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At the end of the 1980s there was a revival of charitable activities in the Republic of Moldova. The financial resources of those organizations were far from able to satisfy the requirements of people needing them. The main, if not the only sponsor for that time, was the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (Joint) – a non-profit and apolitical organization.
At the beginning of ‘90s, the economic situation in Moldova, as in a number of the Commonwealth of Independent States, became critical. That was caused by the collapse of Soviet Union and the economic crisis which followed. The number of people in need of basic help climbed with horrifying speed. In 1991, Joint restored its mission on the territory of Moldova, which had been interrupted in 1940.
At first, the help of Joint mainly appeared in the form of humanitarian aid. The parcels, containing foodstuffs, clothes, medicines and medical supplies, were sent to those who were in need. In 1992, a campaign of supporting refugees from the zone of military operations in Transdniestria was started.
Charitable actions became more and more multifaceted. In October 1995 Kishinev’s Hesed Yehuda opened its doors. In 1996, Hesed Yehuda became officially certified as a legal entity.
The possibility to address Joint, and via Joint the Claims Conference finally became apparent. The Joint Department that works for FSU countries undertook the whole necessary coordination. In such a way, the financing went completely through Joint, which got its financial resources from Claims Conference. This composed the main part of the Hesed budget.
In 2005 Hesed founded an alliance with other charitable organizations in Moldova. At the same time, there appeared a possibility to receive a sponsorship aid from Holland, USA and Great Britain. It was moderate help, but these resources were necessary for opening and developing support for the programs.
In 2006 Hesed introduced system of partial payment for the programs. And even if the sums paid by the clients seem symbolic it has a significant meaning from both psychological and financial points of view.
At the beginning, everything was supported almost purely by the enthusiasts. Some people knew about Hesed, but only by word of mouth. But with the advent of help of Joint, the awareness of the local Jews grew vastly. Even now many people are volunteers of Hesed.
The majority of the wide range of programs offered by Hesed helps people to survive.
Still, in 2001 Mr. Henry Posner III apportioned cash facilities for the Day Centers and for their transport. Day Centers and Warm Home programs rescue old people from the biggest evil of old age – loneliness and the lack of communication.
There are some programs of vital necessity – for instance, home care, as many of clients are immobile and cannot take care of themselves. Loaning rehabilitation equipment and giving out medicine and food parcels – all these programs represent vital elements of life-support. Those clients of Hesed who live at the periphery receive the full assortment of services owing to a program Mobile Hesed.
Today, Hesed Yehuda assists over 2,000 needy, old and sick people to survive.
Without any exaggerations, we can say that for many clients Hesed kept life going.