With Love For All Chil­dren

The Help­ing Hand Appeal has brought hap­pi­ness to so many young­sters

My Weekly - - Contents -

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

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