St Lukes Project Menu
Continued Hospital and Clinic Support
As everyone involved in Humanitarian work knows there are successes and failures. It is never easy. There are all kinds of forces at work to prevent good being done. There are all kinds of selfish interests and many of these get in the way. Sometimes it is very difficult to help people because they do not seem to have the motivation to help themselves or maybe because of deprivation they do not know that things could be better. So it requires great kindness, gentleness, patience and perseverance to be effective in bringing about change for the good of people.
The most important contribution to our humanitarian aid is that made by God. The end result is not dependant on us. As we reflect on this it is very clear that He is the guiding hand and inspiration behind our weak human efforts and it is He who brings it to fulfilment. As we look back now over the years of responding to the urge to meet a particular need we can see that what started off very small and what has required some effort on our part could not in our wildest imagination have reached out to so many people in need with real and sustained support other than by the help of God. Over €1.5 million worth of medical equipment has been redistributed by us to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and individuals all of whom were badly in need and who could do with more. At present we are in the process of redistributing another half a million Euro worth of this equipment. All of this equipment is donated to us for the purpose of redistribution by the caring professions in Ireland. Where there is surplus medical supplies people in the medical and caring profession are always anxious that they would reach people who need them. We constantly get calls from all over the country from medical people who are clearing out their stores and want to see their supplies used before their expiry date. This often puts us under pressure when we are faced with limited storage space and limited resources and personnel to collect them.
Our humanitarian work is often done quietly out of sight as it should be. We are often only giving a little in support of a much greater effort being done by the organisations we support. We have been very impressed with some of the outstanding charitable groups working in Medjugorje and throughout Bosnia and are very happy to support them. Also early in 2012 we were able to give a full 40ft container of special needs equipment and hospital supplies to the Chernobyl Children’s charity for much needed project in Belaruis.
From Cork to Donegal, Kerry to Dublin, Limerick, Louth, Waterford, Sligo, Meath, Galway, Kildare, is the range our Volunteers travel sometimes on a 600 km round journey gathering and collecting hospital equipment and medical supplies of all kinds. Frank and Godfrey have been instrumental in assessing needs and organising the logistics of transportation and exportation of these much needed medical supplies.
We are privileged to continue supporting the following.
The Mother’s Village Humanitarian Projects
Medications for those in need
The Vionica home for the elderly
A local nurse in her treatment of diabetics
Daniella’s Mother and her new red chair
Mario and his 14k round trip
The Mother’s Village which was founded by Fr. Slavko for orphans of the war has continued to provide for a large number of children, (presently over 50) now mainly from broken home situations. Beside this the Community of the Merciful Father has developed.
It is now catering for around thirty young men in Medjugorje and has three other houses catering for smaller numbers. Close by the Kay Centre caters for young mothers and babies. These along with the warehouse distributing Humanitarian Aid and the School for infants form a considerable Community. All of these projects are under the care of Fr. Svetozar, one of the local Franciscans who succeeded the late Fr. Slavko in this role. All depend totally on Divine Providence.
We have helped out Sr. Kata, a Franciscan Sister who is a qualified pharmacist. She used to run a free pharmacy service for the poor in the Parish of Medjugorje. We were able to source supplies for her.
Sometimes among the poor families there are children who have severe forms of epilepsy and no possibility of being able to afford the expensive medication. We have through the generosity of private donors and some of the Pharmaceutical companies been able to help five of these. Pilgrims who have medicines that are still in date that they do not need for themselves often bring them to our house. All medicines that are in date are greatly appreciated.
The only nursing home in the Parish of Medjugorje for the local elderly poor was built at Vionica, one of the five villages that make up the parish of Medjugorje. This is a very fine home for the elderly built by the St. Joseph charity founded by the late Arthur Mc Cluskey (from Co. Laois). This home was built to care for the surviving grandparents of orphans in the nearby orphanage founded by the late Sr. Josepha for the children she found abandoned in a train carriage near the end of the recent war. It is another of the outstanding fruits of Medjugorje and deserves support from the Irish Pilgrims.
We are amazed when we meet so many generous pilgrims, several of them Irish, who bring financial and material aid to Medjugorje and who are unaware of the existence of this home for the elderly poor. Unlike other nursing homes this home cares for many patients who are bedridden and they do not need to be able to walk in and they will be kept till they die. There is nothing big or elaborate about it but it is spotless and cares in a wonderful and loving way for all its 28 patients. We have begun to bring some much needed medical supplies there.
Local NurseIn 2008 the St. Luke’s Medical Project opened a clinic at the Mother’s Village and supported it by bringing medical supplies there. We employed a local nurse and a young doctor who provided first aid to the many communities and to the poor during the season when the Order of Malta Clinic was closed. We did this because we were particularly anxious to continue our support for the outstanding humanitarian work being done in the whole region by the Franciscans of the parish. Currently, on request, we supply this nurse with medications to treat diabetics, she gives her service voluntarily.
Mario and his 14km Round Trip
On receipt of an electric wheelchair Mario thanked the Irish benefactors and Our Lady for the donation of the chair. Mario, a refugee from Sarajevo, had for seven years great difficulty walking because of problems with his knees and had not gone beyond his neighbour’s house. On receipt of the chair Mario was so happy to be mobile, he wanted to see how far the chair would take him. Having Travelling 7km (to Medjugorje) with his grandson on a bike and carrying a mobile phone in case of an emergency he eventually arrived near his cousin’s home with a flat battery.
“Now I know how far I can go”, Mario said to his cousin who was astonished to see him. He then charged the battery and headed home. Mario went to the shop for the first time in years, called to his friend’s house, and was often seen around on his new chair.