Copyright © Muintir Mhuire 2014.

Christian Community Experience For Young People

2014. Support to Mostar's Psychiatric Hospital

2014  February ;   Container of Aid delivered to Psychiatric Hospital Bosnia.

Members of the community, Frank Terry and Sister Theresa Breen, visited a psychiatric hospital in the nearby city of Mostar in October 2011. What they saw both shocked and moved them: bullet holes pock marked the outside walls, windows were broken, basic furnishings were almost non-existent and the hospital beds had been in place since before the second World War. Despite that, the staff showed a heroic dedication to providing the best possible care with their meagre resources. Seeing the need, and being convinced that any aid would be put to immediate good use, the two visitors resolved that the community should help in any way they could.

A list of needed items was drawn up and the community set to work on sourcing everything through donations. Frank Terry and John O’Leary scoured the country looking for hospital beds and slowly began to gather donated beds at a warehouse in Youghal. Walkers, crutches, lockers, bed-trays, wheelchairs, lifts and other items began to pour in, as well as some non-essentials such as maintenance tools, paint, gym equipment and even some toys. In the meantime, the friends of Muintir Mhuire hosted a barbeque at their house in Ballybutler in order to raise funds for the transportation costs of sending the aid to Bosnia. As donations mounted up, but before the shipment was ready, sadly, Sr Theresa passed away, but on her deathbed in the hospital, she told Fr O’Callaghan, “Make sure they get this bed”.

By October 2013, enough had been collected to fill a 40 foot container and so, then, the laborious task of preparing the necessary paperwork had to be done. By the beginning of February, they got the go-ahead from EU and Bosnian officials and a European-wide transportation company gave a date for when they would arrive at Youghal to pick up the shipment. One final call out for volunteers was made  for people to gather at the warehouse on Tuesday February 17th, to slowly load up the truck by hand and then send it on its way.