It is the forth year since I have been working on the project of supporting the elderly, project that is developed by Dorcas Aid Romania together with its partners. My job has been an office work, with documents, reports, correspondence, communication with the partners and volunteers about the needs of the beneficiaries. For several months I have also started to visit as a volunteer old people who are part of the project and live in Cluj Napoca town. It is an experience which helps me to see what the sadness of a lonely old person waiting to be visited means, to enjoy the gladness of an elderly when I offer him/her a food parcel, to see what it means to be thankful even when the material resources are very limited comparing with the existing needs.
A while ago, I visited an old granny part of the project, she is widow and she lives with her handicapped daughter. Over the years, the granny’s eyesight was so affected that at the present moment she can’t see at all. Within the project, this old lady is helped each month with aliments, and occasionally with clothes and diapers for her daughter. Talking with her, she told me about the high overheads she has to pay during the winter time and about the fact that all their income (old age pension and handicap pension of the daughter) goes on paying the overheads and buying food and medicines each month. Practically, the months in which the granny can make little savings are very few. In the project there is the possibility to offer emergency help to the grannies who are in desperate conditions due to different problems. I told her about the possibility of being offered an emergency help so that she can pay her winter overheads. To my surprise, for a half an hour it was like a battle in her mind and heart if she should accept this help or not. In the end, she told me that she considered that there are many other people poorer and in greater need than herself, people that don’t even receive a pension, and thereby she said no to the offer so that others who didn’t have as much as she did, to be helped.
It was a real lesson for me! An old and blind widow, living with her handicapped daughter who can’t even walk or eat by herself, and still this old lady had the kindness to think about others in greater need than her.
Through this project, we try to serve poor and lonely old people, but the truth is that most of the times they serve us by offering us lessons about what modesty, courage and thankfulness mean!
Delia Blaga, project administrator and volunteer