Joy and hope for Maria

The Adopt a granny project means a lot for our elderly members. Besides the food parcels which help them to get through the month, they can feel that people pay attention to them, they are taken care of and that they can still have a place in society.

I would like to focus on one of our social cases, namely on Maria because with her I can sense the importance of our role. Mrs Maria is 71 years old, she`s been a widow for 24 years, her pension is about 120 euro. She is faced with a very hard situation from all points of view since her health is very poor, her brain tumor prevents her from moving around, she can`t walk on the street by herself and can only look after her own needs in the house. Her pension is not enough for her to survive so the food parcels she receives are of great help and mean a lot to her. Besides her medical condition and her financial status some recent developments have greatly affected her housing arrangement. The home she has inhabited for the past 28 years was claimed by the former landlord who evicted her after gaining his rights on the property. The lawsuit has taken a huge toll on her financial and mental state and since the sentence has been unfavorable she had to move to her daughter`s place. The lack of suitable housing conditions has forced her to sleep in the same bed with her daughter and she lives in the same room with her teenage nephew being in a tolerated position.

The only joys in the life of Maria are the programs organized by our community. She takes part in every event. I take her to the Elderly Club every week, she is excited about this moment days before the actual event and afterwards she recounts every little detail to herself, the experience being a lifeline for her. She is very happy when our volunteer visits her and during these encounters he takes her for a walk, has talks with her and she is content since there is someone who listens to her and tries to help. The summer camps are a cause of great joy and so far she`s attended to two camps, getting along with the children very well. The 7 day trip to Szováta resort in the summer of 2010 was a special time for her since she was born in the neighboring village. This vacation provided the rare opportunity for Mrs Maria to meet with her childhood friends, a chance that couldn`t have come about otherwise. We`ve also managed to get her to visit the salt mines which was also a pleasant event in her otherwise sad existence.

Mrs Maria says that this project is the only joy in her life, she can`t dare to imagine what it would be like without it. One of the club meetings that was postponed due to a training session has made her achingly sad and this is when we come to see that the Adopt a granny project is actually helping since it is a cause of joy and hope for those who benefit from it!