Caritas Ukraine

Caritas Ukraine is a humanitarian aid - developmental N.G.O. agency of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Roman Church in Ukraine.

The National Office of Caritas Ukraine is located in Lviv. There are twelve diocesan or regional Caritas Centers in Ukraine that organize charitable works in their respective areas.

Caritas was established in Ukraine in 1991. We are still a very young organization. In order to train Caritas workers and volunteers Caritas Ukraine in conjunction with its partner Caritas agencies in the West have held training seminars on various topics relating to working with the poor. Recently Caritas Australia sponsored a seminar conducted by Caritas India in Ukraine for Caritas Ukraine employees to begin to organize developmental programs in Ukraine based on the animation philosophy which has been so successful in India and Bangladesh. Some of the programs that our Caritas organizations are involved in include soup kitchens for the poor.

Alcoholism and drug addiction is a great problem in Ukraine. We have two centers in Ukraine, which are sponsored by Caritas to help people who have had their lives robbed by this disease. Caritas Ukraine is also involved in the development of a special twelve part television program on the disease of alcoholism, which will be aired on National Television and copies of the video cassettes made available to our Caritas organizations, schools, medical institutions and other organizations.

The Chernobyl Nuclear disaster has caused the increase of cancer in children. This requires specialized and often costly care. Thanks to the generosity of many western benefactors hospitals and clinics specializing in medical care for victims of the Chernobyl now are established in Ukraine. This is devastating situation will be part of Ukraine for decades to come. Caritas Ukraine with the assistance of Secours Catholique, Caritas Austria and Caritas Germany has been providing summer youth camps both in Ukraine and abroad for children who have been affected by the radiation fall-out from the nuclear accident and other related man-made catastrophes in Ukraine.

Caritas Ukraine is participating in a special programs for providing vaccines and medicines to Ukraine in partnership with the American Catholic Medical Mission Board. These vaccines and medicines are urgently required in Ukraine. Catholic Relief Services, Caritas in the USA has assisted Caritas Ukraine in prioritizing our goals and in working toward unity in our work with the poor.

Often the physically and mentally challenged are among the ones most forgotten in a totalitarian society which discounts the value of the weaker members of society. Programs and care and educational facilities for the physically and mentally handicapped in the former Soviet Union did not begin to answer the needs of this element of society. Several years ago a group of people from the west and from Ukraine came together with a vision to build something new in Ukrainian society which would offer help to families who had previously shut their physically or mentally challenged children into closed rooms ashamed of them and with out help from the government or society. This organization, known as Nadia or Faith develop the "Dzerhalow" or Spring association. They are a partner organization of Caritas Ukraine. Here the children are provided an warm and kind environment to learn in and to play in and to receive physical and speech therapy. Family members are encouraged to participate in the support group called "Faith and Light" which cuts through all religious and ethnic boundaries.

Animation projects like this one are essential to change in society. They assist individuals in personal growth and also change society through non-violent educational and developmental means. Caritas Australia is assisting Caritas Ukraine in the further development of programs based on the philosophy of animation. While it is recognized that strictly welfare oriented programs will still be part of the overall programming of Caritas Ukraine programs dedicated to societal development will become a priority.

Although outside influences, including ongoing events associated with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, will inevitably play an important role in the country's future, the ultimate fate of Ukraine lies in the determination, hard work and perseverance of its people.

Your prayers, support and encouragement for the work of Caritas Ukraine will be greatly welcomed. For further information on ways of helping please contact Caritas Ukraine.

Contact information:

Email: ken@ugkc.lviv.ua
Fax: 380322 720007,
Mailing address:
Caritas Ukraine
Pl. Sv. Jura 5
290000 Lviv, Ukraine