How UGCC helps military, wounded, refugees and sick


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father Nikolai Slobodyan (center) and father Vasily Kolodchy (far left)

Father Nikolai Slobodyan, Chancellor Exarchate of Odessa Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said at a briefing that the UGCC priests present in the East at the forefront as chaplains. They are among the soldiers who need support from internal and external pressure, support them. Our chaplains help them avoid becoming killers.

UGCC was always in a whirlwind of events has always been with the people. It was on the Maidan, as is now.

It is a pity that local authorities Odessa doesn’t see contribution of the church to the community, the church has no building in Odessa, only the chapel, despite the fact that the community has 12 thousand faithful.

Shaking thresholds of Odessa officials continued since 1994. Now the church has more parishioners. People from Odessa simply began to look at the UGCC, seeing its social position. City officials promised some land for the church, but it cannot be given.

Now, due to changes in the country, it is hoped that this case will move forward. Ukraine is increasingly aware of its unity and its identity. The government realized that reforms are needed. We want the authorities looked at us in a new way, and helped, so Odessa people could pray with dignity in a decent place.

Father Vasily Kolodchyn, Director of CF “Caritas Odessa UGCC”, said that fund exists in Odessa for about 10 years. The main direction of his work is nursing care for people with HIV and AIDS. The Fund shall take care of the elderly living alone, is working on obstruction of trafficking and helps conduct the rehabilitation of victims of trafficking.

Since the summer of this year were added such activities as helping refugees and wounded. The team from Odessa department “Caritas” – 20 people. Per month the fund spends to support their charges 200 thousand UAH. Many of them receive a monthly benefit of 500 UAH.

Fund “Caritas” wants to form in Odessa a correct understanding of philanthropy in that it was presented at a decent level. Now “Caritas” organized for refugees free legal advice and assistance to employment. In the near future are preparing three Christmas events for children of refugees, because often their parents do not think about gifts, they take care of simple survival. There will be three events, each created for 100 children.

“Charity Odessa” is going on. To participate or to report about worthy benefactors it is possible by calling 066 151 10 51, Secretary Alexander Rodionov.