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Archive for November, 2009

A Letter from Gerard McILROY

November 29th, 2009 No comments

On arriving in Romania I did not know what to expect. Of course I had seen the news reports on television detailing the plight of the orphans in this country but that was not enough to make any judgments.

What I found in 2005 was a beautiful country full of fantastic people, young and not so young! But it was the Lawside Romania Project and its leaders which really impressed me and to see what has been achieved during the fourteen years of the Project’s existence would be an amazing story to tell.

Children in Romania
Children in Romania

Not only has food been put on plates and money in the pockets of many destitute families but – more importantly, smiles have been put on faces of these needy people.

Thinking back on my experiences with a family of eleven children with very little of this world’s goods and of Nazareth (the Sisters of Mercy house for children in Bucharest) where five little abandoned boys live a happy family life, and also the mothers and children in the Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital, brings a tear to my eyes – not tears of sadness but of joy! Joy of seeing faces light up when any of the Lawside Romania Project team visits them, bringing gifts or simply being there to shake their sufferings.

Children in Romania
Children in Romania

This is a wonderful Project which has made an extraordinary difference to hundreds if not thousands of people.

I am honoured to have been part of the Lawside Romania Project volunteers and can truly say this has been an influence for good in my life and, for this I am grateful.

Gerard McILROY

Sisters of Mercy – Our Romanian Mission

November 29th, 2009 No comments

It is 2004  and ‘A miracle unfolding’ is how one volunteer describes the efforts of leaders and volunteers during the past thirteen years.

In Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital amongst suffering and dying children, in the city where families are on the brink of despair through a poverty which seems to have no immediate solution, in the country where other families are in appalling living conditions, the Mercy Project has brought light, hope and practical solutions in a way which astounds even the ‘givers’ themselves.

Apart from the conviction that all hold in the Promises of Jesus Himself the strength and growth of Lawside Romania Project efforts come from the 100% support from the Convent of Mercy team, in Harewood Ave., and the community in Lawside Convent Dundee where a magnificent back-up team exists with Sister Marie Therese as manager!

Our latest volunteer, Sister Paula (formerly Sister Anne’s Cottage Dundee) arrived just as we planned a social service ‘arm’ for our Project, to help disabled people and persons in need in their homes.

Lawside Romania Project takes care of elderly people
Lawside Romania Project takes care of elderly people

One of our dear ladies, living alone and so happy to have that daily meal, needed to go to hospital for some treatment. Immediately, the team was formed, Sister Paula, Rita Tudor (a social worker) and Betty (a devoted carer) set out with all the necessary items for both hospital and a good spring cleaning (with the lady’s permission) of that little room.
Surprise – surprise! While the lady is in hospital, workmen will come in to repair and paint the room and our social service team will see that all will be shinning on our friend’s return from hospital.

Cases like this will multiply!

Sister Mary Aloysius

Let me introduce you to…

November 25th, 2009 No comments

A young 19 year old mother Cristina.  She really attends to all the babies’ needs but it seems she has need of mothering too!  Back home she has left her 2 year old son now she has a 5 month old baby with hip problems needing an operation.  As we see to the needs of little ones it is just as necessary to do all we can to ‘mother’ the mother!

In Oncology Ward too I get a daily shining example of living faith and Christian kindness with mothers sharing a room. Though they have their own child to care for they are ever ready to show love and attention to the others child. One very ill abandoned child Georgiana gets constant visits from children who copy the mums and come to say gentle things to her. Today I noticed she opened her eyes and seemed happy to have these visitors.  She even said her first word – “apa” meaning water. No one had ever heard her speak before!

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

Child at Budimex (Marie Curie) Hospital in Bucharest

Benjamina ten year-old boy who weighed 5 kilos on arrival at Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital, no exaggeration. Never have I seen such an emaciated little body! He has several health problems but the doctors and staff are doing all they can to improve his condition, actually I see a slight improvement and my biggest joy was to receive even a tiny sign that he got some comfort from my gently stroking his head, at least he is not totally abandoned!

Marcus too is an abandoned child. He is 3 years old and though he speaks little, he smiles and shows joy when he receives a gift. To get new pyjamas and also a boy’s suit complete with pockets thrilled him and he smiled into my face saying several times “ce faci?” (how are you?). He has pulmonary trouble but is improving with the care he receives.

Up in the Intensive Care Unit of Floor 7 little one year old Gabi lies in his cot unable to move due to his condition spina bifida. One little arm is paralysed but as I sing to him or leave the cassette recorder near him he seems happy.  He always smiles when I take both his hands and pretend to keep time to the music!

In a nearby cot lies Floricica. He too is very ill. He is so tiny and needs much care – which he gets. A little angel! Like Luis and Gabriel, Floricica is an abandoned baby.

Gheorghe is 15 years old and has several physical problems. He comes from far out in the country and has never been away from home. He becomes very agitated as, when given an injection, he thinks people will kill him in the hospital. I sat with him to reassure him. Luckily a young and very kind doctor came and talked reassuringly to him. I hope and pray he will settle down and sleep.

 

Sister Mary Aloysius