Delegation of the European Union to China

EU Solidarity: supporting single, low-income elderly people in Saint-Petersburg, Voronezh, and North Ossetia

02/12/2020 - 10:43
News stories

The pandemic brought to the foreground the need to help the elderly people who live alone, have low-income, or reduced mobility.

A grant from the European Union offered under the action ‘EU solidarity with Russian civil society: assistance to elderly people and adults with disabilities’ has allowed the Happily Ever After Foundation to continue delivering regular food assistance to the elderly citizens of Saint-Petersburg who live alone, have low income or reduced mobility, helping them get through the COVID-19 pandemic safely.

Thanks to the grant, 65−70 beneficiaries of the Foundation receive monthly food boxes with such essential shelf-stables as grains and cereals, pasta, sunflower oil, meat, fish, vegetable or fruit preserves, tea, and coffee. They also receive masks and gloves. The Foundation’s volunteers will continue their contactless deliveries to the elderly until April 2021.  

“The food donations are really helpful,” says Lyudmila Kurova, 70 years old, with disability. 

Expressing her gratitude for this targeted assistance, Elena Alexandrova, 64 years old, explains, “You are of great help to us elderly with small pensions. We cannot afford all the necessary medications, desirable foods, or quality clothing and footwear, not to mention some higher-order human needs. That’s why the boxes delivered to us by the fair ladies of the Foundation are a real joy to us, with a lasting cheer-up effect.”

Another recipient of an EU grant under the solidarity action is the Voronezh Regional Charitable Organization of People with Disabilities ‘Yes, We Can’. Its beneficiaries are people with various types of disability, mostly individuals with grave conditions and reduced mobility.

‘Yes, We Can’ staff and volunteers deliver food and disinfectants to the target group, talking to the people and rendering the necessary assistance.

“Through the European Union’s support, we got a real opportunity to help distressed people with disabilities. The food boxes are just part of our assistance to these people. We find out their needs and seek additional resources to meet them. And we wouldn’t be able to do it without the EU’s help, because the number of our beneficiaries is growing,” says Olga Romanenko, the organization’s chairperson.

In the times of pandemic, the ‘Yes, We Can’ organization started additionally helping single elderly people and low-income single-parent families, including those living outside Voronezh. The NGO’s staff say that people living in the countryside feel neglected at a time when they need support and attention like never before.

In August 2020, the Autonomous Non-Profit ‘Four Ages’ launched its Helping the Elderly project, to be implemented until April 2021 with a grant received from the European Union.

Fifty seniors in distressed situations (living alone, with low income or reduced mobility) in Vladivavkaz, Beslan, and several villages of the North Ossetia Republic will be receiving food boxes (vegetable oil, cereals, pasta, flour, preserves, tea, and biscuits) every month and household detergents twice over the project period. Additionally, they are visited by a social worker who helps them with their everyday chores, keeps them company, and can escort those with reduced mobility to social institutions, pharmacies, or government services centers.

The action ‘EU solidarity with Russian civil society: assistance to elderly people and adults with disabilities’ is funded by the European Union and implemented by Charitable Foundation for Philanthropy Development CAF Russia. The action aims at helping elderly people and adults with disabilities in Russia to cope the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its implications. Apart from the EU, the key donor of the action, individual contributions were made by Belgium, Estonia, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

(Photo courtesy of “Yes, We Can” organization)

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