Caritas Slovakia rich history of helping those most in need began on the initiative of Slovak Christians in 1927 when they undertook the task of providing material, healthcare, and cultural-educational support to the poorest of the poor. In 1950, Caritas Slovakia’s mission was halted by the state as they were only allowed to operate charitable hospices for elderly and ill priests and nuns after converts and religious houses were closed down. It wasn’t until after the fall of communism in 1989, Caritas Slovakia was able to resume its original mission and today they provide charitable, social, healthcare and educational services to the poor and marginalized.
With diocesan branches all across Slovakia their programmes assist abandon children and young people, families in need, provide shelters for the homeless, social integration for migrants and refugees, care for children and single mothers, hospice for the elderly and humanitarian aid in the event of natural disasters and conflict.
Central to Caritas Slovakia’s work is social activities within Slovakia, but apart from this engagement Caritas Slovakia carries out humanitarian projects and child sponsorship programmes abroad. They partner with other organisations on humanitarian and development projects to provide food, clothing, water and shelter following natural disasters, such as floods, and support refugees in Africa, Asia and Europe.
Caritas Slovakia initiate campaigns and programmes that focus on the elderly and the ill as seniors constitute the largest group of beneficiaries of their charitable services, more than 5,000 seniors every year. Hospices have been established throughout Slovakia to provide medical, psychological and spiritual support to the elderly and terminally ill. The hospice team consists of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors, and volunteers to provide medical supplies and equipment, home health aide services, social work services and spiritual support and counseling.
In 2012, they launched an educational campaign called “Active Ageing and Opportunities to Elderly People” to emphasize the variety of ways to cope with ageing and improve the quality of life for suffering elderly people.
Finally, for 17 years Caritas Slovakia runs ‘Adoption from a Far’ which enables Slovakians to support underprivileged children in India, Albania, Haiti and Vietnam. Since 2013, Caritas Slovakia has supported children from Uganda and Kazakhstan.
The Caritas Slovakia Secretariat is located in Bratislava and has 1,200 staff and more than 2,000 volunteers, who together care for and help 60,000 people in need. Their organisational structure consists of 10 diocesan and archdiocesan charities. Caritas Slovakia legal representative is the General Secretary who is responsible managing the activities of the Caritas Slovakia Secretariat and the charitable hospices.
Caritas Slovakia is a member of the Caritas Internationalis confederation and Caritas Europe and often collaborates with Caritas members to provide emergency aid and support to countries all around the world, such as a developmental project with Caritas Slovenia.
Bishop Stefan Secka
SK-814 15 Bratislava