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Home Global Activities Europe In Poland, Tzu Chi Opens Dumpling Club for Ukrainian Elderly (Part 2/2)

In Poland, Tzu Chi Opens Dumpling Club for Ukrainian Elderly (Part 2/2)

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While paying home visits to elderly Ukrainians in Poland, Tzu Chi volunteers found that they encountered difficulties in language and work there. To provide better care for them in Poland, the volunteers launched a charity sale of Ukrainian vegetarian dumplings. Not only can this allow them to get out of the house, but also gives a little support to their restless hearts.


Recall Childhood

Volunteers used eco-friendly bowls to distribute the fillings, and recycled plastic and cardboard as plates so that items could be reused. Each of the wrapped vegetarian dumplings was neatly arranged, and the volunteers also helped put the dumplings into the refrigerator for freezing.

Dumplings are childhood memories for many Ukrainians, and they can only be eaten at Grandma’s house. This is because making dumplings requires many steps and takes a long time, and usually their mothers are busy. So only grandmas will have time to prepare. The making of them is especially nostalgic for these refugees so far from home.

The picture of everyone making dumplings around the table is like going back to childhood. The grandmas also patiently instructed the volunteers how to make dumplings so that they would be more beautiful.

While they were making them, they talked about their families. It was very harmonious. But, because the war in Ukraine is still going on intensely, it was inevitable that they also talked about political-related topics sometimes. At that moment, the volunteers wisely led the elders in singing Ukrainian folk songs -- this immediately changed the atmosphere and made it very warm.

Like Family

The dumplings were out of the pot. The skin was chewy and irresistible, the filling was fragrant, and the sauce was even more mouth-watering. Volunteers carefully plated the vegetarian dumplings separately, and paired them with side dishes and vegetable juice to create a healthy light meal. Then they greeted the elders cordially, and invited them to come and taste the freshly cooked vegetarian dumplings together. The dumplings were fragrant and delicious. Everyone was like a family member, and reunited happily.

With a happy smile on her face, Grandma Nina enjoyed the fruits of her efforts with everyone. She escaped from Donetsk alone, while her son was still in Ukraine and could not leave. She is currently staying at a Polish home, but she dares not walk out of the room casually. She said: "I don't know if they like me or if I bother them too much. I am worried that one day they will ask me to move out."

The volunteers gave her warm hugs, and Nina said gratefully: "You are like angels. I am really happy to be here with you."


Drops of Love

For Vashli and his wife Valentina, life in Poland is not easy due to language and age. They are willing to help make vegetarian dumplings, and hope to learn more about Tzu Chi through this. The two were deeply moved by the volunteers. Before leaving, Vasili also offered to put coins into a bamboo bank, which is the original way Tzu Chi pooled everyone’s love together. He was so moved that his eyes were red – knowing that his modest contribution would help the needy.

On September 30th, the "Dumpling Club for the Elderly" officially launched its first activity. It is held every Friday and has been held five times so far. A total of 30 Ukrainian elderly people participated in the charity sale. A total of 25 kilograms were sold for charity, and each kilogram was PLN 25 (approx. US$ 5.59), a total of about US$122.

Volunteer Hanna Mankus, also a Ukrainian refugee, said: "The most important thing about selling vegetarian dumplings is not money, but the fact that the elders feel that it is very meaningful to use their own strength to help others."

So the Ukrainian elders are looking forward to the weekly gathering to make vegetarian dumplings to fulfill the spirit of "eating until eighty percent full, and using the remaining twenty percent to help others".

Love Vegetarian Dumplings has been promoted by relatives, friends and social networking sites. People come to buy them gradually. Everyone responded to the idea of helping others happily.


Article: Liu Xiu-guan, Chen Yi-lin Report from European  2022/12/05

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Jing-Si Aphorism