastern churches. CNEWA has been helping the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to re-establish itself since Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991, through the renovation of churches, providing aid to seminarians, supporting the Ukrainian Catholic University and helping the many social service initiatives helping the poor and marginalized. In 2015, this agency of the Holy See marks its 10th year in Canada, running programs in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe.
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Source: Carl Hétu, National Director, Canada
Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA)
For more information:
Toronto office: Vanessa Santilli
Tel : 647-244-7059
Montreal office: Lauriane Ayivi
Tel : 514-288-8290 ext. 233