The U. S. Steel Košice Foundation has supported hundreds of public activities such as the Halfway House in Košice
Over the thirteen years of its activity, the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation has supported hundreds of different projects. These have been carried out in the areas of healthcare, science, education, humanitarian care, charity, culture, and in environmental protection and stimulation.
The Foundation has assisted organisations and institutions with different focuses as well as people in unfavourable situations or difficult life conditions. How do particular recipients see the support from the Foundation?
One of the organizations is the Halfway House in Košice, in which social services are provided for ten young adult men by the Social Work Advisory Board in Košice.
“Young men come to us from foster homes or dysfunctional families, having no home and minimum possessions. Mostly, they have been through a difficult life so far, full of obstacles and disadvantages, so they have a lot to catch up with if they want to succeed in open society and stand on their own two feet,” says Judita Varcholová, Director of the non-profit organisation, adding that without the help of good people there would be no “stepping stone” with a positive start-up available for them. “In the course of 2015, the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation helped us to fulfil our mission with the funds they provided as well as their trust and interest in us, and joint visits to cultural and sports events. During the holidays they show their friendship and respect to us. The favour they show touches us to the heart, and of course we know that it comes from U. S. Steel Košice employees. Thank you! Though we cannot meet everyone in person, this is an opportunity to show the purpose of our cooperation, which is reflected in positive results in the lives of our boys, either in their personal life, their work or their studies. In the previous year, three students gained scholarships. Slavomír graduated as a bricklayer from the Secondary Vocational School in Košice. Kristián successfully graduated from St. Elisabeth's Academy of Healthcare and Social Work) with a “bakalár” degree in social work, specializing in social and healthcare services for the Roma minority. Rudolf has started the final, sixth year of his studies at the Jozef Adamovič Secondary School of Music), studying music and drama, and he is sufficiently skilled to continue with his studies at university. We have two students in a special school for whom we finance special food taking into account their health needs. Four of our clients managed to find jobs before the end of the year. Now, when they eventually earn their living we assist them in learning to manage their money. Often this requires a lot of patience until they save something, because in many cases they have to repay debts to distrainers, their own or their parents’ debts.” Until then their income is so low that the boys need financial support from the Foundation for transport, clothes and additional food, adds Judita Varcholová. Otherwise, their financial stabilisation is impossible.
“We have repaired the roof, so finally there are no more leaks. We have replaced several windows, so finally there are no more drafts in our rooms. Broken beds and wardrobes have been exchanged for new ones. We have a new cooker in the kitchen, and the boys now surprise us with their cookies, really good ones. We no longer feel ashamed when visitors come. We have mugs with handles and unbroken plates, and brand new bed sheets. From outside, these things may seem insignificant and minor. From inside, we see your help as reserve energy that helps us, in times of need, both to survive and to make progress and develop ourselves. We all are happy for that,” says Judita Varcholová, sharing her feelings and those of her colleagues and the residents of the Halfway House in Košice.