Monday, 29 October 2007


We have a group of 8 with us from Wolverhampton and Liverpool. Some have been before and are obviously gluttons for punishment! While they are here they will help us distribute food, clothing and yes, vitamins ... and they will also help Cornelia with her house, hopefully getting a roof on it. Photos later!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Yet another baby without hope

This little baby is only two weeks old and doesn't know yet know what the world has in store for him. Every time I see a new baby come into one of the poor families with whom we work it breaks my heart. I can't help wondering what will become of them, what future will they have? So many of the girls and women we know have recently had babies. It's sad to see yet another child come into the world with nothing and not much hope for the future. His mother lives in a rented room with no facilities and isn't in good health. She has five children, three of whom live with their grandmother who has two cleaning jobs in order to care for her grandchildren. We've given her clothes for the baby and toiletries - baby shampoo, soap etc and will continue to offer help and support as the baby grows, but we are so limited - by our lack of staff, time and resources.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Wee Joe

This is wee Joe, Cornelia's son, sitting on the ground outside his house. He and his mum and sisters are still living in the old house which could fall down any day. Cornelia's building work has come to a temporary halt as she is at present in hospital with two of her children. Due to their poor living conditions wee Joe's recent cold turned into a severe chest infection. Joe, along with his baby sister, Anetta was admitted into hospital. It is fairly common for children from families living in poverty to end up in hospital with what should have been a simple minor ailment. Their desperate living conditions and lack of proper nourishment weakens their resistence and they can quickly become very ill. Joe and his sister are now getting the treatment they need and decent food in hospital, so hopefully will soon be better.

Here is Anetta in hospital. She's quite happy to be there ... after all her mummy is with her and the staff are lovely. In fact, both children are better off than at home, warm and dry, a bed each and meals three times a day!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Home improvements

This is inside of a poor family's house. Cornelia and her three young children live here in the knowledge that the ceiling could fall down any day. Part of the house has already collapsed and so we undertook, as an urgent project to help fund the family's efforts as they rebuild their house right next to the existing structure.

The new house will be a simple one room dwelling, nothing fancy, but at least the family will have a roof over their heads for the winter. So far we have been able to buy sand and cement for the foundations and wood for the basic structure and hope in the coming weeks to offer more help to this particularly needy family.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins ...

At the end of August we had a huge delivery of multivitamins ... thousands of boxes, mainly of Thomas the Tank Engine multivitamins. Kenneth was working in Scotland at the time, so the unloading and sorting was left to us women! Two friends, Irina (pictured with me, Kathryn) Hajni (pronounced Hoynee) Sarah, a young volunteer from Glasgow and my mum helped get the job done - it took a mere three hours unloading them from the truck and feeding them through a bedroom window of the house! For the past few weeks we have been distributing them wherever we go, literally to everyone we meet! We have already given out thousands of boxes to street children and families in very poor areas. Many of the people with whom we work are severely malnourished, so we hope that access to multivitamins will help a little.

We have also been out to some of the poor areas of towns and villages outside Arad and next week will be taking another few thousand boxes out and about. Truth be told, we are sick of the sight of Thomas the tank engine! We also received fish oil capsules with omega 3 and 6 which (along with the Thomas the tank engine vitamins) we have distributed to doctors surgeries, clinics, centres for the elderly in addition to poor families.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Arad: a city of contrasts

Arad is a city of contrasts: it has an abundance of lovely old buildings yet is modern and vibrant. It has the latest technology, the newest cars, modern restaurants and night clubs yet manages to retain its character. As with every city in the world, Arad also has it's share of disadvantaged communities. It is in these areas that "Vis de Copil" focuses its attention, working in collaboration with local authorities to help alleviate poverty.