23.04.2015, Lviv region
On 22th of April six volunteers from France, Bugrundy region, came to Drohobych in Ukraine. Their visit was aimed at the assistance to “Our house” (“Nasha Hata”) community of homeless people located not far from Drohobych in Ryhtychi village, they are beneficiaries of local Caritas. French colleagues are members and volunteers of “Emmaus” volunteer movement.
“Our house” mutual aid community is the only asylum for homeless people in Drohobych region. It takes care of homeless and lonely people who lost their relatives and places of dwelling due to various reasons. These people not only live here, but they are involved in different agricultural activities: they work on the field, plant vegetables, look after cattle, etc.
While staying in “Our house” community six French volunteers try to assist in development and improvement of the community, work together with homeless people, share their meal with them, communicate and give useful pieces of advice how to apply European standards when creating of such asylums.
International Emmaus movement was found in 1949 in France. Farther Pierre who was also a deputy bought a house near Paris and created the first Emmaus Community; people who found themselves on the margins of society due to different reasons were its first members. Name “Emmaus” came from the name of town in Palestine where despair turned into hope. It symbolizes common belief that only love can unite us and lead forward, own salvation can be possible though saving the neighbor. Then, communities were founded not only in France, but in Europe, where people live and work together in order to help others. At the same time groups of friends and volunteers emerged to continue work in state and private sectors.
“It is my first time in Ukraine and notably in your town. It is really nice and enjoyably here, despite the conflict that your country faces. You have rich culture and nature, your people are generous and sincere, – and that impressed us greatly.
Speaking about “Our house”, I can say that there is a good background for further development and it is important to preserve it, continue improving work of the community and enhancing the whole idea, in particular,” one of French volunteers Claimant Remonde is convinced.
Recently the Right Reverend Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop in France, Benelux and Switzerland, visited Caritas community near Drohobych due to his working trip and Synod of the UGCC. He recognized French colleagues at once, amicably and kindly communicated with them.
“Experience brought from Burgundy by our French colleagues is really important for us and our team. We believe that this will help us to develop and become better, move forward more dynamically,” says Vasyl Golod, head of “Our house” mutual aid community.