Olga had left her three children in the Ukraine to find work in Belgium.When she realised there could be opportunities to return to the Ukraine and set up a business in her home town, she turned to Caritas.
Caritas Belgium’s repatriation programme gives returnees help in finding a home and a way to make money. It offers medical and financial support as well as education and training. In 2009, Caritas prepared 215 people for repatriation. Of these, 186 went back home.
They helped Olga, who is a single mother, return home to her children. Once there, Caritas Ukraine, as part of the Solidarity Net, studied the business possibilities for Olga in the area. Her town didn’t have a hairdressers so Caritas Ukraine gave Olga money to buy the equipment she needed to set up a hairdressing business.
“We act as a bridge for migrants between Belgium and their home country, where we […]
When Natalya, a 28-year-old woman from Ukraine, learned she was HIV-positive, she said her father threw her out of the house. “He told me to go live with my drug addict boyfriend,” she said. “My church told me I was a bad person. It was terrible. I didn’t know where to go.”
She was just 21 at the time and pregnant with her first child, who was born without the virus. Her partner, an injecting drug user, has since died of AIDS.
Counselling is a crucial element in the HIV response. Without it, people may not know what to do or how to change their behaviour to protect themselves and to avoid infecting others. They may also despair if they have no outlet for dealing with the emotional impact of living with the virus.
In 2006, Caritas Spes of the Roman Catholic Church opened a centre in Kiev to provide psychological support […]