(ANS – Lviv) – In these days football fans throughout the Old Continent are avidly awaiting the conclusion of the European International Championship “Euro 2012” hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. It has been a competition with its “small” protagonists too including the juniors from the “Pokrova” Salesian Family Home in Lviv.
As expected this International Football Competition has aroused great interest among the people of the Ukraine. The children from the Salesian Family Home have also been following developments from the early stages,– visiting the new stadium “Arena Lviv” – and then during the tournament going on several occasions with their teachers to watch the matches from the stands.
But that was not all. On the occasion of the Germany – Portugal match played in Lviv on 9 June those in charge of the “Pokrova” Home organised a game between their juniors and some children from the two countries involved. The young Portuguese and Ukrainians formed one team and they defeated the feared German opposition 10-2.
Later on 17 June on the occasion of the Denmark – Germany game, Armando Justin and Pavlo Kushyk, two 9 year olds in the Salesian Home, took centre stage on the field before the match as two of the mascots, accompanying two of their idols the German players and Real Madrid stars Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.
“The boys were very pleased to have been able to take part in this event, which was also their dream, as it was for many others of their age,” Fr Myhajlo Chaban, Rector of the house said.
The Salesian Family Home opened in 2007 starting with three orphans. At the beginning it was thought they would be able to take up to 12 children at the most living in the buildings next to the renovate church of the “Blessed Philip Rinaldi” house in Lviv. In a short time, however, the number of needy children grew reaching 38 – often orphans or perhaps of parents who were drug users or alcoholics – which meant taking over accommodation in the headquarters of the delegation. At present a new building is under construction for 120 children. It will also house students.
The Salesians make every effort to create a family atmosphere in the home. Every morning the children get up, say their prayers, have breakfast and then go to the state school. Then quite happy they return to what they see as their home and do their chores, play football, draw and jump around... During the holidays they take part in special summer events with outings to the sea and in the mountains.
The local authorities in Lviv have great confidence in the Salesians and in their work for the poor. Last May they named the Rector of the Family Home citizen of the year on account of the work being done by the Salesians with the most needy youngsters.