mardi, mai 23, 2006
Today I got a newsletter in the mail which really put my dreams of travel in a whole different perspective, making them seem trivial and selfish. About six years ago a group of us began a small nonprofit that helps kids living with AIDS in Romania. We support a home health program that allows children to live at home instead of having to spend most of their lives in the hospital (although there are children who end up living in the hospital). Under the last dictatorship, children in Romania were infected with the AIDS virus by re-used syringes. So were adults, who passed the disease on to their children. The suffering of children with AIDS in Romania is almost unimaginable. Poverty and isolation and discrimination are their daily companions. The social worker we support, Mary Veal, and the staff in Romania work bravely to encourage and nurture their young patients, but must cope somehow with the horrors of seeing kids they love die. What does that feel like, to know someone you love can be helped, but that the medication which would save their life is not available? In a heartbreaking entry in her journal Mary writes of a girl named Angela. The 20 year old office cleaner came to the staff doctor, Dr. Cristina, because her sister (both are abandoned) was in the hospital. Angela asked Dr. Cristina: "Who will die first, my sister or me? I want to die before my sister because I don't want to watch her die." This past winter a measles epidemic swept through Romania. Young children with an immune defiency were vulnerable to a disease for which almost any child born in a US hospital gets vaccinated. I name these children not to sensationalize their passing, but to help us realize their uniqueness...Elena. Marinel. Stefania. Teodor. Marius. Alexandra. Ema. Ioana. Roxana. Corina. Razvan. Please pray for them and for their families. Created in God's image, they are all our children. How can we in the wealthy West pass by and ignore their suffering? How can we close our eyes to the wounds of a world of children who all deserve an opportunity to thrive? PS: If you want to know more about ARC (Aiding Romania's Children), please write me.