ELEOS Prawosławny Ośrodek Miłosierdzia Diecezji Białostocko- Gdańskiej started operation on 15th July 1996. Our work is aimed at anyone standing in a difficult living situation independently from his religion, origin or nationality. ELEOS is Greek and means mercy.
The overall objectives and areas of our work are:
- Charitable help to persons in difficult vital situations
- help for children and families in poverty,
- help for the elderly, sick and handicapped
- counter negative phenomenons and social pathologies
- raise religious awareness of the people receiving help
We realize these goals in different ways, which are adequate to the needs of our charges. We are open for children, youths as well as grown-ups.
Help for Children and Youths
Our work is based in 5 places in Białystok as well as one in the town of Supraśl. Each of them serves 15-18 children aged 6-15. They live in single-parent, poor or disfunctional families often combined with intensive use of alcohol. Our facility is for them a place to obtain the right social norms, mold their own creative way of working, unveil their talents but also to discover the most important values of our world. Our kids come to us after school. They do their homework and prepare themselves for tests. Sandwiches and hot tea are provided for them in case of hunger.
After finishing their school matters they are free to play, draw, solve puzzles, read books or listen to music. Every day also exercises for the whole group take place. These can be related to arts (draw, glue, model), dancing (integrative dancing, aerobik, choreographics), computers (word processing, E-Mail, sketching), moving (various exercises and sports indoors and outdoors), kitchen (preparing salads, baking and decorating cakes), interculturality but also forms of quizzes and contests.
We furthermore organize field trips to the swimming pool, bowling alley, cinema or to the theater. After the exercises all children eat supper together, self-prepared with only a spot of help from the teachers. In the end the children are each appointed a task, e. g. clean up games and books, vacuum cleaning, watering the flowers or remove the remains of supper. In our facility we moreover conduct sociotherapies wich aim to improve the children’s cognition and help them to accommodate in their living environment. It’s our priority to increase the openness of their speech, enhance their ability to cope with difficult emotions and to improve their self – cofidence.
An extraodinarily important part of our work is the performance of winter and summer camp. During the winter holidays and in summer vacation we take the children attending our program to the mountains, to the sea or to the lakes. For most of them the trip with ELEOS is the only possibility to leave their home town and see other parts of Poland, thus widening their horizon, satisfying the important need of relaxation and forgetting about everyday problems.
Our facility’s own support normally includes therapeutical and psychoeducational care especially for children. It is of great importance to also involve the parents of our fosterlings into this process. We meet them during the Parent’s Academy. We endeavor assisting them in the difficult process of child education by solving familial and educational problems. We try to enhance their educational capabilities and their ability to build up ordinary interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, we offer help in the form of food packages, clothing and school trips.
We work closely together with school teachers, curators, social workers and familiy assistants so that the whole family of our fosterlings is involved in comprehensive help.
Help for Adults
In 2002, ELEOS started running an eating place for persons in need (ul. Warszawska 47, Bialystok). Meals (hot soup) are issued in the fall – winter season Monday to Friday at 1pm.
Every day 40 – 50 people use our eatery. They are homeless, have large families or old. Moreover, we offer these persons in need internet access, newspapers, TV and hot drinks. Homeless persons can use the bathroom and the washing machine available in our facility.
Within the framework of our facility we also operate a Point of Makeshift Help, which offers material help to the poorest inhabitants of Bialystok. Beyond that we assist persond in need by: providing clothes and shoes and food packages.
Additionally, ELEOS arranges Christmas Eves and Easter breakfasts for lonely, homeless and poor people.
Since 2009 our organization participates in the project “We shouldn’t be indifferent” carried out by the Voivodeship Police Administration (Komenda Wojewódzka Policji) in collaboration with aid organizations. Within the context of this project participate in first aid courses, can get free legal advice and meet with Bialystok University students. The goal of this project is to raise awareness of people in need in our society.
In ELEOS; both local and international volonteers work. The local volonteers are mostly high school and university students. They work with children as well as with disfunctional families, elderly and disabled persons in Bialystok and Suprasl.
The volonteers help children in levelling out educational deficits and preparing them for school exams. They provide free tutoring in English, maths and chemistry. They organize games, integrational playes, sport exercises and competitions. Occasionallly, they assist in arranging parties. Resulting in the frequent meeting with our children the volonteers become their friends, whom they entrust their secrets, joys and worries.
All volonteers are also engaged in other short-term projects. Actions, in which they take part are:
- Wigilijne Dzieło Pomocy Dzieciom
- Aukcja Wielkanocna
- Zbiórki Żywności (food collection)
- Assistance in charitable concerts
ELEOS as an organization with a lot of experience and highly qualified staff members, takes the participation in the European Volontary Service (EVS) program as a chance to share this with young people just starting their professional career.
The EVS volonteers work in our facility in 10 – month projects. Each of them carries out self – created workshop individually with a group of children to topics like: Theater, photography, arts, dance, sports, etc.). The specific topics of the workshops can vary according to the volonteers own interests, knowledge and capabilities. The young people are assisted during the conduction of their workshops by our staff. They are in no case solely respnsible for a group of children nor are they a job substitution. Their commitment is fully dedicated to the enrichment and dilatation of our offers.
Wanting to offer these young people a place for integration, acquisition of constructive collaboration and correct comunication, we invite them to form small teams of 2-3 persons, which perform thematic workshops. The themes of these workshops are chosen exclusively by the volonteers themselves and often deal with interculturality. Additionally we coax them to prepare theatrical plays, record a movie and create a presentation documenting their joint effort. Apart from this, the volonteers prepare ways to present their homeland, its culture, traditions and habits to all innterested persons.
I order to achieve our goals we acquire funding from different public sources but also conduct other projects aimed at raising money. For many years we have been distributing christmas candles in cotext of the program “Wigilijne Dzieło Pomocy Dzieciom i Skarbonki Wielkopostne” together with CARITAS from the Roman Catholic and DIAKONIA from the Evangelical Church.
Furthermore we have organized numerous charity concerts where we could raise money for our work. Among others ELENI, Golec u”Orkiestra, Horpyna and many other ecclesiastical ensembles and choires have acted out in our concerts so far.
Since 2004 we are registered as an organization of public utility and can thus take advantage from the 1% transcription of income tax.
We would be pleased to see youre support for our organization.
ELEOS Prawoslawny Osrodek Milosierdzia
Św. Mikolaja 5, 15-420 Bialystok, Polska
Bank account number 45 1240 5211 1111 0000 4926 1525
Created by Martin Florian Schubert, Volunteer of Erasmus + Program