Monday, January 20, 2020


You are not alone

Unfortunately, no one in the world can be safely protected against unforeseeable misfortunes (occurrence of a serious disease, death in the family, involuntary unemployment, natural disasters, war and unrest that force people flee their home countries, etc).

Stricken by a misfortune many people succumb to an isolated existence, unable to cope with their problem or distract themselves from it at least for a while and concentrate on survival. Pain causes suffering, it deprives of the ability to reason and stay active, or just live. It is obvious that these people are in need of understanding, care, sympathy, support and assistance as they often find themselves cut off from society, and their families – left alone to their grief and problems.  In such situations, it is very important to give these people timely help and encourage them to keep on struggling. But it is sad to note that nowadays the eyes of many a man still betray indifference to those who so desperately need our support, help and compassion.



There is nothing more honorable than giving a chance to people with limited abilities to live a life without limitations. 

The whole world is unanimous in admitting that people with disabilities need assistance. Today we are learning to trust them and to give them an opportunity to make their contribution into the development of society. They should not be treated as mere objects of “love thy neighbor” or, worse, as unbearable burden for society and the government.

In 2003 Caritas of Vitebsk Diocese took its first step to solving the problem of social adaptation of young disabled people and their integration into the community.


Love your Neighbour

"The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and the sufferer."

Benedict XVI. Spe Salvi, 38

All people are born into this world to be happy. But by force of unforeseeable events some people are denied a chance to enjoy life in all its manifestations, all the more so when they are stricken with a lasting disease leading to mental disabilities. Life is cruel to these people. Some of them are born disabled; others become disabled in an accident or having failed to cope with an exceptionally painful emotional upheaval. Those who suffer from severest forms of disabilities of the first and second degrees need permanent assistance and care.


I Give my Heart to Children

The birth of a child is one of the happiest moments in the life of parents. As long as they live they do their utmost to protect their baby from diseases and hardships.

But unfortunately sometimes, either through neglect of parental duty or due to other circumstances, children become an unwanted burden.

One of the most serious socio-economic and psychological-pedagogical problems in our country is social orphanhood, a situation when children are abandoned by their living parents. The knowledge of being rejected by their parents is psychologically scarring and, as claimed by pedagogical theory, the fact itself makes the children socially impaired. For their correction and adjustment in society, and for development in them the right family values it is of essential importance to carefully arrange their everyday life and to provide for them esthetically equipped places for recreation, psychological relaxation and rehabilitation.


Summer Camp for Disabled Children

Parents caring for a disabled child are faced with a problem of social integration of their family and, above all, their child. Despite having a great spiritual potential, disabled people and their families are often left on their own without support and understanding, and experience an acute shortage of attention to their needs.

Caritas annually organizes summer recreation for disabled children and their families, which eases their social adaption and improves their psychophysical condition. During their holidays the children and their parents take part in games, competitions and improvised performances at the bonfire and go on hiking trips to the nearby lake.


Accept them as they are

“We know that the disabled person – a unique and unrepeatable in his equal and inviolable dignity – needs not only care, but first of all love which becomes recognition, respect and integration.”

John Paul II

Life on Earth is from God. Every person who comes into this world must follow God’s commandment to go on living despite any problems or hardships. Many people are born with disabilities or become disabled at a young age. How to accept the sudden turn of fate? For every disabled person and those who are around them it is a serious physical and spiritual trial. People who have to face the tests of their strength daily are particularly grateful for kindness and charitable help from others. Caritas treats disabled people with love and care.


Children in Trouble

For every family the birth of the child is undoubtedly a thrilling event. But what a devastating blow it is for the parents to learn that their baby is stricken with the life-threatening disease – cancer. And it is the parents who have to take the whole brunt of the grim battle against the disease. One can hardly speak about humane and considerate attitude to the suffering children and their devastated parents. Desperate attempts to pay for the expensive treatment impoverish the families. To save their child, the parents sell their property, sometimes even their flats and houses. Having to be around their sick child permanently, mothers and fathers often lose their jobs depriving their families of steady income. The main danger of cancer lies not in the disease itself but, however difficult to believe it is, in the feelings of hopelessness and inability to cope with the disease emotionally. Having learned that there is cancer in the family, most people become utterly confused. They are not prepared to live in the changed reality and it means that they need help.


Distance Adoption

The purpose of the programme “Distance Adoption” is to enrich personal development of children and teenagers coming from low-income families through organizing their out-of-school activities and making their life outside school more eventful. The project aims to support children from large and single-parent families, children with a physical disability or diagnosed with a serious disease, children from unfavourable family situations and gifted children from families on a low income.

The programme also seeks to provide the families with financial and emotional support through establishing steady personal contacts between Belarusian families and adoptive families from the Czech Republic.


Holidays with God

Every year the children from the parishes of Vitebsk Diocese spend their summer holidays abroad. The host organizations prepare very carefully for the arrival of their guests. They offer the children a variety of activities and entertainments such as excursions, hikes, meetings with interesting people, contests and discotheques. The core of the planning of the children’s holidays is their meeting with God. The children take part in the joint prayer, during which they glorify the Lord God Almighty and express their gratitude to Him for the beautiful holiday, His love and unending grace.

For most of the children the trips to Poland and the Czech Republic are their first experience of travelling abroad. They return from holiday happy and filled up with most exciting and unforgettable impressions.


Science and Spirituality against AIDS

Spread of AIDS is one of those signals SOS that call for a constructive dialogue on the moral model of social development of the modern world. And discussion should lead to action – revival of spirituality! The project “Science and Spirituality against AIDS” has become for Caritas one of the major priorities.

The purpose of the project is to raise the public’s awareness of HIV/AIDS hazards and to facilitate exchange of experience in AIDS prevention measures between the social and governmental organizations. The project works to conduct training workshops and conferences and to organize actions. The programme also includes a series of round table discussions and lectures at educational establishments and parishes.


A Slice of Bread

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me." 

Dear fellow citizens and people of other countries, 
For several years Caritas of Vitebsk Diocese has been leading the social campaign “A Slice of Bread” to support the undernourished and the starving. Its purpose is not only to raise money for buying food for the poor. Above all things, the campaign aims to make our whole society more sensitive to the needs of the unemployed, the financially and spiritually poor. In other words, it works to stop poverty from being a reason for social isolation, humiliation and rejection.


Days of Christian Culture

he event which took place very, very long ago in Bethlehem is still of great current importance. Two thousand years ago the Saviour came into this world. Remembering on this holy day that only and unique night when the Star of Bethlehem stopped over the cradle in which He was born we keep marveling at the mystery of the Birth of God. Every year the Christians of the whole world traditionally prepare for the celebration of Christmas. But the customs and traditions are of no meaning if in the soul there is no faith and in the heart little Jesus is not born: for then the tradition will be turned into a superficial occasion.

One of the programmes of Caritas on developing spirituality in people is the project “Days of Christian Culture”. The purpose of the project is not only to revive the Christian traditions.


It's Easier Together

Caritas has been cooperating with the regional centres of social services under the slogan “It is Easier Together” since 2003.

Over this period, assisted by our partners, we have built several greenhouses which provide employment for young disabled people. The primary purpose of the project is creating work opportunities to facilitate social adjustment, realization of working potential, integration and adaptation. At the Centres there is also a computer training class where young persons with disabilities can acquire computing skills.

The Centres have started a laundry service. Elderly people and people with disabilities who receive home-based care can have their laundry done free of charge.


The Centre of Social Assistance

Seeing is not enough, we need to act. 

The Centre of Social Assistance “Caritas” has been working at St. Anthony’s parish in Vitebsk for more than three years. It was established to make aid given to needy people more effective. The people who receive our help are the homeless, lonely pensioners on a low income, persons with disabilities, single mothers, families with many children and persons recently released from imprisonment. At the Centre they can get donated clothes and footwear. The Centre also works with a group of alcoholics anonymous. Most of these people have decided to change their lives and have taken the first step to rehabilitation.


System Orphus