Why we do it
In Argentina, with many people there is a stigma having a disabled child. The irony is, the worse the disability, the worse the stigma. As such, those who need help the most are often the most neglected. Without our care, our residents would have been left to die in the most horrendous conditions.
On top of that, social welfare is non-existent for the poorest or the poor. Simply put, if we don’t care for these people, no-one will.
We are a refuge for abandoned disabled adults and children, irrespective of religion or otherwise. Through our work, people in the local communities today avail of the nursing and medical services of the Homes.
Scroll down to read the sad stories of our two latest arrivals at our St.Teresa Home
Our youngest resident in the house, Baby Jorley also has a sad story.
While in the womb, her mother sold her and was paid in food, money and clothes by the adoptive parents. But two months after Baby Jorley’s birth, the “adoptive parents” discovered that she was severely disabled intellectually and physically. They drove the long distance back to Oberá and gave the two-month old baby to her poverty-stricken mother, who was then living at the side of the road. They seemed not to care that they were putting the child’s life in mortal danger.
The mother did not know how to cope. She asked us to care for this most precious and invaluable baby whom we soon fell in love with.
Sadly this practice of selling babies in the womb – facilitated by money-loving middlemen, some of them lawyers – is all too common here.
“Neighbours alerted us to the sad plight of Jonathan (11),” says Fr Liam Hayes. “He was undernourished and dehydrated, and weighed only 9 kg. He was living with his father and an aunt by the side of a dirty stream in conditions not fit for an animal. His mother had run away and his two sisters had died, one of them drowning in the dirty stream beside which he lived.”
“The day we found Jonathan we immediately noticed the crushing weight of sorrow in the eyes of his father and aunt. His father begged us to take the child, saying he could do no more for him.”
Jonathan’s father is a wandering labourer. “The suffering and exploitation of the wandering unskilled labourer in South America is one of the world’s greatest injustices,” says Fr Hayes. “They live a nomadic life as they have to travel long distances to find work, and they receive only subsistence wages.”