The Federation of Communities of Life

Andrzej Kalinowski

2018-03-21 20:17:38

The Federation of Communities of Life consists of homes for the disabled and the sick, where disabled and able-bodied persons live together and enrich one another. All homes are integrated in society and the local environment. They are usually small detached houses or flats where 2 to 15 persons live. These homes do not look different from other homes inhabited by ordinary families. They have no plates, and there are no characteristic elements of a centre or institution inside (like fire extinguishers or information about the escape route). There is also no office, accounting room, secretariat, gate-house etc. The arrangement and furnishing of such home cannot be different than in standard homes in the given country, therefore it is equipped with ordinary furniture and daily-use equipment. It is supposed to be an ordinary home for permanent residence till the end of one’s life. The external life of inhabitants of each separate community is based on continuous fulfilment of daily household duties. Living in a home is not based on any regulations, but on common sense and the principles of social co-existence.

All homes accept mainly disabled social orphans or neglected and uncared-for persons. The range of disability is very broad: there are persons with motor disabilities and with light or severe mental disabilities. Here one person enriches another. The able-bodied take care of the weak. The weak bestow a real experience of love upon others. In this place, everyone is precious and has something to offer.

In communities of life, caretakers are usually called “Socjusze”, whereas persons with disabilities are called Co-inhabitants. Socjusze who decide to accompany a weak person (irrespective of which path of life they have chosen) accept a community as their own, including any consequences. Every single member of a community is obliged to work continuously on his internal development and sensitivity. Relations between caretakers and dependent (disabled) persons resemble parent-child or friend-friend relations. Socjusze can be married persons, single persons or consecrated persons who decide to devote their life for a limited or unlimited period to a weak and miserable person, in which they see Jesus Christ Himself.

There are five types of communities of life:
Family Communities with Disabled Persons are based on the running of a joint household (family) by Socjusze and Co-inhabitants. The decision of Socjusze to adopt such a scheme of their own family and life is purely voluntary. They assume the discovery of their own weakness in the presence of the weak and, therefore, mutual growth. They are single persons – voluntary workers who have chosen a path of spiritual growth by running a family with disabled and sick persons. They do not receive any remuneration for their work and commitment. They are maintained by the home in which they live. Their attitude is often a light for the contemporary world. We divide these homes into:
a) Socjusze’s own homes,
b) disabled persons’ homes,
c) the Community’s homes.

Family Homes with Disabled Persons function within an already existing family according to principles similar to adoption: a family takes in disabled persons to run a joint household with them. Parents (caretakers) have their separate tasks, or one of the parents (or both) resigns from work to take special care of the family. It depends, of course, on the level of disability of Co-inhabitants and their number. Disabled persons living in a family home are treated on a par with other inhabitants. Relations are most often similar to parent-child or child-parent relations, or are based on brotherhood or friendship. Depending on the ownership of inhabited property, we divide these homes into:
a) Socjusze’s own homes,
b) homes owned by the Community.

Supported Homes with Disabled Persons are a sort of housing community where sick and disabled persons live independently, but under appropriate supervision. Here, the Socjusz is an external person who secures the maintenance and proper functioning of a home. It can be an irregular voluntary worker or a person financed by Co-habitants themselves. The Socjusz usually attends the rhythm of day established for the given home, tidiness and cleanness as well as catering and finance management. Disabled persons living in such a home must be provided with their daily schedule of tasks. In this way, disabled inhabitants can fulfil their potential on the level adapted to their abilities. They live a separate life, which is only stimulated by the Community with favourable effect. These homes are divided into:
a) homes owned by separate disabled persons,
b) homes owned jointly by disabled persons,
c) homes owned by the Community.

In Housing Communities with Disabled Persons Socjusze are external irregular persons which are often financed by Co-inhabitants themselves. These communities can also be homes where the function of Socjusze is performed by a group of external voluntary workers or, for example, a group of parents of disabled persons who care about the future of their children. Thanks to them, disabled persons can live in a normal environment and have their own home. Socjusze can stay in such a home permanently or only for periods of duty. This requires a great deal of sacrifice, which often goes beyond accepted standards of work. These communities require comprehensive protection.

We divide these homes into:
a) Socjusze’s own homes,
b) disabled persons’ homes,
c) homes belonging to a group of parents of disabled persons,
d) the Community’s homes.

Foster Families with a Disabled Person are based on the adoption of a disabled person by a family. It does not have to be a legal adoption, but within and under supervision of the Community. In practice, it is an ordinary family where only one disabled person lives. Relations between the disabled person and the rest of the family can be typically parental or simply based on brotherhood or friendship. Thanks to such families, disabled and sick persons have their right place on earth, where they can find warmth, love and – most of all – normality. They are not condemned to life in isolation or on the margins of society. They live in a normal home and family appropriately on their level. In this way, each weak, poor and disabled person receives fully fair treatment from the society and is aware of his own value, dignity and mission. We divide these homes into:
a) homes owned by families,
b) homes owned by disabled persons,
c) homes owned by the Community.

All kinds of homes are grouped into the Federation of Communities of Life. As a result, their inhabitants feel safer and are more certain of their future. Their life is monitored on a running basis, properly stimulated and, therefore, sufficiently protected. The Federation performs a supplementary, supervisory and controlling role. It exercises legal custody of communities and their inhabitants, promotes the idea of family homes – housing communities with disabled persons, takes care of their development and sets up new homes. Each single home finds it much easier to survive within a group, especially in the case of weakest homes. The federation helps communities of life to grow. If any home encounters difficulties, others will provide advice, help and care. Each home is an invisible support of another. This peculiar symbiosis ensure the permanent and stable functioning of homes. Very important factors are common funds, physical help (e.g. substitution in emergencies) and, most of all, joint housekeeping, mutual enrichment, support and exchange of experiences. The mutual formation that creates a Community is also important. It includes also the mutual correction of errors and the shared experience of joys and sorrows. Such network of mutual connections is the only way to the existence, real functioning and survival of a community. Therefore, communities of life can be a sign for the contemporary world.

We encourage families, marriages, single persons, consecrated persons and all people of good will to establish and co-create communities of life with the weak and the poor, to discover their own weakness and enrich one another.

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