Caritas Kyiv organized “Potatos Day” in social flat for girls and young mothers with small children that found themselves in complicated living circumstances


11.11.13, Kyiv
Caritas Kyiv has friendly relations with social flat that operates in Kyiv, in Solomyianskyi district. Such establishment is foreseen for temporary dwelling of pregnant girls and women with small children, who are in complicated living circumstances that pose real danger of surrender of child or deprivation of parental rights.

Since 1992 Caritas Kyiv has been taking care of children and youth, and has come over various stages of such social work. Firstly, there were activities directly at streets by looking for homeless children in places of their temporary dwelling: in garages, basements, warehouses and old houses. Afterwards, Caritas began highly qualified work in social center, establishing close collaboration with other relevant services, organizations and foreign partners.

The social flat was created in Kyiv to prevent early social orphanhood with help of International Charitable Fund “Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health” (UFPH) in cooperation with representative office of an international organization “HealthRight International” and Kyiv city centre on social services for family, children and youth with financial support of “Development of Ukraine” Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation and “AntiAIDS” Olena Pinchuk foundation.

Fr. Roman Syrotych, Director of Caritas Kyiv, retells: “We have established fruitful collaboration with a social flat “HealthRight”. We do our best to help: with food supplies, baby food, diapers, even volunteers and with anything possible. Our client with a newborn child stays there: we visited all dwellers and brought potatoes storage – that’s how a potato holiday appeared!” (smiling).   

“Potatoes Day” was held in social flat owing to Caritas Kyiv that provided potatoes. Young mothers cooked dumplings with potatoes, stewed potatoes with vegetables and mushrooms, baked potatoes with mushrooms and cheese.

There two objectives of social flat in Kyiv stated by its initiators: securing access of girls and young mothers in complicated life conditions to temporary dwelling, virtually important social, medical and legal services in Kyiv; and working out model of social flat functioning for girls and young mothers in difficult living circumstances and institutionalization of this model in Kyiv and on national level.

Such flat is foreseen for 6 clients with kids. The following categories of people can be enrolled in the social flat:


  • Young mothers with small children from the moment of child’s birth for 24 months, women on fifth-ninth months of pregnancy.
  • Girls-minors, other young individuals who are orphans or left without parental care.
  • Mothers at risk to refuse from a newborn kid in maternity ward or other health care establishment.
  • Mothers without a safe place of dwelling to return with child after maternity hospital, including mothers who faced violence.
  • HIV-positive women have a high priority in being enrolled to social flat.
  • In some cases one child, aged to 5 years, can live together with the mother.


A wide range of services are secured by a multidisciplinary team of social flat specialists: legal, social and psychological assistance aimed at combating complicated living conditions in individual and group forms of work; medical care of a child by district doctors-pediatricians according to the standard procedure (by address of a social flat); diagnostics and medical treatment of a pregnant woman, mother in relevant medical facilities; putting children in a queue to a pre-school establishment due to a possible address of mother’s dwelling place in future.

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