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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EquiLibre Reaching Out to Poor, Elderly

Third in a series of five articles focusing on Moscow-area charitable organizations that will benefit from the 1992 Moscow Tomes Holiday Drive.

As Christmas is the time of giving for many in the foreign community, the newspaper is seeking help from area businesses and individuals for the benefit of The Anglo-Russian School for Deaf Children, the Protestant Chap-lamber the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, United Way and today's profiled groups EquiLibre.

By Carey Scott

The Moscow Times

As the winter fastens its grip on Moscow and food prices continue to rise, the elderly and the poor are finding it harder and harder just to feed themselves.

The French charity organization EquiLibre has, however, made significant progress against the odds since it set up shop in Moscow in January 1991. It is now operating 50 soup kitchens in the capital, where it serves 13, 000 hot meals every day. Funding for the program comes from the European Community, and the organization is staffed by 10 expatriates and 100 Russians.

Most of the people EquiLibre caters to in the kitchens are elderly pensioners, who would otherwise be facing at least severe nutritional deficiencies, if not actual starvation -- as are the Russian volunteers who help run the canteens. According to Charlotte Adrian, coordinator of the Moscow office, the volunteers were originally meant to be students, but old people rapidly became the majority.

EquiLibre is also planning to build a home for the elderly and a medical center for abused children.

In December, EquiLibre will take on an even bigger project when it inherits responsibility for Moscow-area refugee camps, presently under the care of the Protestant Chaplaincy, another Holiday Drive beneficiary.

If you or your business would like to contribute to The Moscow Times Holiday Drive, please phone Masha Chursina or Gary Stewart at 941-8952/58/59 by Dec. 10. A twice-weekly recap of funds raised to date and donors list will appear in Monday and Thursday editions through December.