Recently the event called ‘Role games’ has been organized in Caritas Khmelnytsky. It was held in the framework of trainings dedicated to development of readiness of street children and youth for family lifestyle. 10 participants from street youth were present at the event; three of them haven’t faced Caritas work before.
For over 15 years street children and youth have become characteristic for Ukrainian cities. Children find themselves on the streets to earn their living; to run from violence and maltreatment, unfavorable housing facilities, family conflicts; because of absence of parents’ control, lack of love, attention and communication. It can’t be argued that other significant reasons for this phenomenon are immiseration of people, decay of moral and society values, alcohol and drug addiction. Moreover, absence of the effective system of social follow-up and assistance to family with children are also problems that evoke such situation.
“Interests, belief system and needs of youth who live on the streets, at railway stations, at heat pipelines, in abandoned warehouses or buildings are radically different from ours. These children are predominantly more grown-up than mature independent individuals who were brought up in adequate conditions. It seems that they are living 2 or 3 lives at the same time, dealing with overwhelming challenges and difficulties. In Caritas we are not tend to idealize people who lead street lifestyle, but they all need credit of trust from society in order to change,” said Dmytro Lysyi, local manager of the project ‘Mobile work with children and youth in Ukraine’.
Before this event was organized, Caritas Khmelnytsky carried a study on training crisis youth for family life. It was previously declared that children and youth who were brought up in children’s houses, orphanages, on the streets, by addicted parents, and who spend much of their time outside homes have no understanding about family life. Although in the questionnaires about the future all children from disadvantaged families write about their dream to have a big family.
In the framework of the event youngsters joined the exercise called ‘Family sculpture’ where artists created living pictures of an ideal family. Nearly all participants longed to become artists and tried to design their own picture of family with 3-4 members (father, mother, children closely standing to one another), expressed their emotions, emphasized an important role of father in the family.
Caritas Khmelnytsky has been working with crisis youth and children for almost 10 years. Moreover, it has fruitful cooperation with authorities and other civic organizations in order to optimize the results of such social work. This work seized hundreds of crisis children and youth. It includes the support of families in need of material and social assistance, promotion of healthy lifestyle, raising the professional qualification of employees of Crisis social centers etc.