Caritas Europa has 2 member organisations in Ukraine; Caritas Ukraine and Caritas-Spes Ukraine.
After Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the Greek-Catholic communities started the first Caritas organisations in Ukraine. Initially the work of the regional offices of Caritas in Ukraine focused on securing and distributing humanitarian aid to disadvantaged people.. Eventually, with time, the different needs of the communities encouraged Caritas in Ukraine to broaden the scope of its work. This led to the creation of the international charitable foundation Caritas Ukraine. In 1994 an Executive and Coordinating Centre was established in Lviv and a representative office was opened in Kyiv.
In 1999 Caritas Ukraine became a full-fledged member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Europa. The organisation adheres to the common mission of their activities and implements jointly coordinated national programs on providing social assistance to those in most need.
Today Caritas Ukraine consists of almost 20 organisations in eight regions of Ukraine. Nearly 1000 employees and volunteers are involved in our projects. In recent years the annual budget of Caritas Ukraine has amounted to € 1 million. 94-97% of this money comes from foreign donors.
For nearly 20 years Caritas Ukraine has focused on four main areas:
- Assistance to children, youth and families
- Health care
- Social problems of migration
- Assistance in crisis situations
Thanks to the considerable experience existing within Caritas Ukraine and its wide network of regional offices, Caritas Ukraine covers the needs of several thousands of people across the country. Providing material and social aid, psychological support; counseling about and protection of their rights; assisting in reintegration processes. Through this work, Caritas Ukraine contributes to providing vital social and economic changes in modern Ukraine, including the development of civil society in the country. On the global level we contribute to Caritas' worldwide mission of combating poverty.
Mr. Andrij Waskowycz
Ms. Dzvenyslava Chajkivska
Representative Office of ICF" Caritas Ukraine" in Kyiv
vul. Kostiantynivska 22/17, apart. 14
04071 Kyiv, Ukraine
tel\fax +38 (044) 467 60 80
National Office of ICF "Caritas Ukraine" in Lviv
79016 Lviv, Ukraine
tel/fax: +38 (032) 227 47 70,
227 47 74, 297 66 36
Caritas-Spes Ukraine was initially established thanks to the vision and dedication of one Catholic priest. While visiting Poland in 1988, Father Juriy Nagornyi became aware of Caritas and the good works it performed for orphans and the sick as well as the poor and needy. Father Juriy approached the President of Caritas Poland, Bishop Domin, and received permission to establish Caritas in Ukraine. Despite many difficulties, Father succesfully established Caritas-Spes Ukraine as a secular organization in 1990 and, thanks to the change in the political climate, he was succesfull in establishing it as a religious organization in1995.
Caritas was the first organization to offer humanitarian assistance after Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Caritas received several contributions, including clothing, medicine, and equipment, from international benefactors to assist the poor. Unfortunately, Caritas was unable to ensure that all assistance went only to the poor. Another problem Caritas faced was the corruption of the Ukrainian government, which worked to prevent the dispensation of humanitarian aid. Seeing the abuse of their aid, many international benefactors lessened their support. The Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine recognized the situation of Caritas but was unable to help. The Church was preoccupied restoring the Catholic Church in Ukraine, which was destroyed during the Soviet regime.
The first attempt of the Church to help Caritas was made in 1992. Bishop Jan Purvinskui of Zhytomyr was appointed head of the Caritas organization. Plans to register Caritas as a religious organization under the authority of Catholic bishops were initiated. However, many difficulties and problems arose, and everything was left undecided. During this time, Father Juriy Nagornui did his best to lead Caritas and he developed connections with the Caritas organizations in Austria, France, and the Netherlands.
In 1995, Caritas' registration was finally changed from being a public organization to a religious mission. And so, a new structure of Caritas was created under the control of the Catholic Church, and was finished in 1996. At last the Religious Mission Caritas-Spes of the Roman Catholic Church was officially completed.
Caritas-Spes has done much work to help people in Ukraine. Thanks to the donations of various sponsors, mostly from abroad, such as Germany, Austria, France, and the Catholic organization Renovabis, Caritas' activity has grown. After the Chernobyl APP, Caritas funded assistance for children who had suffered, either by sending them to health resorts in Ukraine or to hospitals abroad. Caritas specializes in the improvement of children's health, and in 1996 about 230 children improved their health, in 1997 - 700, in 1999 - 1800.
Caritas-Spes has established several new children's recreation centers in Ukraine including centers in Jablunycia (Ivano-Frankivsk region), Berdiansk (Zapoirizzya region), Zarichany (not far from Zhytomyr), Oleksandrivka (Zhytomyr region) and Vorzel (Kyiv region). Caritas also has more than 30 regional centers that actively organize assistance for the poor through soup kitchen and social centers. Caritas-Spes relies on generous donations to continue in its great work.
Fr. Viktor Simon
bul. Kostiolna 17
01001 Kiev - 1