Ten years on Ann and Philly continue to bring hope to Romanian poor By Ann Bradley

August 4, 2009

I returned to Timiosara in Romania on 12th July, this time I travelled alone as I did on my first trip 10 years ago.  As always I stayed with our trusted and unpaid helpers Flore and Gusti and their family.

Philly McCann and myself are the joint trustees of the Romania Appeal and we promised in 1999 that every penny donated would go directly to the poor with no deductions for administration, expenses etc.  We were told at the start that it was not possible to do this, thank God we have been able to uphold our promise.  My fare was paid by Damien, a true friend of the poor.

Flore and Gusti found a new village for us to visit in addition to the families we already help, mostly OAP’s and very poor who have health problems.

After 17 trips and 10 years on things should be improving as Romania is now part of the E.U. I would ask you to read on and decide for yourself.

The new village is called Bencec, approx 30 minutes drive from the city centre of Timiosara, adorned by fountains, shops, gardens etc, all for the eyes of the world to see how Romania has progressed since the fall of Communism in 1989 when every time a TV was turned on or a newspaper opened it was an outcry as to the suffering of the poor and the conditions they were enduring.

Now the world has moved on and the poor have got poorer, the work is now left to charities who do as much as they can to help.

Getting back to the village of Bencec I was left shaken to the core by the terrible conditions there, the lady in the photograph was the first stop we made, she was very ill and weak, having been told 3 weeks before that she had a severe infection, given a note for medication, she hadn’t the money to get the treatment and was left to suffer on, this is not an isolated case, we meet many in the same situation.  Florica was lucky because we found her and were able to go to the chemist and get her the medication.

We met 14 families in Bencec living in the most terrible conditions I have ever seen, they were in shacks, o.k. in the 38 degrees now but how they cope in minus 25 degrees in winter I don’t know!  They had no food other than the potatoes and vegetables they grow, a few hens here and there, not a drop of water between the 14 families, thank God we were able to pay for 2 wells to be installed, already started, please believe me when I say the people don’t have a chance in life, the ones who are able to work can be seen standing along the roadside with the hope that farmers will give them work to commence on the wells so they could dig and help.  What a way to live in 2009.

Philly and I extend our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the poor to all the people who have supported us since the onset of our work in Romania, without them we couldn’t do anything.

If you would like to see a copy of our latest newsletter showing the work carried out during the visit please ring (028) 3083 9890 or write to Ann Bradley, “Cara” 94 Millvale Road, Bessbrook, Newry BT35 6JZ.