Tue, November 1 – Tue, January 31
Tue, November 1, –
In response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, in summer 2022, three Washington, DC, area mindfulness communities (Still Water Mindfulness Practice Center, Washington Mindfulness Community, Opening Heart Mindfulness Community) practicing in the Plum Village tradition came together to establish Love in Action, a project that is a concrete manifestation of their engaged practice.
The purpose of Love in Action is to support those harmed by the war in Ukraine.
The initial focus was on refugees from Ukraine who have fled to the Czech Republic, and a small subset of these refugees, African students who had been pursuing college or professional education in Ukraine. (The Czech Republic currently hosts around 450,000 Ukrainian refugees, most of whom are women and children.) Since September, the Love in Action focus has expanded to include Ukrainian civilians in Ukraine who are receiving receiving medical, food and other assistance from organizations based in the Czech Republic.
The decision to focus on the Czech Republic was heavily influenced by the personal initiative of Order of Interbeing member Jindra Čekanová, who has been an active member of the Washington DC area mindfulness communities for over 25 years. She is now based in Prague. At the war’s start, Jindra and her neighbors and Sangha friends began helping some of those forced to flee from Ukraine, using only their own resources. The demand was far greater than their capacity to assist.
Donations to Love in Action are sent to Jindra and then through her
to our Czech sangha partners. Though the need is still great, the infusion of funds has dramatically increased their ability to help those in need. (Under the terms of a contract with Still Water, Jindra and our Czech partners provide regular written reports on their work and spending.)
Over the past months, Love in Action funds have gone toward the purchase of strollers and car seats, baby formula, backpacks and school supplies for children, basic medical supplies and toiletries, shelf-stable groceries, lactation counseling for new mothers with post-traumatic stress disorder, and much more. The African student refugees have received housing and food assistance as well as funds to cover emergency expenses, such as attorney's fees to apply for asylum and fees to apply to universities in the Czech Republic. The onset of winter in Ukraine combined with disruptions to the power grid will create dire circumstances for many Ukrainian civilians.
Jindra has been ably assisted in this work by her colleague Katerina Stiebitz, who has professional connections with a number of Czech humanitarian organizations working in the Czech Republic and Ukraine. Communicating with these groups has allowed Jindra and Katarina to flexibly address emerging needs in near real-time.
Through the generosity of many, Love in Action has raised $20,000 so far.
OUR GOAL IS TO RAISE AN ADDITIONAL $14,000 BEFORE THE END OF 2022.
We need your help to reach our goal!
To contribute to Love in Action via credit card or ACH, click here. If you wish to contribute by check, make the check payable to Still Water MPC and mail to: P.O. Box 11360, Takoma Park, MD 20913. Write "Love in Action" in the memo line.
For more information about the project, contact the Love in Action team at LoveInActionUkraineTeam@gmail.com
Warm wishes from the Love in Action Team:
Love in Action Supporting Sanghas: