A solar heating plant for the Benedictine sisters in Zhytomyr, Ukraine

The winters can be bitter in Ukraine. And at the same time energy prices are rising constantly and gas and heating oil are becoming ever more difficult to afford. This is hitting the religious communities particularly hard, since they already live in poverty. Sister Clara of the Benedictine community in Zhytomyr has written to tell us, “We are trying to get by as best we can, but it is now becoming ever more clear that we will not manage without the help of our benefactors.” Already last winter the sisters cancelled their gas supply because they could no longer afford it in view of the rising prices. Instead of that they tried to heat their convent with firewood. They still have to buy this also, but at least it is only around half the cost of the gas. But it is not working very well, since in winter all the heat is taken up by the central heating system so that there is scarcely any available to provide hot water. And so for the most part the sisters have only cold water. And if they do want to have hot water, it takes a long time and wastes a lot of water before the hot water eventually comes out of the water pipes. Now they are hoping that a solar heating plant would help and provide hot water at a reasonable cost. But of course such a system first has to be purchased and installed, and for the sisters this is an investment they cannot afford. And so they have turned to ACN for help. We are planning to help them so that they need not freeze in winter or do without hot water either.

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Founded in 1947 as a Catholic aid organization for war refugees and recognized as a papal foundation since 2011, ACN is dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. ACN supports every year an average of 6000 projects in close to 150 countries, thanks to private donations, as the foundation receives no public funding.