My name is Nikola Kurti, I am a professional photographer, a husband, and a father of two daughters. The beginnings of my support for the work of the Sisters of Charity with the homeless, and later for the work of Depaul Croatia, date back to 1992, when I came to Rijeka and began to develop my photographic activity here. I did this because I really appreciate what the sisters do, I appreciate themselves – their vocation, and that’s why I wanted to help them. I wanted to make it easier for them – in what they do. Because I know what it means to take care of food every day, buy food and other necessities for family life. It is not just a financial investment, it is not just to spend and give: the whole person enters into it all. And that is exactly what the sisters give – their whole selves; this is what gives Depaul Croatia in collaboration with them.
I financially support the work of Depaul Croatia. I am essentially helping you – and you, the Depaul Croatia and the sisters, are giving your whole selves by helping the poor. What I would like to emphasise is that by donating material resources I thank God for life, for everything He has given me. I often meet those who ask me for money – five Kunas, ten Kunas… At the same time, I am guided by the lesson of my friend the priest. Namely, I once expressed to him my doubt about whether I should give money to the person who asks me or not (and I doubt the truth of his words and the real need). What would that person do with that money, I often wondered. That priest told me that it was important for my gift to make that person, in any way, happy. And since that time I never judge the truth of the expressed need, nor do I think much after I give that money to the poor. I know that both that person and I received joy with that gift.
I feel great compassion for people who are suffering. I am sensitive to human trouble. And that’s why I help in many ways. Whenever someone asks me I try to help. I can say that I also volunteer through my job: I go to those who need my profession, and I know I can’t pay. I personally go to them because I want to tell them that I respect them. Through my photographic work, I also meet many homeless people. In all of this – in donating material resources and volunteering – I can testify that good always comes back to good.
This year, Depaul Croatia was part of a humanitarian action selling sports jerseys that I organized. I am glad she succeeded and helped Depaul. I know St. Vincent de Paul from my sisters. I know he was a great benefactor, a friend of the poor. Most of all, I met him through the work of the Sisters of Charity, and now Depaul Croatia. I think it would be very good to know more about the House of Refuge and other Depaul programs, and to involve as many people as possible in the ongoing support of the programs they implement.