Bright paints, melting candles and the smell of beeswax makes the clients and staff of Caritas Odesa think of Easter.
“Preparing for Easter means writing pysanky with beeswax and styluses. In Odesa they don’t make pysanky in this traditional way, and for this reason it is impossible to buy the styluses. However, everyone is fascinated at the possibility to make a pysanka with their own hands!
During the Pysanka workshop, children and their guardians excitedly tried their hand at writing on fresh eggs with beeswax. Each child created a pysanka which reflected their spirit and imagination, so all the pysanky came out very different from one another.
We are trying to make a traditional and more Christian holiday natural for children. We try to achieve this by gathering and teaching them that this is a part of their lives,” explains Svitlana Kolodchyn, Project Coordinator for Caritas Odesa.
Caritas Odesa UGCC opened in August 2005. The majority of their activity focuses on medical care and psycho-social support for people living with HIV/AIDS, their friends and loved ones, home care for the disabled and isolated elderly, running an informational consultation centre for those who care for an elderly person in their homes, warning of human trafficking and labour exploitation, re-integration help for victims of human trafficking, and organizing countless charitable events and activities for children and young people.
For several years in a row they have been holding a Pysanky writing workshop before Easter at the Odesa Caritas. This year there were a record breaking number of children and adults in attendance. Interest and respect for Ukrainian and Christian traditions is increasing in Odesa.