Press

For Immediate Release

14 June 2022

BRISTOL-BASED CHRISTIAN CHARITY APPEALING TO CHURCHES & SCHOOLS TO HELP UKRANIAN REFUGEES THIS HARVEST

A BRISTOL-BASED Christian charity is appealing to churches and schools to use this year’s Harvest Festival season to help feed Ukraine refugees fleeing to neighbouring eastern European Countries, where inflation in some is nearly 30%.

For the past 30 years, Transform Europe Network (TEN) has sent hundreds of thousands of parcels and hot meals, worth over £2.5million, to partner charities and churches in eastern Europe.  Now, with the UNHCR estimating 10-million Ukrainians fleeing the war-torn country, TEN is extending its reach to help provide food aid to refugees being cared for by TEN partner churches.

James Vaughton, CEO of TEN said: “Here in the UK, every individual and family is feeling the pinch of the rise in the cost of living, including fuel.  But in eastern Europe, not only are they coping with the economic impact of Covid, but many eastern European countries we are working in are also offering hospitality to Ukrainian refugees.  In Moldova, where our partner churches have an active refugee programme, inflation is currently at 29%, and Moldova is already Europe’s poorest country.

“This Harvest (September), we want to ensure that as well as meeting our existing partner’s needs to their local communities, we can provide food aid, so refugees are well fed this autumn and winter.”

 TEN is suggesting to churches/schools that in addition to any local Harvest food project, they might do a ‘one-off’ fundraising event for TEN’s ‘Harvest For The Hungry’ Appeal.  Through decades-worth of partnerships with local churches, TEN says it will guarantee all donations gets to where most needed. TEN says that due to local purchasing power, just £15 will feed a family for one week.

Mr Vaughton added: “Harvest is an ideal time for people to think about the realities of those living in poverty. Maybe Christians belong to a home group and would love to watch a short video and discuss issues of poverty.  Or a church would like to book a HFTH speaker to hear how in recent years, donations from churches made a huge local impact. Or, a church youth group, or a secondary school might organise a fundraising carwash, knowing every penny would feed a young person in eastern Europe.  This year, in addition to the Ukrainian refugees, we are also highlighting the plight of Europe’s 10 million Roma people who are severely marginalised and often persecuted.”

Donations at fundraising events/in church can be made via texts, the TEN website, or gift envelopes can be provided.

TEN has a wide range of free resources to help would-be church or school participants take part. Online resources, including a short film, PowerPoint slides with stories of hope, along with a poster and graphics for 2022 harvest events can be downloaded from www.harvestforthehungry.org

ENDS.

For further information/interview:

James Vaughton CEO:
07891 908950
james.vaughton@ten-uk.org

Melanie Griffiths:
0117 9615161
melanie.griffiths@ten-uk.org

Revd Paul Eddy (PR):
07923 653781
paul@pauleddy.uk

Picture Note:
Pictures of James’ visit to Romania, meeting Ukrainian refugees, etc. can be obtained from www.ten-uk.org/press

Editor’s Notes:

Inflation: Inflation in many of the countries where TEN’s partner churches operate and help Ukrainian refugees is much higher than in the UK:

● Moldova 29%

● Romania 14.5%

● Bulgaria 14.4% (April 2022).

Moldova’s rate is shockingly high, as the nation is Europe’s poorest. TEN is in regular contact with its partners, whose message is that prices for basic commodities are increasing weekly. In Bulgaria, one partner told TEN staff “until recently, a bottle of cooking oil cost BGN 3, but now it is BGN 6.” That is a 100% price rise!

TEN History: began in the 1960s under the name of ‘Eurovangelism’, as a ‘heart cry’ response to the desperate plight of Christians suffering under communism in Eastern Europe.

David Foster, a travelling journalist, artist and evangelical Christian, started writing articles about the amazing believers he came across, and the various trials they faced in living out their faith.  Support came flooding in, both financial and prayerful. Eurovangelism was born to support beleaguered European Christian communities. It was a ground-breaking approach of assistance to the indigenous church-planting movement, as opposed to the traditional model of sending missionaries abroad.

In 2018, Transform Europe Network (TEN) replaced Eurovangelism as the

operating name to represent the holistic, European-wide and cross-denominational Christian network it had become. Today, TEN, based in Bristol, works through 60 Partner Churches across 10 Eastern Europe countries.  In the year 2020/21 we made grants totalling £569,340.

For further information concerning our work, and financial accounts, visit www.ten-uk.org

BRISTOL CHARITY LEADER TELLS OF HIS CONCERNS FOR UKRAINIAN REGUGEE WOMEN OVER HUMAN TRAFICKING FOLLOWING VISIT TO ROMANIA

THE leader of a Bristol-based Christian charity has returned from visiting Ukrainian refugees in Romania, and says the vulnerability of women towards human trafficking, and the levels of anxiety amongst teenagers over their futures are two of the main challenges he encountered.

James Vaughton, CEO of Transform Europe Network (TEN) was on a regular visit to the charity’s Romanian partners and projects this month when he was able to spend time with refugees from across Ukraine, of all ages, and listen to their stories.

James said: “Women and young girls feel very vulnerable – many staying indoors in their temporary accommodation, not wanting to go out.  Our church partners ensure that volunteers must spend considerable time with them, seeking to address their personal health needs and offer reassurance and safety.  But the number of hours they spend indoors is leading to isolation and loneliness.  They feel very vulnerable and don’t trust men, so our partner church’s ‘woman to woman’ support is vital.”

In the first five weeks of the war starting, TEN raised over £120,000 for Ukrainian relief – one of the charity’s largest-ever emergency appeal responses in its 55 year history.  It has enabled the charity to support Ukrainians in many ways, including medical and personal health supplies, food and accommodation, a mini-bus to help collect refugees from the boarder, take them to processing centres and where possible, to an onward destination. He says the charity’s long-term relationships with churches across countries neighbouring Ukraine means the charity can direct funds very specifically.

James said: “When I was in Romania, a text came through from a Ukrainian pastor to one of our partner church leaders.  It was a list of very specific items they needed to help Ukrainians which had fled their hometowns. I was able to accompany our contact to the pharmacy and buy medicines, and exactly what was needed for that group and the next day, the goods were transported back into Ukraine.”  For security reasons James is unable to give exact locations of where he stayed, some of the projects he visited and where in Ukraine the charity’s relief is being directed.

However, whilst visiting partner churches in the Constanta region of Romania, James sat down with groups of Ukrainian teenagers.  Through an interpreter he heard their stories.  He explained: “Young people,  many of whom are in school or in their early 20s, had to flee and now face very uncertain futures.  They have no idea when they might return, and if that is possible, what there will be for them.  They are asking whether they should try to settle in their new refugee country, or move further West?  It is a stage of life normally full of opportunities and possibilities and yet, it had been denied them. 

“On the other hand, they, and charity leaders talking to them, are very conscious that if all the educated young people leave Ukraine for good, there will literally be a ‘brain-drain’, denying the reformed Ukraine of much-needed professional women and men necessary to rebuild for the future.  They are having to make huge decisions about their futures, and under huge pressure. Our partner church volunteers just hang out with them, listen and try to give them time, space and a listening ear.”

James says that whilst many refugees are currently housed in hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, the holiday season in eastern Europe is soon to start.  Owners of these properties will need them vacated so they can get the much-needed seasonal income on which they rely all year.  Where tens of thousands of refugees will go is not yet clear.

James’ lasting memory is how life for a refugee creates such anxiety – even over the most basic things in life.  He said: “It’s so hard for us to really put ourselves into the shoes of a Ukrainian refugee.  So many things we take for granted here, like taking the car to the garage, or going to the dentist – or other things that happen in life where we have the resources on hand – are just not easily available.  They are in a new country, with little or no money, and don’t speak the language. That creates a lot of day-to-day anxiety – on top of all the major future and family decision they have to make. Thankfully our partner churches can help, but the need is vast.”

If you would like to support the work of TEN’s partners in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and Montenegro working alongside Ukrainian refugees, visit www.ukrainecrisis.org.uk

ENDS.

For further information/interview:

James Vaughton CEO:
07891 908950
james.vaughton@ten-uk.org

Revd Paul Eddy (PR):
07923 653781
paul@pauleddy.uk

Picture Note:
Pictures of James’ visit to Romania, meeting Ukrainian refugees, etc. can be obtained from www.ten-uk.org/press

A Jpeg head picture of James Vaughton is available from paul@pauleddy.uk

Editor’s Notes:

TEN began in the 1960s under the name of ‘Eurovangelism’, as a ‘heart cry’ response to the desperate plight of Christians suffering under communism in Eastern Europe.

David Foster, a travelling journalist, artist and evangelical Christian, started writing articles about the amazing believers he came across, and the various trials they faced in living out their faith.  Support came flooding in, both financial and prayerful. Eurovangelism was born to support beleaguered European Christian communities. It was a ground-breaking approach of assistance to the indigenous church-planting movement, as opposed to the traditional model of sending missionaries abroad.

In 2021, Transform Europe Network (TEN) replaced Eurovangelism as the

operating name to represent the holistic, European-wide and cross-denominational Christian network it had become. Today, TEN, based in Bristol, works through 60 Partner Churches across 10 Eastern Europe countries.  In the year 2020/21 we made grants totalling £569,340.

For further information concerning our work, and financial accounts, visit www.ten-uk.org

For Immediate Release

28 April 2022

BRISTOL-BASED CHRISTIAN CHARITY LAUNCHES 30TH ANIVERSARY FOOD PARCEL APPEAL FOR EASTERN EUROPE

A BRISTOL-BASED Christian charity has launched its 30th Appeal to provide much-needed food parcels for Eastern Europe, after sending hundreds of thousands of parcels and hot meals worth over £2.5million since 1992!

Transform Europe Network (TEN), gathered supporters yesterday afternoon (27 APR) at Crofts End Church in Bristol, and via live-stream, to kick-start what they hope will be their biggest ever annual food aid programme. Speakers included ‘Harvest For The Hungry’ founder Derek Wade from Kettering, Carol Sharman from Ridgeway Methodist Church, a UK Harvest partner church involved in the appeal for many years, and a video message recorded especially for the event, from Slavko Hadzic, leader of a partner church in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Charity supporters heard that following violent flare ups in April 1992 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian War resulted in 2.4 million people attempting to flee the conflict, and a further 2 million internally displaced. Responding, the charity collected food, clothes and aid from churches across England, and volunteers drove lorries to the war-torn and neighbouring countries.  TEN used its well-established links with partner churches in the region to ensure that aid got to those most in need.

The provision of food for the hungry in the Balkans and eastern Europe has continued via an annual ‘Harvest For The Hungry’ Appeal.  In the early years, teams of volunteer drove food parcels across the borders.  These days, with real-time international money transfers, and bulk purchasing via local retailers better value for money, TEN raises financial donations from churches, schools and individuals to provide soup kitchens, hot meals and food parcels as needed.  Last year, TEN delivered the equivalent of 8,000 meals to individuals/families via just under 30 partner churches.

This year, TEN aims to make the 30th Anniversary Appeal its biggest year yet by asking existing partner churches across the UK to introduce the Appeal to neighbouring churches, and individual Christians ask their friends to donate.

Commenting on the 30th Anniversary Celebration and launch event, James Vaughton, CEO of TEN said: “Each year, TEN’s partners distribute food to hungry families and widows who rely on assistance. However, the need in 2022 is far greater. Ukrainian refugees need food as they rely on the generosity and kindness of strangers to support them. And a major challenge facing them, and the poorer people in Eastern Europe, is that the war, and the rising cost of fuel, have pushed up the cost of living.”

“TEN has always stood with our partners to help them meet the needs of the hungry. The amazing thing about ‘Harvest for the Hungry’ is that it consistently meets the physical, social and spiritual needs of people across south and eastern Europe. Just £15 will feed a family in easter Europe for a week.”

“We are grateful for the support of so many over 30 years. In this our anniversary year, we look forward to welcoming onboard many more churches and individuals who want to give, knowing that their donations go to those most in need.  Because of our history and our partners on the ground in eastern.” Europe, we can guarantee that.”

To watch the launch event, visit (www.youtube.com/transformeuropenetwork/live) ,and for further information about ‘Harvest For The Hungry’ 30th Appeal, (www.harvestforthehungry.org).

ENDS.

For further information/interview:

James Vaughton CEO:
07891 908950
james.vaughton@ten-uk.org

Revd Paul Eddy (PR):
07923 653781
paul@pauleddy.uk

Picture Note:
Pictures of James’ visit to Romania, meeting Ukrainian refugees, etc. can be obtained from www.ten-uk.org/press

Editor’s Notes:

TEN began in the 1960s under the name of ‘Eurovangelism’, as a ‘heart cry’ response to the desperate plight of Christians suffering under communism in Eastern Europe.

David Foster, a travelling journalist, artist and evangelical Christian, started writing articles about the amazing believers he came across, and the various trials they faced in living out their faith.  Support came flooding in, both financial and prayerful. Eurovangelism was born to support beleaguered European Christian communities. It was a ground-breaking approach of assistance to the indigenous church-planting movement, as opposed to the traditional model of sending missionaries abroad.

In 2017, Transform Europe Network (TEN) replaced Eurovangelism as the operating name to represent the holistic, European-wide and cross-denominational Christian network it had become. Today, TEN, based in Bristol, works through 60 Partner Churches across 10 Eastern Europe countries.  In the year 2020/21 we made grants totalling £569,340.

For further information concerning our work, and financial accounts, visit www.ten-uk.org

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