How to Feel Rich
Some of the older inhabitants of the most Eastern part of former Czechoslovakia- which used to be called Carpathian Ruthenia and is now known as Carpathian Ukraine - still remember Masaryk's Republic of their childhood. They could still be Czechoslovak citizens if certain historical events had not happened. They are now old and poor- their pension barely covers basic food, and is not sufficient to cover health care and necessary medicines.
The population consists mostly of the very young and the very old. Unemployment is high and people who need to be employed have to look for work in the surrounding countries including the Czech Republic.
Some help has been organized by Catholic charities from Ostrava and a by a local missionary Petr Krenicky. Two organizations were founded: „Adoption at a Distance“ (Adopce na dalku) and „Diginified Living“ (Dustojny zivot). The purpose of the Adoption at a Distance is to help local children to receive proper education.
„Dignified Living“ tries to help and take care of senior citizens. The Catholic Charity provided the region with a house for seniors in Ust Corna. The occupants receive basic services. There is a nurse on the premises and a physician visits the house on a regular basis. The building also serves as a center for local care givers who travel from here to small mountain communities to help other seniors with food shopping and preparation, laundry and other chores.
Help comes from citizens in the Czech Republic. Each participant must provide 300 Kc /month. Many of the supporters are retired people who can best understand the needs of other seniors. One of them expressed it best: „When I first decided to support another senior citizen, I felt rich for the first time in my life.“Jaromir Novotny
Translated by Marie Dolanska
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