“Special stories of special youth” project: how Caritas wards became models


At the beginning of March, “Special stories of special youth” photography exhibition was opened in Lviv regional library for youth. The exhibition presented photographs of visitors of Recreation and social rehabilitation centre for youth with special needs at Caritas Lviv.

The project was created by wards of Caritas social centre and photographer Kateryna Ptakha, untiringly informing about autism, a mother of a special boy called Vlad. In the video message, a photo artist told that while shooting she tried to make the youth feel the warmth, happiness and their uniqueness. Photos, which are now available for everyone, show inner world of people with special needs and glowing with joy, love and peace.

The opening of the exhibition was blessed by Ihor (Vozniak), the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv. During his speech, the Archbishop emphasized the special mission of every person on the Earth. Lesia Kornat from the Department of Culture, Nationalities and Religions of Lviv Regional State Administration came to support the positive project. Olga Momot, Deputy Director of Caritasу Lviv, and Tetiana Prokopets, Head of the Library joined to make welcoming statements.

During the special event, Head of the Recreational centre Mariia Chuchman and social teacher Natalia Zahaiko presented project’s 16-year history: work therapy (necklaces making, bead embroidery, embroidery of pictures, decoration of Christmas candles and postcards), amazing leisure time (visits to an ice rink, circus, theatre), recreation in summer camps, in the mountains, near the sea and art therapy.

The event concluded with a marvellous performance of a playback theatre “All are cronies”. The artists offhand played out stories, presented by friends, parents and children with special needs. All present enjoyed a living story of Nastia, stunned by the beauty of mountains, when she visited them for the first time, a story of Yulia, who took part in the audition for a role of the Thumbelina; Nazar’s story who is inseparable with his coloured ribbons and shares his true love with all fellows; a story of Galia with a nickname Bug, who performed a role of a bug. The performance was exciting, amazing and special. Except for unforgettable emotions, guests received sweet presents, prepared by stars of “Special stories of special youth” project.

The photo exhibition of special heroes will be open for two weeks in Lviv regional library for youth at 9 Rynok square.

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