European Scout and Guide leaders gather in Romania
The Salvation Army in Romania hosted the European Scout and Guide Leaders Network last weekend in Rucăr – a picturesque mountain region 190km north-west of the capital, Bucharest.
Salvation Army representatives from 11 European nations attended the event. ‘Meet, share and learn’ was the theme for this time of teaching, practical training, and fellowship.
“I never imagined I could make a table from rope or meat from egg and oatmeal, but it turns out that everything is possible with the scouts,” said Captain Oleg Samoilenko, a Ukrainian officer serving in Poland. “It has been great to be among old and new friends from different countries and represent the Scouting Ministry of Poland.
Bulgarian Salvos help Ukrainian refugees
The Salvation Army in Bulgaria, though small, is active in supporting Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country to different areas of Bulgaria.
Staff and volunteers distribute food, clothing, blankets, vouchers and other necessities, as well as organise activities for children. The Salvation Army in Norway helps support this ministry, both with donations and the support of volunteers.
Ukrainian families were also part of the Day of Prayer for children and young people in the region of Bulgaria. Over 60 people enjoyed a day of fellowship, prayer, games and food.
There are more than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria. Hundreds of thousands of others have travelled through Bulgaria to reach other countries.
Salvos assist first responders fighting wildfires
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) has mobilised to provide food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and residents who were displaced or directly impacted by wildfires in the province of Alberta, Canada.
A series of devastating wildfires struck the province last month, leaving behind a trail of destruction and ravaged communities.
“Our mobile canteens have been a familiar site on the front lines since 9 May,” says Major Ben Lippers, divisional EDS director for Alberta and Northern Territories. "For some, we are the only source of food. Our assistance takes worry away."
Included in the EDS personnel are some who The Salvation Army has supported through their substance use recovery program in Edmonton.
“During our 18 months rehabilitation program we teach about nutrition, food handling and safety, and how to cook. Now people who have learned to take better care of themselves are sharing their skills in northern Alberta. Now that’s success.”
As Alberta continues to rebuild in the aftermath of the fires, The Salvation Army remains committed to serving those in need.
“Helping people during times of hardship is what the Army is all about,” says Major Lippers.
Baby Box partnership formed in Solomon Islands
The Salvation Army was grateful to receive an invitation from Archbishop Chris Cardone, archbishop and metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Honiara, to attend the launch of the Catholic Church Baby Box. The Salvation Army Home League and Junior Miss programs will be taking an active part in supporting this ministry.
“Access to this Baby Box in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, is a last resort for women to leave their unwanted baby anonymously and safely, when there are no other options,” explained Australian officer, Major Robert Evans, District Officer for the Solomon Islands.
“There has been a sad increase in babies being dumped in rivers, at beaches and the rubbish tip in Honiara. Unplanned pregnancies are a cultural taboo, and there is a severe lack of community and government support for these young mums.”
The Sisters who are responsible for the Baby Box will take care of the infants until a suitable family can be found to adopt the child. The Baby Box received its first child on 25 February, long before its official launch, highlighting the need for this service.
Other churches have a role to play in supporting this ministry by donating baby supplies, educating girls AND boys, and breaking cultural taboos by finding better ways of supporting women during an unplanned pregnancy.
Representatives from the Catholic Church, Anglican Church of Melanesia, The Salvation Army, Pacific Churches Council, and a nurse and administrator from the National Referral Hospital attended the launch.
The Solomon Islands are part of the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Territory.