Charity Organization “Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya” was awarded with international prize (photo)

Solemnities took part today in Transcarpathian Regional Council on the occasion of presentation of high international human rights prize “Open Borders” to Charitable Organization “Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya” headed by Nataliya Kabatsiy.

Head of Regional Council Ivan Baloha, his deputy Andriy Serbailo, the governor of Executive Apparatus of Regional Council Mykhailo Popovych took part in the event.

In the frames of working visit to Transcarpathia Christian Schoenenberger, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Ukraine, and his wife Mrs. Barbara Cender Schoenenberger shared the pleasure of the prize and presented their respects.

Dick Marty, famous European political actor, lawyer, specialist on International Crime Law: deputy from Switzerland in European Council, president of Assembly of Canton of Jura (there are 26 cantons in the composition of Federal Government of Switzerland) was also invited to prize presentation as well as Hannes Kaizer – representative of European Civic Forum and Michael Roessler – representative of Association “Circle of friends of Cornelius Koch and others.

Greeting the presented persons, Swiss Ambassador in Ukraine mentioned that he was glad to be presented at the prize award to Charity Organization “MACZ” the mission of which is to support low socially groups of population in the area. He also said about support and assistance of refugees and persons with limited abilities. “I am thankful that Transcarpathian non-governmental organization closely cooperates with Swiss governmental organization and also grateful to representative of Swiss Parliament for his coming to this event, accentuating upon existing cooperation between Ukrainian Transcarpathia and Switzerland. Cooperation between regions, governments is very important not only on the high level but when non-governmental organizations cooperate and find the ways for communication” – he stressed.

Ivan Baloha marked that this pleasant event coincided with the visit to Transcarpathia of the Ambassador of Switzerland in Ukraine. “During short talks, I expressed my gratitude to Mr. Ambassador for that assistance realized by the public and residents of Switzerland concerning the realization of the project “Parasolka” in Tyachiv. I would like sincerely to thank initiators, public actors of your government, Charitable Organization “MACZ” and say: we are proud that such a great work was done in our region due to your help. By your activities, behavior you have given the part of Swiss soul to children of unprotected groups of Transcarpathian population and this aid is very important in education and safekeeping of such children. I hope that our good actions will not finish here, they will have logical continuation, – Ivan Ivanovych accented.

Dick Marty presented frank, warm speech, where he marked the efforts, non-indifference and services of CO “MACZ” and spoke with pride about Swiss human rights prize given to persons or groups that actively work in the field of rights of refugees, migrants, socially unprotected groups and minorities. The prize is politically and religiously independent.

His keen narration was about the founder of this prize – the priest Cornelius Koch (1940-2001), known as Chaplain of refugees. He started the prize “Open Alps – open borders”. The first person received this prize was Don Renco Beretta. In his church in Ponte Chiasso (Northern Italy) he gave shelter to hundreds of refugees returned from Swiss border. Afterwards, this prize was received by others. After death of Chaplain Koch (in August 2001) the prize was not awarded.  After the death of Chaplain Koch (in August 2010) the prize was not awarded for certain period. But in 2010 the Association «Circle of friends of Cornelius Koch» gave it a new name “Open Borders”. The goal and grant were left the same, and the prize has become to look for its winners.

Today Transcarpathian benefactors are in its ranks.

As Nataliya Kabatsiy reported, organization was found by Ukrainian staff of French Ukrainian Humanitarian Association “Medical Aid Committee” with the aim to realize programs in Ukraine. Since March 2000, CO “MACZ” acts as independent charitable organization. There are numerous programs realized by organization on development of solidarity and assistance of sick and needy persons, creation of centre for young people with restricted abilities ”Parasolka” (Tyachiv), elucidative work, help to refugees and asylum seekers in Ukraine.

In April 2006, CO “MACZ” was awarded Prize of French Government for the contribution into development of Vilshany Children Orphanage and assistance to handicapped  children. Nowadays, Committee realizes its activity in three directions: human rights, social protection and health care.

Other speakers on the part of the guests stressed that people are not often thoughtful about the problems of handicapped persons, do not imagine what makes refugees come to foreign lands. It is indifference. Nevertheless, not all of us indifferent – someone solves these problems, thus society does not lose its human face.

Charitable Organization “Medical Aid Committee in Zakarpattya” belongs to them being awarded with the highest international decoration. Dick Marty realized this honorable mission.

Correspondingly to order, Ivan Baloha rewarded Balega Katharine, Danch Nadiya, Yuriychuk Oksana with Diploma of Regional Council for the significant contribution into realization of charitable projects in the area and active civil position of the members of CO “MACZ”.

In his comments, Christian Schoenenberger stressed that he was glad to meet the head of Regional Council. It will help support and develop cooperation, which is on a good level and can be improved in future in different fields and be activated on the level of public organizations.

Ivan Baloha emphasized that when he was elected as the head of Regional Council he promised to his fellow-citizens that, first of all, organization of close friendly relations with countries of European Union, finding partners there should become the principle work of RC. This external factor will have to help us to find ourselves in Europe, has to help us in social field, development of ecology of Carpathians and its preservation, extension of modern technologies existed in the world and unfortunately still not appeared here. The arrival of Mr. Ambassador – is a notable event for Transcarpathia, by this action he confirmed his intention to develop friendly relations with our area in different directions in future. The example of it – is joint project of Transcarpathian foresters in renovation of forest FORZA and building of Centre “Parasolka”. Today we have discussed opportunity to sign up Cooperation Agreement between Transcarpathia and one of the Cantons of Switzerland in future.