November 17, 2012. (Romereports.com)
In Romania, four out of every ten people live below the poverty line. After the fall of communism back in the 1990's, the country faced another set of economic challenges.
Those who suffer the most are the elderly and children, who are often left to fend for themselves, as their family members migrate
in search for a better life.
Precisely to help out, in 1999, the missionary sisters of La Passione di Gesú
traveled to the remote town of Butea in Southern Romania. Their goal is to help out the towns 5,000 residents
, who without that support would have little to rely on. SISTER ELISABETTA BAROLO
Missionarie della Passione di Gesù (Italy)“We first try to offer motherly love. It is hard to replace, but we try to make them smile. So we take them to school, but we also introduce them into society and parish life, so they can have a better life.”
The living conditions are quite challenging in Butea. The elderly usually survive on a pension of about 120 dollars a month.
They have no electricity, running water, gas or sidewalks. Often trash collectors, refuse to pick up the town's waste.
In the winter, the temperatures can drop to 20 degrees below zero
. For those without shelter it can be a matter between life and death. That's just one of the reasons why the work of these nuns is so vital.SISTER ELISABETTA BAROLO
Missionarie della Passione di Gesù (Italy)“We built this house that shelters 25 children. We also built a house for the sick and the elderly which houses 42 elders. Now we want to help young alcoholics and others who are at a standstill because of their addiction.”
In Romania, poverty is usually seen in children and the elderly, while adults are often forced to leave their home country for economical reasons. So day after day, these Italian nuns face the problem directly, by helping the needy and encouraging them to have hope.