Eight volunteers from the Czech Republic came to Ukraine for 9 days to help build a farm in the village of P’yadyky (Kolomiya District, Ivano-Frankivs’k region). This is Caritas Kolomiya-Chernivtsi Eparchy’s newest project. The farm will help socialize and rehabilitate special needs individuals and seriously ill children. The Czech volunteers were led by Fr. Yozef Rozenberg.
“We’re very happy to do this work. We’re helping Caritas do a good deed. Moreover, it helps us learn how to help those who are less fortunate than we are.
This is my third time in Ukraine: I first came in 1997 to helped out after the flooding in Zakarpattiya; two years ago I worked in Lopatyn renovating a building to serve disadvantaged individuals, and now I came to you,” explains Marek, one of the volunteers.
Serhiy Tryf’yak, Director of the local Caritas is thrilled with these energetic workers and is extremely grateful to all of them: “when I tell our partners and my personal friends that you came to volunteer for us, everyone thinks it’s very strange. For Europeans, however, volunteering is a very important part of life. Even if people are having trouble they often volunteer instead of going on a recreational vacation or staying home to relax.”
It is interesting that of 8 volunteers, 4 were female. They worked side by side with the males. Ukrainian “ladies” claim they cannot do hard physical labour, but the Czech women assure us that the desire to help makes hard labour enjoyable. They didn’t divide work differently between the sexes.
Magdalena Navratilova is one of the volunteers. She doesn’t complain about the hard work and she doesn’t wear make-up. She explains that she didn’t come here to flaunt herself but to do a good deed. She’s convinced that individuals get more enjoyment from such volunteering vacations than from the traditional recreational vacations!