The Grand Bailiwick of the Czech Republic is actively taking part in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Under these circumstances, the following charitable activities are being undertaken through its members and members of merit:

On the 15th of March H. E. The Chev. Ing. Ondřej M. Farka KCLJ, Grand Bailiff announced the establishment of a charity collection to support the fight against the pandemic COVID 19. At the end of March the collected sum numbered approx. 2 200,- USD. The Order has used the resources for the acquisition of medical equipment which has been distributed to hospitals, hospices, etc.

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A state of emergency has been in force for more than two months in Finland, but restrictive measures  are gradually being relaxed.  

About half of the members of the Grand Priory are over 70 years of age, so it has been a priority in Commanderies and Delegations to ensure that their safety nets are in order and to provide assistance if necessary. An important thing for the elderly and lonely  members has been emotional and spiritual nearness and encouragement as well as the opportunity to talk to someone. They have been grateful for these opportunities  – we need each other and personal contacts are important to everyone.

Members have also been in contact with war veterans, and the national Prelate sent a message to all our members in early May.

Sadly, one member of the Grand Priory has died  as a result of coronavirus.

In common with others around the world, the members of the Grand Priory of England & Wales have been active in a variety of ways during the current lockdown. Commandery chaplains have arranged on line liturgies; members have acted as NHS Responders; housebound members have offered their services as administrators for local charities; almoners have spoken by phone or Skype to members confined at home during the lockdown. In many areas, links with local hospices and other charities for those affected in one way or another by the wider impact of the pandemic have been strengthened in response to local needs.

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We are encouraged to note that despite the Grand Priory of Zimbabwe being woefully short of members through a significant number who were not being able to return to the country after an international lockdown, the remaining few have managed to hold ‘social distanced’ prayer meetings and also to distribute food parcels to elderly folk.

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In line with our centuries-old mandate as Hospitallers, the Western Cape Commandery has allocated significant funding and had a direct hands-on involvement (insofar as legislation allows) to provide desperately-needed humanitarian aid in the form of protective masks and food parcels to people made vulnerable to the pandemic or its devastating backlash on already impoverished communities.

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