Thursday, November 30, 2006

The value of life

*Cambodia Jesuit Services.

Development work in war- torn Cambodia has been taken up by Jesuit Services, a Jesuit-sponsored NGO under the able leadership of Sister Denise Coughlan, which provides direct assistance to the victims of anti-personnel landmines. Through a large number of projects the NGO helps people maimed by war and also addresses the problems of other marginalised people through various programmes. Sister Denise recounts a visit to a blind couple living in very poor surroundings close to Siam Rip. In one of her recent visits to their house she was surprised to find the blind young woman carrying an infant in her arms. She knew of only one girl child, also born blind, who was standing by her side and was worried by the thought that she may have given birth to another blind child. In the course of the conversation she learnt that the blind woman had adopted this new baby. She told Sister "I went to a nearby village a few days ago and I heard that a woman there was going to throw her new-born baby into the river. I rushed to her house and asked her to give her to me. I could not bear the thought of a new life being terminated". Sister Denise adds, "Thus we learn the value of life from those who are struggling to live themselves".

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