Caritas for children in Split Caritas for children in Split 

Caritas in Croatia seeking to break cycle of intergenerational poverty

As the number of families facing financial difficulty grows, Caritas of Split in Croatia is seeking to break the cycle of poverty transmission by providing professional assistance to parents and children.

By Sr. Nina Benedikta Krapić, VMZ

Children who grow up in socially and economically disadvantaged families are more likely to experience poverty as adults.

Poverty affects the resources that parents can invest in their children's needs and education, so they may be unable to acquire the skills needed to break the vicious circle of poverty.

Breaking the cycle of poverty

In order to break the transmission of poverty to children, the Archdiocesan Caritas in Split-Makarska is offering both material assistance and professional guidance.

“More and more people were looking not only for material help, but also for professional guidance, and parents asked us for help and support for both themselves and their children", explained Denis Maslov, Director of Caritas Split, in an interview with Vatican News .

Working with experts in education and the fight against poverty, the Caritas team has decided to respond to this problem by providing professional help to parents and their children through its "Children’s Smile" branch.

Professional parenting advice

Mr. Maslov said Caritas aims to strengthen the parenting skills of those they assist.

"Strengthening protective factors and creating resistance to risk factors will form the basis of The Children's Smile's work with children and families,” he said. “We decided to focus on work with pre-school and school-age children, because of the possibility of influencing children's period of education and the importance of early prevention of child poverty and social exclusion.”

Over the last 3 years, as a result of the pandemic and inflation in Croatia, needs have doubled.

Mr. Maslov explained that "this has had a detrimental effect on the middle class of citizens, so those who were yesterday's donors are now asking for help".

The organization is actively working with 133 families, including 558 children in Split and the surrounding area.

A space to work with children and their families in Caritas - Split
A space to work with children and their families in Caritas - Split

Caring for people on the margins of society

The work of Caritas Split is a concrete response to Pope Francis’s prayer intention for September 2023: “Let us pray for those people on the margins of society in subhuman living conditions, that they may not be neglected by institutions and never be cast out.”

Pope Francis invites Christians to pay attention to people who face marginalization, even if it results from “poverty, addictions, mental illness, or disability.”

In response to indifference, he upheld a “culture of welcoming, of providing shelter, of giving a home, of offering love, of giving human warmth.”

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13 September 2023, 16:46