11 Jun 2013

Hopefully through Mediterranea we can open peoples eyes......

A big hello from the Dignipac team to all the Mediterranea contributors. Tonight we drove into Zaquero for our monthly distribution with Angel, who is the beating heart of this soup kitchen in Palma. Armed with 200 Dignipacs, 150 for the men and 50 for the women, a table, a banner and loads of smiles....

What strikes me about these homeless folk is how grateful they are, but also how humbled, and how embarrassed some of them are.  Many will look us with a grin on their face and give thanks to us and God. Others, shyly come forward, accept the Dignipac, eyes downcast and hurry off.  Many want to tell us their stories, one man tonight had tears in his eyes as he spoke of the sadness of his situation ´I have no home, no family, no friends`.  Another
 wizened old lady, received her bag and returned shortly after with photos to show us.  Photos of her children and a black and white one of herself as a child of about 10 years old dressed in a flamenco outfit.  She was so happy to share this with us and told us that she was 71 and had lived in Palma for over 50 years. I think that there is so much loneliness out there and my heart goes out to them, times are tough enough financially and economically - but they also feel deeply the absence of friends and family. 

Two young men approached the table, they must have been only in their early 20´s. Both looked really dreadful - I hate to admit.  Undernourished, so thin and wasted.  When we asked Angel about them he told us that one was ´mal en la cabeza` but had extremely wealthy parents living on the island.  Drugs?  We asked, and Angel replied, si y no, this boy has serious problems - `una pena´. His companion could hardly open his Dignipac.

I was so happy to have our regular clown let me take his photo - I have seen him many times busking in Palma´s streets riding a tricycle. 

We were lucky enough to have received a large donation from a boat of small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap which is fantastic for the coffers of Mediterranea - we try to give a lot whilst being very aware of the cost to our Mediterranea members.  But we have had endless giggles over the 150 odd bottles of donated bath salts.  Something for your more up market roofless person maybe?  But most appreciated!  I also have to add a huge thank you to the Hotel Porixol who donates all their spa flip flops every year.  We handed out probably 150 pairs of them tonight amidst great excitement.  Nicky has really missed her career opportunity as a shoe saleswoman - she was just brilliant.
So, again, we get our monthly dose of reality on this beautiful, rich island that we are so lucky to live on.  It is very easy to focus on the amazing beaches, the superyachts moored in the wealthy marinas, designer shops in uptown Palma and not feel the malaise that insidiously is creeping though our society in the form of poverty and despair.  Hopefully through Mediterranea we can open peoples eyes, help people of all nationalities, and make a difference.

9 Jun 2013

Ways of being disabled.


There are a lot of ways of being disabled… yet the only dangerous one is to have no heart.

· Blessed are those who understand my rare walk and my clumsy hands.

· Blessed are those who know that my ears must make an effort to hear what they hear.

· Blessed are those who understand that although my eyes shine, my mind is slow.

· Blessed are those who look but do not see the food that I let fall off the plate.

· Blessed are those who, with a smile upon their faces, encourage me to try again.

· Blessed are those who never remind me that I asked them twice.

· Blessed are those who understand that it is hard for me to express my thoughts as words.

· Blessed are those who know what my heart feels, although I cannot express it.

· Blessed are those who respect me and love me as I am, just as I am, and not as they would wish me to be.

Because they derserve it.

We want to inaugurate the new centre for people with multiple disabilities on the upcoming 12th of July. We would like it to be a very special centre. We are extremely lucky to have the all the human help necessary but we would also like to provide it with the right kind and amount of equipment.
There is nothing like this centre in the area, and it is very important that it acts as a role model, not only because all eyes will be upon it, but because it is a way of vindicating the dignity of those disabled in a country where having a disability is still considered to be a divine chastisement.

It will be our little Abiguda in Sebeta. Abiguda is the best school for children in need and this will be the best centre for people with disabilities. 

Because they are worth it.