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March 22, 2020
covid 19

Covid 19: Providing food, homecare and PPE for older Jewish people.


Covid 19: Providing food, homecare and PPE for older Jewish people.

“I don’t even know what I would have done without homecare… I would have been just left to lie there and die. I don’t have the words to express how grateful I am”. Liudmila, 87.

When lockdown started in Ukraine, our team of home care workers, who usually attend to thousands of older Jewish people in their homes, suddenly had to deal with multiple restrictions. No-one over 60 was allowed to the leave their home, and many of our care workers fall into that bracket. In addition all public transport was stopped in Ukraine making it difficult to reach the vulnerable older people who so desperately need our help.

Since then we have been providing PPE to our teams, covering transport costs and even providing some bicycles. Operations are scaled back and we are only attending to the most vulnerable, who are bed bound or have serious mobility issues.  For everyone else, we are delivering food parcels and ensuring they can survive these difficult times.

covid 19 - homecare worker in house

Our initial Covid 19 response diverted funds from other activities that would have been taking place, such as our Warm Homes programme to combat loneliness and day care activities

We have now entered into a second phase of response, outlined below.

None of this is possible without your continued support. Thank you to everyone who has donated towards our Covid-19 work.  

Overview of the situation:

Covid-19 continues to pose specific threats to our older client group, as well as exacerbating existing problems. People over 60 are advised against – and, in Moldova and Ukraine, prohibited from – leaving their homes. This makes it difficult to access basic household goods, medications and groceries, while also exacerbating existing problems of loneliness and social isolation. People with low incomes are also affected by price rises for food and medications, and the closure of cheap local markets forces them to shop in more expensive supermarkets. At the same time, pensions have not yet been adversely affected, meaning that many older people are in a more secure financial position than those in the workforce.

Our response: 

We are prioritising PPE for staff, in particular, homecare workers, and volunteers who are travelling around and carry the most risk for contracting Covid and therefore passing it on. This includes a 2 month supply of PPE to homecare workers in Zaporozhe and Kharkov in Ukraine, 5000 masks and 2500 pairs of gloves to Minsk in Belarus, 7695 masks to Chisinau in Moldova and 600 single-use aprons and 150 respirator masks to Odessa in Ukraine.

We are providing hygiene items such as sanitisers, soap and wipes. This includes a 3 month supply to Kharkov, Ukraine and further supplies to our partner HelpAge in Moldova.

We are covering funds for transport – both for homecare workers and for delivery of essential items such as food parcels and medicines.

Covid 19 delivering food on bicylce

We are making sure that 1160 hot meals are provided to people who cannot cook for themselves and previously would receive a hot meal as part of other projects.

in addition 550 monthly food parcels are being delivered to older people on low incomes who cannot leave their homes.

covid 19 food pack

Remote social support.  In order to keep connected with clients, who are all isolated, we are providing partners with phone credit for staff and volunteers, Zoom subscriptions and in Odessa, our psychologist will man a hotline for clients at risk of isolation and loneliness.

Finally, we have an SOS fund to transport elderly people to hospital if needed – with the required cleaning of the project vehicle and PPE for the driver.