Do to others as you would have them do to you

Angel, 27 years old, lives in Plovdiv and is a lawyer by education. He has recently been a volunteer at the local Caritas. One of the activities he joined is Caritas’ Home Care designed to help sick elderly people.

Since he has a very old grandmother, he is aware of how difficult it is for elderly single people, who cannot afford much spending and have no one to take care after them. “Unfortunately, the state care for the elderly in Bulgaria is not meeting the standard”, Angel says with sadness in his voice. There is particular difficulty in the fact that the idyllic memories of the past hinder the elderly from being involved in the present, now and here, which prevents them from finding the motivation they need in everyday life.

It is why he highly appreciates the work of the Caritas’ Home Care Center mobile team. “They help the elderly in many ways – they change the bandages on their bodily wounds, but also treat their day-to-day emotional pain”, Angel says with a smile.

He knew of the Caritas volunteering initiative in a slightly unusual way. His attention was caught by the local Catholic Church façade, he stepped in, had a talk with the priest and so he learned about Caritas and the organization’s activities in Plovdiv. He came to the idea of how useful he could be. As an attorney, he has the opportunity to help Caritas-supported people with preparation, counseling, completing and filing of documents to the competent institutions, in particular when it affects various legal issues of the care receiving people.

Apart from the Home Care team activities, Angel is also involved in other activities of the parish Caritas Plovdiv. Thus, in one of his first cases as a volunteer, he helped with legal advice in an attempt to return a child illegally taken from his mother, with the assistance of Caritas Plovdiv. Now, thanks to his involvement and that of Caritas’ associates, the woman has found a job and accommodation that enables her to take care of her child if she gets it back.

The young lawyer says he does not profess a particular religion, nor does he belong to a religious community, but he believes in goodness and has embraced the Bible-stipulated principle: do to others as you would have them do to you. That is, Angel says, the best for a person.