The Diaconal Centre of RCCS realized a survey in 2014-2015 and evaluated diaconal and mission activities in congregations and seniorats of the church. 112 involved into the survey in 8 seniorats, which can be considered as a representative result. The goal of the survey was the analysis, which helps to figure out the diaconal and mission strategy of RCCS. The object of the survey was to gain a real picture of diaconal and mission service done in the congregations and to map the needs and options of diaconia in RCCS. The survey had three main fields. The first field was the real functioning of congregational diaconia according to the law of the church 1/2003, which is valid till today. The second field were the activities done in framework of congregational diaconia in 2014. Third field of the survey mapped the needs and options of congregational diaconia of the RCCS.
In the survey we gained the number of volunteers involved into congregational diaconia. From 279 volunteers concludes that in our congregations there are volunteers, who are interested in doing diaconal and mission service.
From the analysis came out, that only four congregations have registered social service. That means that this option is used very rarely. We presupposed there is a lack of information about these options, and also a financial deficit, together with the missing of the staff for implementation of this service to the practice. Important information was from the survey that determined the target group and the place of services in the framework of congregational diaconia. Target group for congregational diaconia consists of ill and lonely living persons, seniors, widows and orphans. The services made toward them are provided at their own home. The service on this field requires individual and systematic approach with emphasis on erudition and expertise. Also there are demographic specialties, regional differences, different options and habits in each congregation. The third part of the survey was directed to mapping the needs and options and planning of diaconal activities on horizontal and vertical level. We tried to find the field, which the congregations want to improve and widen. The largest field to develop the service, as the survey showed, was to visit in home environment. The second defined field was the request to organize financial or material collections. The third need was to participate on charity and humanitarian actions. The analysis of the survey showed that from the Diaconal Center the developing of congregational diaconia is expected with the education and training of presbyters, volunteers and pastors.
The results of the survey assumed the need of:
- A change in the Law about Diaconal Services 1/2003
- Education and training of presbyters, pastors and volunteers in diaconal activies.
- Raising the personal contact with the Diaconal Centre.
- Supporting the development of congregational diaconia.
According to the analysis of the survey was elaborated the new vision the Diaconal Centre of RCCS for 2015-2020, and also accepted on the meeting of the board on 23rd February 2015 in Rimavská Sobota.
Also according to the results of the survey were elaborated more projects for developing congregational diaconia. One of them is the Home Care Service, which was started not only by the Diaconal Centre, but also by the congregations of RCCS. As a first step it was very important to share informations with the pastors about this social service. These information were provided to the pastors in the framework of churchwide assembly and advanced training of pastors with a presentation called: Implemetation of social services to congregational diaconia RCCS in Slovakia. Our goal was to provide basic informations and helping hand by administration, and registration of the social service. But we realized from the results of the survey, that the registration is only the first and basic step to professional caregiving. To maintain this service it was also necessary to professionally educate volunteers. The training of caregivers supported HEKS-EPER Foundation with 3040 euros, and also the church from its own resources gave 1600 euros. According to the laws of Slovak Republic a professional caregiver has to graduate from a 230 hour caregiver’s course. The course was realized in cooperation with the VaV Servis s.r.o. and it took place in Rožňava, Kráľovský Chlmec and Dolný Štál. In the course graduated 54 persons and gain a diploma of professional caregiver.
Diaconal Center of RCCS in Slovakia registered the home care service with the agreement of the supervisory board and participates in the National project of Supporting home care service via Implementation agency of Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of Slovak Republic. For those congregations who were interested in starting this service the Diaconal Center provided methodical help. In May 2016 the Diaconal Centre successfully started to work in the national project, and became a provider of home care service. The service started also in Košice region in 1st of September 2016 with 37 person in need and in the Nitra region 9 person. For 6 mouths from the starting date of the project we emloyed 57 caregivers, from who we trained 19. The service gain more and more interest for the project, and six of them started the as a legal subject: Rožňava, Opatovský Sokolec, Rimavská Sobota, Komárno, Sečovce, Čičov. The project is in the phase of birth, we are building the pillars, standing on a solid ground. The fundament is created from more ingredients, which are connected with the added value: love our neighbour and fullfill the mission of our Church.