With Love For All Children
The Helping Hand Appeal has brought happiness to so many youngsters
Helping Hand Appeal 2018
When I walked into the ward of the Infectious Diseases Hospital there was total silence. I’ve never walked into a room of fifty silent children, but if children are ignored for long enough, they will eventually stop crying.”
These were the words of Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow when we first met him back in 2001. At the time he was head of a charity called Scottish International Relief, which later became Mary’s Meals, and he told us about visiting a hospital ward full of abandoned children who were HIV positive.
He was determined that these children would be moved to a place where they would know love and care for the rest of their lives, no matter how long that was.
The Helping Hand Appeal helped to set up Iona House and the first tent children were welcomed into the care of Ibi and her team and with love, affection, care and good food they began to flourish .
Attention turned to a second house, which was eventually called Bannatyne House, as Duncan Bannatyne was a major benefactor. This time we helped furnish the home.
A third home, Rozi’s House, was adde ed for the most seriously disabled children and at last the ward was empty.
Another place we discovered through Ibi, the manager of Iona House, was Hill Street Gypsy Camp in Tirgu Mures. The ramshackle collection of huts were home to desperately poor people who survived by scavenging on refuse dumps.
Initially we helped out with a twiceweekly soup run but then went on to build a Daycare Centre for pre-school children.
The children would be given a nursery ed ducation, a proper lunch but the centre wo ould also contain a laundry and washing fac f cilities. The idea was to teach the ch c hildren all they needed to know to be ab a ble to enter mainstream education at the ap a ppropriate age.
The children were welcomed with love, affection, care and good food