quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2008

Divine Word Missionaries Polish Province (SVD)

Fr. Jacek, SVD

Report 14

The Justice and Peace and Integration of Creation (JPIC) apostolate in the SVD Polish Province makes an effort to overcome various problems that are caused by migration, dysfunctional families, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, and youth unemployment.

There is a strong migration movement from East to Europe with Poland regarded as a transit country. The biggest number of immigrants that comes with the purpose to work in Poland is from Vietnam. There are about 60 thousands of Vietnamese immigrants and the majority of them is in Poland illegally. There is also a significant number of refugees from Chechnya and other countries of the ancient Soviet Union. Refugees from Africa and Asia regard Poland as a transit country on their migration journey to West Europe. A rising number of immigrants from China have been recently noticed.

The JPIC activities are to a large degree based on the work of volunteers and lay people. The JPIC activities take place in the three SVD communities as follows:

1/ The “Family Help Association – DROGA” in Białystok www.stowarzyszeniedroga.pl

The Association DROGA was founded by Fr Edward Konkol 20 years ago based on his experience of pastoral ministry amongst drug addicted youth in Białsytok. Since six years Fr Edward has been running the association together with Fr Gregory Lelang SVD from Indonesia. Every year students after the second year of theology are send to Białystok to do their regency program. This year there are two, Fr Andrzej Fałat and Robert Grzybek.

DROGA has two main projects: the Environmental Family House - “Nasz Dom” (eng. “Our Home”) that is run by Mrs Anna Tomulewicz and the Youth Centre for Therapy and Readaptation – “Etap” (eng. “Stage”) run by Mrs Elżbieta Powichrowska. There are also some other minor social and formation projects.

„Our Home” is a no public, multifunction, care and upbringing station for 1-18 years old children with hostel and daily part.

Main aim of “Our Home” is to help children and make their families more independent (which have a lot of problems – alcohol, unemployment, poverty, violence).
“Our Home” can take care of about 60 families (100 children).

Our station helps children and their families which live in Bialystok and its environs. They are directed by : Family Court, social workers, school pedagogic or other social institutions. Aspect and scope of help on each stage determines family assistant with family’s therapist (after specialist consultation) based on family background diagnosis, needs, weak and strong points of family.

Organisational structure is adapted to actual needs consideration with permanent components:
- kindergarten – to 20 children
- family groups – to 50 children (in 4 groups)
- group of youth becoming independent – to 15 children
- support groups for children and families benefit from monitoring help (daily support centre) – to 30 persons
- parents groups – initial motivation, therapeutic, moulding parental and marital skills, monitoring – support, mutual assistance.
- intervention group – to 10 persons
- hostel group – to 10 persons.

“ETAP” was founded in 1998. Its main goal is giving a wide range of help to the people from groups of risk, experimenting and addicted (to alcohol, drugs, internet, gambling). It helps also young people with behavioural and emotional disturbances or after suicidal attempts. ETAP helps their families too.

The employees of ETAP are: psychotherapeutics, clinical psychologist, certified specialists of therapy of addictions, social therapists and psychiatrist. ETAP is open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. till 8 p.m.
It realizes tasks related with preventive maintenance and therapy in 4 ways:

Guidance centre of addiction treatment. The range of actions:
- individual psychotherapy
- group psychotherapy
- system therapy of families
- psychiatric and psychological diagnosis; diagnosis of the specialist of therapy of addictions
- Guidance and consultations
- specialist consultations for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction ( teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)

Daytime Centre of addiction treatment:
- open Monday – Friday from 2p.m. till 8 p.m.
- therapeutic program lasts 6 months
- it was made for young people (aged 16-24) who are drug addicted and were diagnosed before in the Guidance Centre

The range of actions:
- group psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- therapeutic community
- individual psychotherapy for people addicted to drugs
- individual psychotherapy for parents of the people addicted to drugs
- psycho educational classes
- spirituality classes
- alternative forms of spending free time

Intervention and Guidance Outlet for Children and Youth with drug addiction problem “Dom Powrotu” (“House of Return”)
- street therapy for people addicted to drugs; contact with clients in places of high risk of drug addiction (shebeens, pubs, bars, discos, mass events in open air)
- guidance for people addicted to drugs and their families regarding:
* crisis situation in private life – legal and social advice
* making people aware of addictive substances
* different forms of getting help from specialists
* different forms of spending free time
- Crisis interventions for people addicted to drugs and their families:
* replenishment of shortage of clothes, hygienic staff, cleaners etc.
* food
* medical help, psychological help
- Motivation and support in starting addiction treatment

Prevention Centre - Range of actions:
- Prevention of addictions classes (for children, youth and students)
- psycho educational classes for people from groups of risk
- psycho educational classes for volunteers
- trainings for young leaders (preparing to work with people addicted to drugs)
- trainings for professionals who have contact at work with the problem of drug addiction (teachers, educators, judicial curators, policemen, doctors, nurses etc.)
- Parents Academy – workshops for parents
- Prevention Specialists Academy – workshops for teachers, educators

2/ Fu Shengfu Migrant Center in Warsaw

Since 10 years Fr Edward Osiecki SVD has been involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in the area of Warsaw. Based on his experience the SVD Polish Province has opened a refugee center in Warsaw. The center was registered in September 2005 as the Fu Shenfu Migrant Center. The Center is on the second floor in the Publishing House ‘Verbinum’ building in Warsaw and consists of a reception hall, three offices and a language classroom.

Pastoral ministry is mostly focused on the Vietnamese immigrants. Two persons are fully involved in the pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese people in the area of Warsaw. The Vietnamese Catholic Community office is based in the Center. Sunday Mass is said for them once a month in the neighboring parish for the community of 200 people. The SVD house chapel is also used for other religious services. The Vietnamese Catholics have an opportunity to come for the pre-sacramental catechesis and learn in their native language in the Center.

The Holy Eucharist is also said every Sunday in one of the refugee reception centers in Warsaw. A group of volunteers comes every week for a meeting prayer together with refugees. There is a Catechesis classes for those refugees who are interested in Christianity.

The Center runs the following projects:
- internet café free of charge for refugees is opened 5 days a week from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Polish classes are given by teachers voluntarily; there are two classes for Vietnamese and a couple of small groups for Africans and Asians;
- tolerated stay office for Vietnamese people (tolerated stay is a temporary residency card for foreigners in Poland); since the year 2006 thanks to our project two hundred Vietnamese have been granted with the tolerated stay and 400 are waiting for the decision;
- Chechen refugee-children project “Children of the World Kindergarten” (artistic workshops, integration dance activities, excursions, etc.);
- law and psychological counseling;
- religious and social meetings on various occasions (World Day of Migrants and Refugees, World Refugee Day, Christmas, Easter, International Volunteer Day, Chinese New Year, etc.);

Two new projects:
- “Artists without borders” – a theatre project for refugees that consists of preparing a play based on a refugee story in Poland in which refugees themselves will star together with Polish amateurs actors;
- Polish classes for Chinese immigrants.

Four confreres and two sisters are involved in this apostolate:
- Fr Antoni Koszorz SVD – director, pastoral ministry amongst Chinese immigrants, member of the editorial staff of “China Heute” (Polish edition).
- Fr Edward Osiecki SVD – vice-director, pastoral ministry amongst Vietnamese immigrants, tolerated stay project coordinator, refugee reception center chaplain.
- Fr Jacek Gniadek SVD, Justice and Peace referent, finance officer, Chechen refugee-children project coordinator, in charge of preparing new projects from the European Refugee Found, Polish teacher in the new project for Chinese immigrants.
- Fr Vo Khanh Thanh Joachim SVD – pastoral ministry amongst the Vietnamese Catholics in Warsaw.
- Sr Maria Kwapisiewicz FMM, secretary, social worker, Polish classes coordinator, prayer group coordinator.
- Sr Weronika Klebba SSpS, social worker, language teacher, ministry amongst Chinese immigrants (new initiatives).

3/ JPIC apostolate of the coordinator in Chludowo

Fr Mirosław Piątkowski, JPIC coordinator in Poland, belongs to the community of Chludowo near Poznan where he is JPIC various activities.

For the year 2007/08 Fr Piątkowski is in charge of young foreign students who are studding Polish language at the University of Poznań and are accommodated in Chludowo. There are two conferees from Indonesia, two from Togo and one from China.

The coordinator is in charge of developing SVD students’ awareness of the JPIC. For this purpose last year a three days workshop was held in Białystok for confreres in temporary and perpetual vows who were interested in JPIC issues. Two representatives of the Foundation for homeless People “Barka” (eng. Bardge) from Poznań were invited with lectures. This year a workshop on volunteers’ formation will be held in Pieniężno in autumn.

The coordinator runs a formation project for volunteers (JUPIC Net for God) together with the International Ecumenical Fraternity – ‘Net for God’ for unity and peace in the world of the francophone Community Chemin Neuf. After two year of working together an idea of creating an Association has been born to support Christian initiatives for building justice and peace and missionary animation. A group of volunteers is working at present on drafting a status and preparing necessary documents for the registration.

The coordinator in collaboration with the local school and commune runs a familial project “Parafiada” that lasts two weeks in summer. The project activities include competition between children and youth in many sport disciplines, promotion of fair play rules, artistic performances and competitions.

Three ten days holiday camps “JUPIC – Youth without borders” for poor children with some aspects on missionary formation were organized by the coordinator in Nysa (2006), Zakopane (2007) and Bieszczady (2008).

The coordinator is also in charge of Christian formation meetings for the pro-family political party League of Polish Families that are held once a month in Chludowo.

The coordinator works for the Provincial Arnold Janssen Spirituality Team. Last year together with Fr Jacek Gniadek prepared and led a retreat focused on some aspects of the JPIC issues. The retreat was given in four different communities for all the confreres in temporary vows and 50 confreres in perpetual vows.

Mirosław Piątkowski SVD,
JPIC Coordinator
SVD Polish Province

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