Духовне життя

A retreat meeting was held in Chervonohrad within the framework of the “Spiritual Formation of Volunteers” project

Volunteers who selflessly help others also need emotional support and understanding.

This opportunity was created thanks to a retreat meeting within the framework of the “Spiritual Formation of Volunteers” project, which took place on April 13 in the city of Chervonograd, Lviv Region, for volunteers of the BF “Caritas Kramatorsk” in this community. The event was opened by Olena Belik, a facilitator for working with communities at Caritas Kramatorsk, who is actively working on the development of the volunteer movement in the foundation. She began it with a quote by Lubomir Huzar: “Freedom is the opportunity to do good.” The invited expert Olena Dorogavtseva worked with the participants all day, who prepared a rich program for the participants for the whole day. It consisted of the following modules:

  • Module 1: Study of emergency situations, their types and consequences of the armed conflict in Ukraine.
  • Module 2: Exchange of experience, study of approaches and strategies of volunteer work.
  • Module 3: Distinguishing between “resilience” and “trauma”, exploring types and levels of resilience.
  • Module 4: Learning the principles of mental health, psychosocial support and the use of the “pyramid of interventions”.
  • Module 5: Developing volunteer team skills through principles and practical exercises.
  • Module 6: Participation in the psychoeducational game “Psychologist and I”.

There were also breaks for coffee and refreshments between the modules to give an opportunity to chat informally with each other and with our expert. The day ended with a festive dinner, during which they also shared their thoughts about the meeting.

“It’s no secret that volunteers need to restore resources, because experience and exhaustion take their toll. It was about such an important thing that Caritas took care of,” wrote Lesya Rak, a participant and our permanent volunteer, in her review of the event.

Thank you to everyone who was present, including our volunteers, experts, and those who were not present but helped with organizational processes, and of course donors for taking care of our volunteers.

We also asked Olena Belik about her impressions after the meeting: “I am glad that we were able to organize this retreat for our volunteers. It was a landmark day that gave them wholehearted support, life-giving knowledge and unstoppable inspiration to continue their selfless service. Our volunteers are real heroes who selflessly help others. Their boundless self-sacrifice is worthy of the highest respect.”

In general, the retreat meeting for volunteers became a valuable opportunity for their support, spiritual development, sharing of experiences, learning and gaining new knowledge. It is no less important that this event helped them better understand the meaning of their activities and find the strength to further help others.

“Caritas Kramatorsk” Charitable Foundation is a local charitable organization, part of the “Caritas of Ukraine” IBF network, which began its work in Ukraine by opening an office in Lviv in 1998. In his work, he is guided by the principles and ethical norms of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

“Spiritual Formation of Volunteers” is a project aimed at conducting retreats aimed at promoting the spiritual formation of volunteers and their long-term well-being by prioritizing the treatment of psychological trauma, preventing burnout, and building resilience among volunteers. It is implemented with the financial support of ACN International, Renovabis, CNEWA Canada and the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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