Earlier this month, Bryan College’s Center for International Development hosted Theresa Turtukowskyj from CARITAS, an international Catholic charity based out of Rome that serves the impoverished and vulnerable around the globe.
The Latin word for respect and love, CARITAS works to provide that and more for people in all walks of life. CARITAS offers services that support, counsel and care for those in need, including refugees, migrants, the elderly, individuals with mental and physical disabilities and those seeking shelter from abuse.
Ms. Turtukowskyj, director of CARITAS Burgenland, runs three major facilities along the eastern border of Austria that houses and treats children and adults with severe mental and physical disabilities.
In working with individuals with disabilities, CARITAS Burgenland stresses the principles of normalization, self-determination and integration. CARITAS Burgenland integrates modern, needs-oriented services with high-quality care so that each individual can express their individuality and independence.
Ms. Turtukowskyj spent her time in Chattanooga visiting with local nonprofits, including the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Siskin Hospital and Orange Grove Center. She got to know local leaders and learned how the different nonprofits manage their various services and reviewed their policies so that she can improve how her centers are managed in Austria.
Dennis Miller, CID director said, “Bryan College stresses the importance of outreach, not only in our local community, but around the world. In connecting members of our community with those who do similar work across the globe, we are able to learn from each other and foster long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.”
Bryan College’s CID and the Partnership have a long running relationship spanning over 13 years.
In that time, Mr. Miller has connected the Partnership with seventeen guests from countries all around the globe, including Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Greece and China. These guests typically specialize in human rights issues like human and sex trafficking and abuse of women and children.
"Since 2005, Partnership has worked with Bryan College in spreading our mission of empowering people and building communities at a global scale,” said Partnership Chief Operating Officer Regina McDevitt. “Partnership has sent employees to Slovakia and Romania to consult and train directors at their centers, focusing on issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault. In a true give and take spirit, Partnership has brought home priceless experiences and knowledge to benefit our clients, while also sharing the practices that have worked best for us to help them serve the vulnerable in their communities."
Since 2003, CID has organized more than 600 global education lectures, seminars, conferences and projects to provide Bryan students and others with the opportunity to interact with major international experts in areas such as business, politics and government, communications, Christian worldview and more.