Current Projects

Haitian Batik Project

Lesotho Scholarships

Student Exchange

Haiti Goat Project

Miami Valley Episcopal
Russian Network


Laptops to Lesotho

Afghan Womens Education Project

Want to Get Involved?

"We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away." -Franklin D. Roosevelt



For more than two decades FIPE has facilitated visits between physicians, surgeons & other medical professionals in Russia and the US. Our first major undertaking in 1991 – at the end of the Soviet Union era – was to place six surgeons from Moscow’s National Research Centre for Surgery in medical school rotations for observation and collaboration with their American counterparts. Russian physicians were hosted by Duke University Medical School, Medical College of Virginia, The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical School. Housing for the doctors’ month-long visit was provided by local Episcopal Church parishioners, and the doctors were given a modest stipend by the churches.

        » Since 1995 FIPE has arranged exchanges for more than 100 medical professionals
              between Russia and the US, including American physicians traveling to Russia.

        » We’ve also facilitated the purchase and shipment of equipment, medicines and surgical
              supplies to hospitals in Russia – these being gifts from various American organizations.

        » FIPE Director Donna Hopkins, at her expense, donated physical therapy supplies
              and has brought physicians to the US and escorted American teams of physical
              therapists to the former Soviet Union.

        » American radiologist Dr. George Neifeh, at his expense, took a technician and a modern
              Polaroid ultrasound machine to a former Soviet children’s hospital. They conducted
              nearly 200 examinations, taught the local hospital staff to use the new equipment,
              and left it with them as a gift of Samaritan Health Services of Phoenix

        » Dr. David Cherney, a specialist in health care delivery systems made 3 trips at his expense
             to study the problems of getting needed services to grassroots communities in Russia.

On occasion FIPE has arranged for Russian patients to receive medical treatment in the US at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale.

Parish Partnerships

The Russian Orthodox Church has been the “guardian of the soul of Russia” for 1000 years. It is still the spiritual lighthouse which guides the lives of millions of people. Josef Stalin’s Communism drove religion underground, but brutality and oppression only served to strengthen and deepen individual faith. When the church emerged from legal limbo it had thousands of magnificent buildings in varying degrees of decay, a small number of mostly older clergy, and people flocking to church services in droves.

In 1993 in response to an appeal from Patriarch Alexeii II to the American Episcopal Church for help with restoring and revitalizing their life and ministry, FIPE initiated the Parish Partnership Project (PPP), seeking to accomplish our purpose of creating mutual understanding and goodwill by forging active links between Episcopal congregations in America and Russian Orthodox congregations in Russia. With the strong support of the leaders of the Russian Orthodox and Episcopal churches we have brokered 9 such Parish Partnerships involving 20 American congregations.

The PPP was designed to do in church relationships what FIPE does in other projects: bring people together to build personal relationships and create mutual understanding and support. In no way do we initiate new religious activities or influence the traditions, theology, or organization of either. We conduct no religious worship services, although clergy & lay persons of both churches do participate, by invitation, in the worship services of their Partner Parishes.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, NC is linked with St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) Russia. Stalinists turned St. Sophia’s into the town dump and burned garbage in the magnificent 18th century building commissioned by Catherine the Great. The St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Foundation has provided nearly $100,000 for restoration of the ruined Russian cathedral, and funding for medical needs of one remarkable young parishioner.

MVERN: The Miami Valley Episcopal Russian Network of Southern Ohio is a consortium of twelve Episcopal churches stretching from Middletown to Piqua, Ohio. Sponsored by FIPE in 1997, their purpose is to foster a personal and spiritual partnership between the Ohio parishes and St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Sablino, Russia.

Since its inception in 1997, more than 300 Americans, including 90 youth, have traveled to Sablino with MVERN. American travelers to Russia take medical & school supplies and Christmas gifts for distribution at St. Nicholas, a local orphanage, a school for developmentally disabled children, a women’s prison, and a regional hospital.

The Sablino Youth Center was established in 2004 by Father Nikolai Aksenov, the long-standing Rector of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Sablino. With significant financial help from MVERN and FIPE, its decrepit Sunday School building has been transformed into a spacious, welcoming center for the community.

Women's Prison

The chapel in the center of the grounds of the Women’s Prison #202/2 in the Tosno Region of northwest Russia is the only chapel building in any Russian prison, and is the direct result of the remarkable leadership of Fr. Nikolay Askyanov. Materials to build the chapel were provided by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, MVERN and FIPE. The labor was provided by prison inmates. FIPE and MVERN have donated medical supplies, computers and sewing machines to the prison and FIPE arranged to provide specialists in gynecology to provide examinations to prison inmates.

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