Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Financial support

Running a small charity is always a struggle. We never have enough money and struggle to pay the bills, especially in winter. We feel a huge weight of responsibility to those whom we serve ... daily we worry - Will we have money for food? Will we be able to help a mother buy medicines for her sick child? Can we afford to put the heating on yet? Believe me, it's a terrible thing to be surrounded by such poverty and suffering and to be able to do so little about it.

However, the work does have a positive side, it is always such a great delight when we hear of a gift from a generous friend or member of the public, even a small amount makes a difference. A few months ago Kate's uncle came out to Arad to visit her mother who had been very ill. Within a few short weeks Uncle Bill had begged, borrowed but I hope not stolen from his friends and neighbours to sent out boxes of craft materials and clothing! Other donations followed including a large one from a local small church in Royton which Kate's uncle doesn't even attend! Following up on this we have just had a donation with the payment for shipping of a box of clothes and £100 in cash from Graham Young, the new MD of Uncle Bill's old company Naughton Finance Direct Ltd, Leeds. What a unexpected surprise that was!

We have had many other donations, many of which are regular gifts and for them all we are extremely grateful - without them this work would not be able to continue - PCF Romania Projects, Humanity at Heart, West Glasgow New Church, Vis de Copil (A Child's Dream) Scotland and many individual donors both known to us and anonymous. As an example of what your donations can do, £100 will pay for a simple nourishing meal for 30 people for two weeks ... thats 300 meals!

Thank you everyone who has helped in any way, it really does make a difference in the lives of some of the poorest people in Europe. We cannot thank you enoough ... you know who you are!

trial of street "children" continues

Of course the "street children" concerned are all now over 18 (except one) so no longer children in the eyes of the law. However, it should be mentioned that these are all people who have lived on the streets for many years, in some cases from quite young childhood, have little or no education and have had several years of continued solvent abuse. All these factors have affected their mental capacity and those of us who work with them would consider them to be people with "diminished responsibility" who shouldn't even be on trial as "normal adults" in the first place.

One of the boys, when the judge read out the accusations against him, turned to the others and said "what did she say?". The judge repeated the charges and asked him "do you understand the accusations?" and he replied "uuuh ... what?" at which the judge tried a third time. By then I could keep quiet no longer and I called out in court "No he doesn't, he hasn't a clue what he's accused of and the others don't fully understand either!" The judge didn't look too happy at my shouting out but she did have the grace to ask me to present myself! I then explained very briefly who I am and that I have worked with street people for 11 years and that they don't realise the severity of the charges against them.

The day I was called to testify, three of the "victims" made some accusations against me, that I have tried to force them to change their testimonies. I suspect that the same policeman put the idea into their heads as part of his way of making my testimony invalid. When I was called before the judge to answer the charges I said that I had at all times advised all of "my" folks, accused and accusors to tell the truth, nothing more, nothing less.

The next court date is Monday 17th October so we will see what joys that holds for us. In the meantime, we continue to hope and pray for justice and mercy.