“Between 70 and 100 children in crisis come to the Khmel’nyts’kyy Caritas every year, so the city doesn’t have a problem with street children. Currently we are working with multi-child families, disadvantaged children, children in one parent families, and families of labour migrants so that in the future, their children don’t end up in the streets.
We invite entrepreneurs, who can make donations of food, to work with us because we run a soup kitchen,” explains Fr. Ivan Dankevych, Director of the Khmel’nyts’kyy Caritas in an interview with a correspondent from the local Ye newspaper when they were discussing the local Caritas’ many years of service.
Fr. Dankevych stated that the Khmel’nyts’kyy Caritas started with the Home Care project, and will celebrate their 10 year anniversary in July. The Home Care project serves disadvantaged elderly individuals.
The Khmel’nyts’kyy branch has also been working intensively with street children. “We started by gathering information in schools, medical clinics, and by asking locals where these children gathered and slept.
Then we took packages of sweets and cookies to them with notes attached,” continues Fr. Ivan. Attempts at contact continued for half a year. After six months Caritas employees, together with psychologists, pedagogues, and government officials in the area’s Children’s welfare department found a way to effectively help these children.
Caritas Khmel’nyts’kyy held the third annual Letter to St. Nicholas event in 2011. In addition to the usual toys, books and clothing, this year children also requested groceries.
“Thank God there are many good people in the world, and especially in the Khmel’nyts’kyy region. For this reason we are always able to find donors. The philanthropic foundation is an organization which doesn’t turn a profit and doesn’t manufacture anything. We distribute only things to the less fortunate which are donated by other people,” Fr. Dankevych stated at the end of the interview.