Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair – the first day, 14.09.2017

These will be an exceptional four days in the Małopolska Region. Kraków will be hosting the Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair for the first time. Representatives of charity organisations from all over the world will come to the capital of the Małpolska Region to share goodness and inspire others to act. It is here at the Fair where people who live by doing charitable works on a daily basis may be met.

The 1st Edition of the Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair started on 14 September 2017. We will enjoy four days of meetings with representatives of 45 non-governmental organisations from around the world, workshops, conferences and concerts.

“We were extremely happy to have lived in the era of John Paul II – an outstanding Małopolska citizen, a dialogue pope. Numerous monuments have been erected as commemoration, but it is here in Małopolska that a special monument has been built – the Veritatis Splendor Award and Fair. During the forthcoming days we will have an extraordinary opportunity to become familiar with the activities of charity organisations from around the world. These are wonderful people, from whom one may learn sensitivity and how to fight prejudices. The modern world needs dialogue and understanding as never before. That’s why we are here in Kraków, the capital of Małopolska and the divine mercy”

– stressed Mr Leszek Zegzda from the Małopolska Region administration, founder and initiator of the Veritatis Splendor Award and Fair, during the Fair’s opening ceremony.

Ms Urszula Nowogórska, Chairwoman of the Regional Assembly of the Małopolska Region, added that wise help and charity should be taught.

– Goodness is the ability to share talents wisely. Because we are actually born twice in life – the second birth occurs when we help someone. However, wise help must be taught to be able to see what a given person needs. Still, most importantly is providing help in a selfless fashion, not to show off, and with a smile. Only in that way shall we be carrying on the inspiration of John Paul II, she concluded.

Representatives of charity organisations, among others, from the US, Italy, France, Romania, Belarus, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar and Pakistan could be encountered in a village that has been specially erected for the purposes of the Fair in Kraków’s Planty Park. There, the guests will share their ways of helping and spreading positive energy. Today, at 12:00, guests from all around the world were officially greeted at their stands by Mr Leszek Zegzda, initiator of the Fair and member of the Małopolska Region administration, and Ms Urszula Nowogórska, Chairwoman of the Regional Assembly of Małopolska Region.

The International Conference of The John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Award was held at 13:00 on 14 September 2017 in the Słowacki Theatre, which opened the Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair. Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, last year’s recipient of the award, was an honorary guest of the conference. The conference was also attended by those whose attitude and work wholeheartedly provided assistance to those in need, not only in the Małopolska Region, but also across Poland and abroad. This referred to: Anna Dymna, Sr. Małgorzata Chmielewska, Sr. Teresa Pawlak, Fr. Jacek Stryczek, Fr. Rafał Cyfka and Janek Mela.

The Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair is not only about the stands, but is also the perfect opportunity to hold talks and exchange experiences. Therefore, the first day of the Fair saw debates and conferences. One of them became a forum for exchanging views between those whose profession involves helping others, and representatives of the organisations that had come to attend the Fair. The entire interview was conducted by Szymon Hołownia.

Motivational workshops were held at the Pontifical University of John Paul II on Franciszkańska Street for volunteers who were members of the organisations participating in the Fair. These were run by employees from the Voluntary Centre in Lublin. It was an excellent opportunity for integration and getting acquainted with other Fair participants. The meeting started with self-presentations of those attending that also included introductions to the institutions they represented. It was a perfect stimulus for further discussions about inspirations, group work methods, and the difficulties and issues they were faced with every day.

The first day of the Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair was marked by debates and conferences. The last, but very special talk was also simultaneously broadcast on the Thursday evening by Radio Kraków and Kraków Television. The invited guests, including Mr Leszek Zegzda from the Małopolska Voivodeship administration, Ms Urszula Nowogórska, Chairwoman of the Regional Assembly, Anna Dymna and Jasiek Mela talked about the importance of charity in the modern world.

The Veritatis Splendor Charity Fair that will continue until Sunday show in a tangible way how many faces charitable activities have. And all that in an atmosphere of waiting for another winner of the Veritatis Splendor Award – our “Małopolski Nobel” Prize that is granted to persons who go beyond borders and break barriers in providing assistance to others. I have no doubt that charity is just the best way for dialogue between man and man. Then, all prejudices and distance break down, because a helping hand and assistance is the most important said Leszek Zegzda from the Małopolska Voivodeship administration, who opened the debate.

As noted by Urszula Nowogórska, Chairwoman of the Regional Assembly, it was worth getting acquainted with the offers of the organisations that came to the Fair since a “domino effect” is often seen in helping.

People who help others very often do so because someone offered them a helping hand in the paSr. Isn’t this a beautiful domino effect – the fact that sharing goodness works so naturally and by itself? A big asset of the Veritatis Splendor Fair is also the fact that we may meet these people, talk, and see that doing good very often means little, daily gestures that we, too, may become part of concluded Ms Nowogórska.

That charity is not only for a small group of outstanding persons was argued by the Chairwoman of the Regional Assembly supported by Anna Dymna, founder of the Against the Odds Foundation.

It’s not about our doing something good only when we have time for it or when we feel like doing so. This should stem from – and, please believe me that this is the case – out of a natural need, almost automatically. It’s worth being engaged in some charity project, because it’s us who’re the biggest beneficiaries. We gain an invaluable feeling that our life makes sense. That we are changing the world for the better, she stressed.

The debate on “Charity – A Need for Heart or Fashion?” was also attended by: Jasiek Mela from the Jasiek Mela Beyond the Horizons Foundation [Fundacja Poza Horyzonty] and Fr. Rafał Cyfka from Aid to the Church in Need. The talk was hosted by: Mariusz Bartkowicz (Radio Kraków) and Monika Meleń (TVP Kraków).

One of the attractions accompanying the Fair were the concerts held on a special stage at 3 Franciszkańska Street, under the Papal window.

The first star to take the stage was the Golec uOrkiestra band. The band was formed in 1998 by Łukasz and Paweł Golec and has enjoyed a steady reputation on the Polish music market and a faithful cohort of fans. The band combines the traditional sounds of the Arc of the Carpathians with numerous music genres including pop, alternative music, rock’n’roll, rhythm and blues and jazz. When performing, the band has built its image through a number of hits, e.g. “Crazy Is My Life”, “Słodycze”, “Pędzą konie” and “Ściernisco”. The musicians wrote a piece called “Leć muzyczko” [Fly Music, Fly] especially dedicated to Pope John Paul II. They have given over 1,500 concerts worldwide.

Source: Biuro Prasowe UMWM, IDMJP2

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