Lopatyn is located in the western part of Ukraine, in the Lviv region. A small town of over 3 000 inhabitants is known for its geographical location – it is situated between forests, wetlands and the Polissya peat bog. The so-called Lopatyn pine grows abundantly here and is resistant to local weather conditions.
The most famous landmark of Lopatyn is the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, where a copy of the famous icon of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa (the so-called Black Madonna) is located.
Children In Need Fund in Lopatyn.
We have supported the Children in Need Fund since 2007. We have paid repairs of the building where they usually prepare lunch during the school year and provide clothing for 80 children from socially disadvantaged families. At the same time, we have co-financed summer camps. We have also provided financial assistance for the necessary repairs within the building which will serve as the Social Hotel and the Center of Social Services for the Elderly Persons.
After studying in the Czech Republic, Oleysa decided to return back to Lopatyn, Ukraine. She helps children and young people in need. Oleysa talks about her life journey and also cooperation with Caritas:
“In 1998 I joined CARITAS – College of Social Workers and Services in the city of Olomouc. I was one of the four students from Ukraine they chose. I gained a lot of practical experience in various social institutions and after my bachelor’s degree I graduated from the master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Ostrava.
Then I returned to Ukraine to help people in need and to use the experience gained in the Czech Republic again in practice. Since 2008, I have been working as a head of social projects in the Children in Need Fund in Lopatyn (Lviv Region). It is a foundation which was created by Ulyana Zhupnik who is also its director.
Thanks to the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Olomouc, the premises of the Fund were completely renovated. Since 2008, Caritas has supported our projects that help children and young people. It is a Social Center where 40 children from poor families from Lopatyn and surrounding villages receive free lunches daily, as well as material, psychological and social assistance. In addition, children participate in various events, sports games, children’s camps. We have also organized dozens of educational projects aimed on prevention of pathological phenomena among young people and promoting healthy lifestyle. The Children in Need Fund also provides material assistance to the local hospital (providing beds), music school, vocational school, kindergarten, as well as hundreds and thousands of needy families from Lopatyn and surrounding villages.
The project of the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Olomouc and a number of Czech families called Christmas Package brings special joy to children. Caritas has also supported the training of several students from Lopatyn. With this collaboration we have been bringing joy and hope for the good future to hundreds of Ukrainian children and families for 11 years.”