Some days ago nearly 20 young beneficiaries of Caritas Ternopil tested their agility, gumption and creativity in sporting and entertaining quest within “Mobile work with youth” project. The main idea voiced by organizers was to bear in mind that victory can be achieved not only by one participant, but also by efforts of the whole team. That’s why tasks were created in such a manner that they can develop feeling of cohesion, solidarity and brotherhood. Upon completion all teams got decent prizes.
And near the fire every participant could tell about own impressions or give feedback on quest. Children emotionally shared their feeling of satisfaction and actively suggested own ideas to enhance such games.
Ternopil Caritas has a significant experience in organization of quests for children and youth. Practical activity shows that it is not difficult for teenagers to fulfill the task, but it is a challenge to find a common ground. There are some personalized problems that become obstacles and conflicts emerge from the desire to play a leading role. Therefore, the aim of such events to teach kids, teenagers and youth respect opinion and attitudes of others, restrain aggressive manifestations of behavior, find understanding between each other and perceive situation of defeat adequately.
Caritas defined work with disadvantaged children as a separate field of activity in 1999. Afterwards, mobile work with children and youth on the streets was initiated.
Nataliya Kotsyuba, local coordinator on work with children and youth, points out: “With such service we managed to find kids and youth who stay on streets due to certain reasons. We put in contact with them, found out the reason of their life on streets, provided primary medical aid. Since 2010 a special fixed social center has been operating, it has a team of specialists consisting of a project manager, a psychologist, a social teacher and a social worker. Besides direct work with children, we strengthen cooperation with their parents and coordination with other structures related to problems of disadvantaged kids and youth.”
Nowadays local Caritas provides high quality and complex help to total number of 91 needful families and over 200 children and youth. They benefit from medical, psychological, informational and legal assistance and protection. Apart from securing of their basic needs, great attention is paid to spiritual, creative and psycho-social development. And since last year there are new categories of needful persons, therefore, Caritas put all possible means and efforts in work with IDPs, children of people who became victims or were killed during EuroMaidan events and conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Caritas Ukraine conducts work with children and youth in 12 oblasts of the country on the basis of its regional organizations. It plays a critical part in decrease of a number of street children and impacts their social inclusion. According to experts’ data, there are nearly 100 thousand orphans and children left without parental care in Ukraine, approximately 60% of them are in residential care facilities. Almost 90% of kids-orphans can be considered as social ones, because they have or had parents at the moment of receiving an orphan status. Moreover, over 100 thousand Ukrainian children are brought up in disadvantaged families. 30% of families with children in Ukraine live below a poverty line. These days about 100 thousand kids live and work on streets.