A hospice link between the Ukraine and Germany

Civil society cooperation between the hospice in Ivano-Frankivsk and the Johannes hospice in Muenster, supported by funds from the Foreign Office

General Information

The federal government supports civil society project cooperations with East European countries, using the instruments of cultural relations and educational policy. Based on partnership, with a flat organisational structure, a cooperation can become effective “outside the realm of politics“ and beyond national borders through dialogue, development, and society and social commitment. Against the background of history with its traumas and dreams, the “peaceful co-existence of the peoples in Europe“ is strengthened.

Within the programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia“, measures are eligible for funding which “develop permanent structures of civic society cooperation“,  reach a large number of participants and pursue higher goals.

These goals are: “strengthening pluralism“, “encouraging discussion of values“, “opening up prospects for the future“, and “encouraging dialogue and understanding“ (Information on the Federal Foreign Office Programme)


2020 project

Project title: Capacity building in hospice work”

The proposal submitted by the Johannes Hospice has been accepted by the Federal Foreign Office for 2020 as well. The two main goals were formulated as follows:

  • Build capacity in hospice work at the Regional Palliative Care Center (hospice) in Ivano-Frankivsk (Ukraine).
  • Strengthen collaboration between the two hospices in terms of volunteering, fundraising, public relations, pastoral care and palliative care in Ivano-Frankivsk and Münster.

The Regional Clinical Palliative Care Center (Hospice) in Ivano-Frankivsk was founded in 1997 and has the status of a regional medical institution. Its task is to offer comprehensive care for the dying and their families. At the same time, students of the Medical College and the Medical University can learn there under realistic conditions. For further information: see palliacentre.com.ua (only in the Ukrainian language).


Project implementation period:

March 2020 to December 2020


Planned activities:

  1. Week-long stay by four people from Ukraine: fundraising and public relations officers from the Palliative Care Center (hospice) and volunteers and pastoral care officers from the Palliative Care Center and the oblast.
  2. Course for volunteers in hospice work in Ivano-Frankivsk, conducted by two coordinators from the Johannes Hospice, together with the pastors responsible for the course from the Palliative Care Center in Ivano-Frankivsk and the oblast.
  3. Development of a textbook on palliative care in the Ukrainian language in cooperation with three senior nurses and two doctors from Ivano-Frankivsk.

The project aims to use appropriate measures to promote important aspects of hospice activities in Ivano-Frankivsk by promoting the voluntary work as well as the fundraising and public relations work of the hospice, for example.

Furthermore, nursing should also receive a boost. Interdisciplinary work, an essential element in palliative care, can only be successful if each profession is able to contribute its specific skills in an equal way. The planned textbook will close this gap. It can be used as a reference throughout the country while at the same time revealing what a palliative care specialist needs to know. The textbook will also contribute to the necessary changes for a better qualification.

Activities carried out:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in travelling between Ukraine and Germany, it was not possible to realize the activities mentioned under point 1 and point 2. The development of a textbook on palliative care in Ukrainian language (point 3) was successfully carried out. It is expected to be published by an Ukrainian publisher in the first quarter of 2021.


2019 project

Project name: „Capacity building in palliative nursing

The application submitted by the Johannes hospice for the year 2019 has been given a positive assessment by the Foreign Office. The two main goals were formulated as follows:

  • Capacity building in palliative nursing in the Regional Palliative Care Center (hospice) in Ivano-Frankivsk has been achieved.
  • The cooperation between the hospices in Ivano-Frankivsk and Muenster (Johannes Hospice) has been strengthened,


Project administration period

April 2019 to December 2019.


Activities carried out:

  • Care visitation to the hospice in Ivano-Frankivsk by a palliative care expert from the Johannes Hospice.
  • A three day work experience in stationary care at the Johannes Hospice for a total of four carers from the hospice in Ivano-Frankivsk.
  • A five day interdisciplinary course with a multi-professional team of instructors in Ivano-Frankivsk.
  • A one day job-related course for carers in Ivano-Frankivsk
  • A Round Table with tutors from Ivano-Frankivsk in the Ukraine

The project described the progress of increasing cooperation between the two hospices. Both are in a city with a similar population, both in a city with good standards of educational culture. Within the project, the cooperation formed a structure on the level of professional qualification. It is an excellent basis for future developments in 2020. Caring for the patient is central to hospice care and carers need professional support – for the people they look after and for themselves and their professional prospects.



Dr. Iryna Slugotska

Dr. Iryna Slugotska, director of the Regional Clinical Palliative Care Center in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine