Unification News for May 1996


IRFF Report from Ukraine

Thomas Phillips-Kiev, Ukraine

On April 23, 1996, Massimo Trombin, Cosimo Rizzi and Juan Manuel Mbile-Biba, representing International Relief and Friendship Foundation (IRFF) of Italy and the Global Exchange, came to Kiev, Ukraine, bringing a donation of medical supplies and clothing to "Oberik", a humanitarian center serving patients in Kiev using homeopathic and natural herbal medicines. Of course, it would have been more cost-effective if they had simply put everything on a plane to Kiev. However, beside giving material support, the spirit of IRFF is in sharing friendship and compassion across cultures through personal contact with those in need.

On the first day in Kiev after their 3-day journey they went sightseeing and felt that it was an important condition to go to a Catholic church. As they came into the church, they saw a small exhibition for "Children With the Mark of Chernobyl." They were immediately struck by the suffering of the mothers who were the organizers of the exhibit and on the spot chose 22 children whom they will connect with sponsors in Italy. This is one example of the spirit that our brothers from Italy shared with us in the Ukraine.

They stayed for five days, helping the processing of the aid through customs and delivering the aid directly to the humanitarian center. During this time, we also held two seminars on IRFF. The seminars presented the philosophy of IRFF, which specializes in micro-projects that directly address people in suffering, bringing material and spiritual support.

As we move toward the third millennium, IRFF is taking on more importance as True Parents' efforts move toward ending world hunger and alleviating the suffering of humankind. True Parents have often spoken to us of their painful hearts as they look at the world and see injustice and suffering among God's children.

IRFF has now established a branch in the Ukraine. Those interested in supporting humanitarian projects can touch the lives of those suffering for a little as twenty or thirty dollars a month. For example, your donations could be used to sponsor a child affected by the Chernobly disaster. You would receive a picture of the child and be able to correspond through letters. Those interested in contributing to projects in the Ukraine or other countries of the CIS can contact me c/o IRFF, Dr. Kathy Winings, 4 West 43rd Street, New York, N.Y., 10036 or on the internet: tp@glas.apc.org.

Thomas Phillips is the executive director for IRFF Ukraine / Russia

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