Chisinau, Moldova—UPF and affiliated organizations have taken a leading role in the care and support of Ukrainian refugees who are staying in Moldova.
UPF of Europe and the Middle East held a weekly interfaith prayer for peace from March 17 to April 21, 2022, together with Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP). Hundreds of participants from all over Europe and the Middle East took part in this online event, in which prominent religious leaders offered prayers and words of wisdom.
Shortly after Ukrainian families started arriving in Moldova, the Moldovan chapters of UPF and affiliated organizations started a distribution center in the Peace Embassy in Chisinau, the capital. Over several months they have distributed over 20 tons of food, clothing and other items, which were donated by international organizations, including the International Relief Friendship Foundation of Italy.
When Dr. Andrei Eșanu, the leader in Moldova of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), who is also a psychiatrist, began counseling refugee groups, he made the acquaintance of Meredith Wiedemer, a US citizen who also has been helping refugees in Moldova. After visiting the Chisinau Peace Embassy and seeing its distribution center, Mrs. Wiedemer was inspired to start a joint project there, together with FFWPU volunteers, to provide education and support to Ukrainian refugee children and their mothers.
The work of the Sunflower Centre has been featured in the media, including CNN International, and praised for the quality of its care for refugees. The president of Moldova, H.E. Maia Sandu, sent an official letter of gratitude to the Moldovan chapter of FFWPU, thanking them for their achievements.
On June 17, 2022, Mrs. Wiedemer was awarded a UPF Ambassador for Peace certificate for starting and leading the Sunflower Centre. Jacques Marion, the co-chair of UPF for Europe and the Middle East, and Jack Corley, the director of UPF for Eastern Europe, presented the award.
Video recordings of the seven interfaith prayers for peace can be found at: https://vimeo.com/channels/interfaithprayers