In times of the war, the word "shelter" acquires a special meaning. Caritas Spes Yablunytsia is not just a place where a comfortable bed, delicious food and a hot shower will always be offered. It is also a constant support of native souls, Ukrainians, who are united in the grief of losses and hope for happiness of the victory. Olena Bychenok, a resident of the camp, shares her impressions of her new home, which she has already fallen in love with.
"War is raging in the country, which has become a severe ordeal for all the people of Ukraine. In regions where hostilities continue, where the enemy launches its deadly missiles, people are constantly living in a state of danger, uncertainty, fear and panic. The main value, the human life, is at stake. Many people leave their homes and, surrendering themselves to God's will, seek refuge in Ukraine or abroad. There is a place in the picturesque Carpathians where amazing changes are taking place with people who have gone through the hardships of wartime. Peace, trust, joy of the present and hope for a happy future return to them. This place is Caritas Spes in the heart of the Carpathians. Translated from Latin, the name of the shelter means "merciful love and hope." It is the feeling of people fleeing the danger of war here.
The surrounding beauty heals the human soul. The Carpathian nature itself gives a sense of security. The guest house, which can accommodate 300 people, is surrounded by mountains with tall spruces. Trees, like soldiers on duty, carry their guard. The area resembles a strong fortress created by the hands of God. A beautiful river flows at the foot of the mountains. It fascinates the ear with natural music and delights with colors that vary depending on the weather. Especially nice feeling that the boarding house has everything you need for human life. Simplicity and ease prevail, there is no pressure, nothing causes destructive emotions. People work here, calmly carrying out their ministry. Responsible and friendly staff respond quickly to requests and are willing to help guests. Here people find the absolute emotional comfort and peace that is so lacking in war hell.
And you will not be bored without work. Mothers raise children without fears and worries, attend various creative workshops with them. There are classes in English, dance for children and adults, fitness for women. There is a sports corner where you can play table tennis and table football. And in the evening, you can watch an interesting movie. Children are entertained by cartoons, participate in interesting conversations on the catechism. Teenagers are happy to visit their club, where they communicate, play, travel, cook, have picnics. The territory of the boarding house is constantly improving. We are watching the new constructions with interest. And for children, an additional fan is to ride a tractor or dump truck under the supervision of their mother. Mothers themselves monitor the cleanliness of rooms and ancillary facilities. Sometimes they clean the territory together and take care of the flower beds.
Once this war is over, we will win and return to our homeland. And there, in the East and West, South and North of Ukraine, we will always remember the cozy Carpathian home, which forever united us, such different Ukrainians. Thank God and thank you to everyone who gave us the warmth of home in the cold of war "- summed up her story Elena Bychenok.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Caritas Spes Ukraine has provided shelter for more than 20,000 people and continues to receive people who must leave their homes. Help us help others.