In Ivano-Frankivs’k Caritas disabled young people have started to prepare for the traditional city auction. For many months, the young people prepared crafts in their workshops to exhibit during International Day of Disabled Persons, and soon these crafts will be displayed at the city’s exhibit-auction.
“For mentally disabled clients of Caritas the International Day of Disabled Persons is a happy and joyous holiday. They want to play and be happy just like everyone else and on this day they feel like real stars. Caritas is a second home for its clients; they genuinely rejoice at the possibility of happily spending time with one another and showing off their talents,” explains client Khrystyna’s mother, Oksana Maydanyuk.
The children prepared far in advance for the International Day of Disabled Persons which was observed on 9 December by the Ivano-Frankivs’k UGCC Caritas. Parents of the special needs clients, together with Caritas staff organized a festive event for the children including a dessert buffet and an entertainment program which included guests from the village Bryn’, in the Halytsk’yy district.
The children prepared by making creations from cloth, paper, wood and other things, and preparing for their exciting and sincere performances.
It was worth seeing the children applaud their friends Marika Bakreva and Halya Herasymova who sang a duet about Ukraine! At the end of the celebration all Caritas’ clients sang Mnoha Lita (Many Years) for their parents and counselors.
The evening had a warm and familial atmosphere. The children sincerely rejoiced in every performance and enthusiastically supported the performers. The parents had the opportunity to speak with one another at a separate table. Common problems united them, because they, like their children like to spend time together.
“I can’t imagine how we would live without Caritas,” Ms. Oksana stated, voicing what was on the minds of many. Her daughter Khrystyna who has Down’s syndrome is 25 years old, for nine years she attended a rehabilitation school for the disabled.
“I was always worrying about her because she couldn’t get home alone from school, but Caritas taught her how to get home independently and many other important things. Khrystyna learned how to sew, look after her personal hygiene, and cook some basic meals. If she misses a single day at Caritas it’s a tragedy for her.”
Special needs young people visit Caritas’s Center for Recreation and Social Adaptation for those with Functional Limitations daily. The Center opened at the Caritas Ivano-Frankivs’k UGCC facilities in 2008.
Their day starts with a sung morning prayer, then the clients study together, work in the workshops, participate in physical education, go on various excursions or to movies or plays, and then go home at night. Today the local Caritas cares for 35 young disabled individuals, 18 of which live in geriatric facilities.