EUROPE/ITALY - Cadis missionaries and Tzu Chi Foundation: interreligious love, together for Ukraine

Wednesday, 4 May 2022


Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "Buddha's mercy and God's love exist to save people who suffer and our fundamental values are the same", said Br. Jose Ignacio Santaolalla Saez, MI, President of Camillian Disaster Service International (CADIS), in relation to the recent agreement signed between the Tzu Chi Buddhist Charitable Foundation and the Camillian missionary body in support of Ukrainian refugees. "The Russian-Ukrainian war is an unprecedented man-made catastrophe - underlined Br. Ignacio. "The most innocent people are the ones who suffer. We must face and cooperate for the sake of Ukrainians who are experiencing difficulties. Ours is a great responsibility, as well as a mission, and we want to offer respect and assistance to Ukrainian refugees with gratitude and love".
According to what was communicated to Agenzia Fides, the meeting in which the agreement was signed to operate jointly in Poland and Ukraine took place online in connection with Taiwan, Rome and Poland. The aid consists of the provision of basic necessities, food, medical services, temporary accommodation and psychological counseling with the aim of helping more than 40,000 people over a period of about five months.
The Camillian missionaries of CADIS and the Tzu Chi Foundation have previously collaborated to help countries severely affected by the new COVID-19 epidemic. The latest collaboration will serve to jointly serve refugees in four areas of Warsaw, including the largest railway station in the west of the Polish capital with service stations, as well as shelters for resettlement, and a support card for economic aid. Food, clothing, hygiene products and medical kits will be distributed in Lviv and Kharkov (Ukraine). "When people suffer, I feel pain and when people suffer, I feel compassion", said Venerable Jing Si Jingshe De Yuan, recalling the philosophy of the founder of Tzu Chi, Venerable Cheng Yen.
With similar words, Fr. Aris Miranda, MI, Executive Director of CADIS, has highlighted the feeling of compassion of so many people in the world. His thoughts also go to the Ukrainian clergy and their commitment to continue serving in the martyred country with a strong and fearless spirit. CADIS representatives and Master Jing Si Jingshe prayed together for the war to stop and the world to be spared from the disaster. Yan Bowen, General Director of the Tzu Chi Charitable Foundation, highlighted the common mission of serving humanity and the importance of interfaith cooperation that will bring help to refugees in all areas. The hope is that the war will end, that the displaced refugees will be able to return to their homes as soon as possible and resume their lives in peace and safety. According to statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as of April 29 there were more than 5.46 million refugees who had fled from Ukraine, of whom more than 3 million in neighboring Poland. (GC/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/5/2022)