Celebrating 7 Years of PAL

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Fergus Maura

We will miss meeting all of you as sadly we are not having a Christmas Fair this year. Some months ago when it was planning time for this Event, the airwaves were filled daily with CRC, Rehab, and distressing stories about homelessness, hunger and personal suffering here. There was Donor Fatigue everywhere and fortunately we were in a position to give everyone a little break.

We had a wonderful Friend of PAL called Margaret who had helped several Projects over the years. When she died in June 2013 her husband decided to remember her by donating generously to many of our Projects. What a wonderful gift.

It is difficult to describe the scale and extent of the Poverty in Developing Countries until one experiences it at first hand.

It was this month 7 years ago that Fergus and Maura first went to visit the Little Sisters of the Assumption Projects, in Argentina, Peru and Colombia. Fergus had been translating emails for them for 2 or 3 years previously and wanted to see at first hand the dedication of the Sisters, working tirelessly with the poorest and most marginalised in Society.

The Sisters not only worked for the poor but lived with them, often in dangerous areas, as they discovered when Taxi Drivers refused to drive to some of the addresses where the Sisters lived.

They visited Projects for Disabled People, Worker Children, Income Generation Projects and Education for disadvantaged children.

Many children were from homes where the Father had deserted leaving the Mother to not only rear the children but to provide for them too. This often meant leaving them to fend for themselves while the Mother tried to earn money.

One such child was Maria, barefoot and 6 years old, whose mother sold small items in the nearest town. Thankfully Maria was able to attend Sr. Celmira’s “School for Children without School” where she was looked after and given one good meal every day. As they departed she looked after them through a gap in the school wall.

She would be a teenager now and we hope PAL’s intervention in keeping the school open will break the cycle of Poverty and enable her to have a life of dignity in the future.

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