Father Ciprian Ion Ioniţă, Coordinating Patriarchal Adviser at the Social-Philanthropic Sector of the Patriarchal Administration, spoke at Radio Trinitas about the philanthropic activities carried out by the Romanian Patriarchate in the second year of the pandemic.
Father Ciprian Ioniţă said that throughout this period, “support has been maintained for the medical units involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, by making donations of medical equipment, renovations of medical departments, [offering] protective equipment and disinfectants.”
“Social canteen services have continued to play a crucial role, as they have also provided hot food at home to people in isolation or quarantine, but also the elderly.”
“Regarding the philanthropic behavior of this period, the people who were involved at the parish level in social-philanthropic programs before the pandemic continued their activity, extending it through activities that support the specific needs of the pandemic period,” he explained.
Several companies have joined the Patriarchate’s effort to combat the adverse effects of the pandemic by providing food.
The patriarchal adviser noted that the activities of the multiannual programs continued during the pandemic, and new projects were initiated. He listed the central social interventions:
- Efforts to maintain social services for the main vulnerable groups, the elderly, people with disabilities, and children.
- Establishing specialized Pro-Life services to prevent abortions and support women in pregnancy crisis.
- Development of social assistance infrastructure through EU-funded projects.
- Maintaining home care services functional and diversifying the medical services by setting up new clinics, specialized medical offices, palliative care, and patient transport.
- Collaboration with local authorities to carry out projects for migrants, primarily to deliver hot food.
Supporting people affected by natural disasters by building homes, equipping them, and providing material aid.
- Carrying out fundraising activities by dedicated campaigns, concerts, and exhibitions.
- Mobilizing communities to support philanthropic programs on the occasion of significant holidays, June 1 and the beginning of the school year, and blood donation campaigns.
Father Ciprian Ioniță said that during the Medical Caravan “Health for Villages”, in 2021, due to the sanitary restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the volunteers from the Chapel of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral made fewer trips.
Likewise, the Romanian Patriarchate’s collaboration with the Oncological Institute “Prof. Dr. Alexandru Trestioreanu” in Bucharest for the prevention and diagnosis of cervical cancer was diminished due to the pandemic.
The “Joy Table” program, a partnership with “Selgros Cash & Carry” Romania, marked its 14th anniversary. In all 13 dioceses where there are Selgros stores, the program runs in excellent conditions, rhythmically and constantly, Fr Ionita explained.
Occasionally, local partnerships have been developed with other food retailers such as Mega Image, Auchan or Kaufland that offer products to social canteens or food packages delivered to the homes of beneficiaries, elderly or homebound persons, the patriarchal adviser noted.
“Data on the number of beneficiaries and funds employed in social services and philanthropic actions are not available at this time for 2021.”
“However, the figures for 2020 can give an indicative picture: we had 137,679 beneficiaries in the Romanian Patriarchate, and the estimated funds including the values of the offered goods were of 185,959,815 lei (approx. 37,574,292 Euros)”.