Caritas-Spes Discusses Volunteers At Seminar

04.10.2001, 15:51
Caritas-Spes, a charitable organization run by the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, held its fourth seminar from 28 to 30 September 2001 in the village of Yablunytsia in western Ukraine's Ivano-Frankivsk region. The main topic of the seminar was the place of volunteers in the structure of charity organizations. The treatment of HIV and AIDS patients was also discussed.

As reported in a summary press conference held at Kyiv’s Catholic Media Center on 1 October, the institution of voluntary service is not as well developed in Ukraine as it is in the West. A simple economic reason was mentioned: it is difficult to encourage people to do not-for-profit charity work if they themselves can hardly make both ends meet. But Caritas representatives testify that these are exactly the people who, as a rule, become the most active volunteers. The seminar also considered the problem of the social adaptation of HIV- and AIDS-infected patients. A main area of Caritas’ activity is moral support of the victims, so that these people do not feel that they are outside of the community. Numerous employees of Caritas-Spes (Latin for “Charity-Hope”), which has 27 centers in Ukraine, attended the seminar. Also present were representatives of the Maltese Cross aid society from Lutsk and the eparchial bureaus of Caritas-Ukraine in Ternopil and Sokal. (The Roman Catholic “Caritas-Spes” is administered separately from Caritas-Ukraine, which is run by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.) Bishop Stanislaw Szyrokoradiuk, president of Caritas-Spes, and Fr. Antuan Zondag, director of Caritas-France, also attended the seminar. At the end of the seminar a ceremony was held to dedicate the chapel near the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Yablunytsia.(The chapel and the seminar's participants are pictured above.)