REPORT. Romanian Patriarchate offers support of over 4.3 million Euros during Covid-19 crisis

According to a new report issued by the Social-Philanthropic Sector of the Patriarchal Administration, the Church has donated over 4.3 million Euros (20,896,872 Romanian Lei) to the socially vulnerable and the medical institutions affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On March 23, the Romanian Patriarchate launched an online platform entitled ajutacubucurie.ro (“help with joy”), and the Toll-Free phone line 0800.800.368.

Through them were registered from help requests to help offers from companies, private donors, priests, psychologists, and volunteers for the delivery of products to the homes of the vulnerable and isolated.

The data collected through the platform and the phone line were immediately directed to diocesan representatives, who in turn reported on how the cases were solved.

The Social-Philanthropic Sector also concluded eight sponsorship contracts to distribute food to the vulnerable, the social services, and medical units throughout the Archdiocese of Bucharest.

The Archdiocese also collaborated with the General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Bucharest.

The platform registered 595 offers of volunteer work, 125 help requests from 20 dioceses and 608 donations in local and foreign currency in the total value of 221,000 Romanian Lei (almost 46,000 Euros).

Local initiatives joined the efforts through local support platforms established by dioceses from all over the country: phone lines, websites, Facebook pages where people sent help requests and offers of support.

Some dioceses, through designated coordinators and local volunteers, many of them priests, worked in partnership with state institutions, helping to solve cases announced by County Emergency Inspectorates, Social Assistance Directorates, Local Councils and Local Administrations.

The total number of beneficiaries was 180,667, of which: 38,141 isolated people, 3,945 quarantined people, 78,841 lonely and unsupported elderly, 59,740 socially vulnerable.

The support, in the total value of over 4.3 million Euros (20,896,872 Romanian Lei), consisted of warm food, non-perishable food packages, bottled water, necessity shopping, covering some utility bills, quarantine accommodation services, transport to medical services, donations in hygiene products and medical equipment, electronic devices for distance education for school students.

The dioceses donated to medical institutions personal protection equipment (masks, face shields, medical goggles, coveralls, gloves, shoe covers), disinfectants and medical devices.

Types of medical devices donated:

  • pulmonary ventilators and respiratory assistance devices;
  • testing devices and kits for COVID-19;
  • REAL TIME-PCR analyzers;
  • Diagnostic Station DS20 kits;
  • COVID-19 tests;
  • multi-parameter monitors;
  • endotracheal intubation sets;
  • oxygen concentrators;
  • renal substitution devices;
  • infusion pumps;
  • sonography devices;
  • syringe pumps;
  • UV sterilization lamps;
  • pulse oximeters;
  • tensiometers, stethoscopes, cannula securements, digital thermometers, nebulizers;
  • disinfection devices for vehicles;
  • EKG monitors;
  • video-laryngoscope;
  • triple action disinfection tunnels (chemical aspersion, germicidal UV lamp and disinfectant-filled foot mats);
  • containers for COVID-19 patient triage.

During the state of emergency, the social centres functioning by the parishes and church organizations adapted their activity to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Social canteens delivered hot food to the beneficiaries’ homes and increased the number of portions to distribute also to the medical staff caring for Covid-19 patients. Counselling and medical services moved online, while daycare centres for children and elderly adults temporarily suspended activity during the state of emergency.

Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu

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