Empowering Ukraine’s Older People With a Grant From Operation USA

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2024 — When you think of older individuals in need, hygiene kits may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, being able to practice personal hygiene is essential to human dignity and good health. During war and crises, it can be difficult to access these essential supplies. Thankfully, with the support of Operation USA, HelpAge embarked on a mission to enhance the well-being of older people and older people with disabilities in Ukraine, a demographic often overlooked in humanitarian aid efforts.

HelpAge was able to utilize $50,000 from Operation USA to provide nearly 1,000 older Ukrainians with hygiene kits consisting of items like soap, wet wipes, and toilet paper, as well as adult diapers and bed pads—items that can be essential to older people but are often not considered in general humanitarian support. HelpAge collaborated closely with local Ukrainian partner organizations across Ukraine to reach older people in their communities.

The project, spanning from October 2023 to January 2024, supported HelpAge’s ongoing humanitarian response in the region and allowed us to focus on older people’s full range of needs.

According to a post-distribution monitoring survey conducted by HelpAge International, an overwhelming 88% of the older people who received the hygiene kits were satisfied with the items provided—a testament to the project’s success in meeting immediate needs.

“The partnership between HelpAge and Operation USA exemplifies the power of collective action in making a tangible difference in the lives of older people in Ukraine who are displaced, isolated, or alone,” said Cindy Cox-Roman, president and CEO of HelpAge USA. “Through innovative approaches and the generosity of Operation USA, this initiative has provided essential support and restored a sense of dignity and hope to those who need it most. Together, we can uplift and empower Ukraine’s older population, ensuring that no one is left behind in times of adversity.”

HelpAge continues to support older people across Ukraine, including those who are displaced and those who remain in their home communities, through the provision of food, medicine, shelter, mental health counseling, warm blankets, home-based care, community safe spaces, research and advocacy, and more.

For further inquiries or to support our ongoing efforts, please contact Alex Garvey, HelpAge USA Communications Manager, at agarvey@helpageusa.org or 202-709-8442.

About HelpAge USA:
HelpAge USA is a nonprofit that advances the rights, well-being, and inclusion of older people in the U.S. and around the world. As part of the HelpAge Global Network, HelpAge USA works to ensure that the contributions of all older people are recognized and they have the right to a healthy, safe, and secure life. Visit us at helpageusa.org.

About Operation USA:
Operation USA is a Los Angeles-based international disaster relief and development agency helping communities at home and abroad overcome the effects of disasters, disease, violence, and endemic poverty. Since 1979, Operation USA has worked in 101 countries—delivering over $450 million in aid for relief and development projects around the world. Learn more at opusa.org.

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