Through 2019 we continued to support St Luke’s Home Care, via our special collection at the Christmas Eve Carol Service.
Sheila Maher writes: Jane Dowd, the founder of St. Luke’s Home-Care charity in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a retired Irish nurse who spent all of her working life in England specializing in community care. On retirement, while waiting for a visa to work in Africa as a volunteer, she found herself helping to start up an old people’s home in Lijubuski, a small town in Herzegovina. It was here that she saw a great need for medical care for elderly sick people who live alone in isolated areas. These people have little or no income, receive no social-welfare and absolutely no medical care. Jane began to fund-raise, mainly from pilgrims to Medjugorje where she now lives and soon found that she could employ a local unemployed nurse who would accompany her on visitations to the elderly, with the advantage of speaking the local language and knowing the local customs and culture. Over the last two or three years the charity has expanded and she has just recently taken on a fourth nurse. They are all responsible for their own areas and Jane works with each in turn, supplying medication, dressings, clean bed-clothes, fresh dry clothes and when necessary a hot drink and some food. These poor people live in hovels, many without heating, running water or electricity and are suffering from conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, amputations, blindness, paralyses, heart-conditions and cancer and would have no other means of help as local social services are non existent. I have been able to accompany Jane and the nurses on visitation on a couple of occasions and while horrified at the living conditions I was most impressed with the loving care and attention provided. Many of the ‘patients’ seemed to be as happy with the actual visit as with the treatment and sometimes cried when we left, praising and thanking the Lord for the kindness shown. Jane now resides full time in Medjugorje, living on her pension, all funds raised going to the charity. A retired accountant friend of hers looks after the finances on a voluntary basis. I have been asked to thank St. George’s for choosing to support the charity and to say that Jane and the old people pray daily for their benefactors.
Since Covid struck we have not had news of St Luke’s and have not been able to make more donations. We pray for them.