Brethren Disaster Ministries directs latest EDF grants to Ukraine relief, NYC service project

Brethren Disaster Ministries is directing the latest grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to a relief response to the Russia-Ukraine war, and to support a National Youth Conference (NYC) service project making School Kits.

Russia-Ukraine war

A grant of $50,000 supports the response to the Russia-Ukraine war by partner organization the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), a US-based NGO. The grant announcement stated that “according to the United Nations more than 11 million people need assistance inside and outside of Ukraine, with over 4.6 million refugees and 7.1 million more displaced inside of Ukraine…. The United Nations has a relief plan targeting 6 million people in need with a flash appeal of $1.1 billion for just the first 3 months of this response. Many of the surrounding countries, including Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Moldova, are housing and supporting Ukrainian refugees, and most of the world’s largest nonprofit organizations are also mounting large scale relief programs.

Pencils collected for School Kits. Photo by Sarah Kovacs

“Even with this massive response there are communities and very vulnerable people not receiving enough aid. Identifying and supporting some of these groups will be the focus of the Brethren Disaster Ministries response,” the announcement said. The IOCC “has developed a meaningful response to the war through connections with the Orthodox churches and other NGOs in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland. With about 67 percent of Ukrainians identifying as Christian Orthodox, IOCC has been effective at reaching people in need that few other aid groups can reach.”

The IOCC response focuses on three key priorities:
— Support for Ukrainian displaced persons as they travel to neighboring countries.
— Support for host families and institutions providing humanitarian assistance for refugees.
— Protection for women and children.

NYC service project

A grant of $37,500 helps fund a School Kit service project at the 2022 NYC, taking place this July. Brethren Disaster Ministries is partnering to offer the service opportunity this year, as took place at the last NYC in 2018.

Participants will assemble Church World Service (CWS) School Kits, connecting to the “Foundational” theme of NYC. Conference attendees are asked to sign up through an online tool to bring a portion of the items needed in the kits as an offering at NYC. Groups of attendees will organize the materials and assemble 3,000 kits, with oversight and organization by Brethren Disaster Ministries staff, including logistical coordination of getting the completed kits back to the Materials Resources warehouse at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

CWS estimates the value of each School Kit at $15, making the value of these 3,000 kits total $45,000.

— Find out more about Brethren Disaster Ministries at Give to the Emergency Disaster Fund in support of these grants at


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