Everyone's Child Constanta
Paul Davies has a face that looks as if it was hewn from fallen Snowdonian granite. Maybe that was inevitable. For he works with HIV families in the Constanta region of Romania.
Infected blood transfusions in the 1980’s led to an unusually high incidence of HIV in Romania. The Romanian government, perhaps unsurprisingly, did all they could to obscure this fact, resulting in spread and further disease.
Paul, originally from South Wales, had worked in another orphanage before setting his sights specifically on HIV children. The early days of Everyone’s Child were extremely challenging, with a high proportion of funerals among those he was helping. He was only ever able to work with 10% of the HIV families of the Constanta region as a result of his funding constraints.
One of the great problems HIV youngsters face is demoralisation. Paul mentions a term he calls “medical fatigue”. This happens when young people with HIV become so wearied of the continual downing of tablets they simply stop taking their medication. This, sadly, is normally followed by their death soon afterwards.
Romanian Ministries has focused primarily on helping the Christian families among those Paul visits. One of them is home to *Felicia and her mother. Felicia, as well as HIV, has a number of other medical conditions, one of them being hepatitis and another a problematic heart. It’s been a joy to pay for her and her mother to take a much deserved holiday each winter in the last three years, as well as making a contribution towards treatment costs.
With other families, we’ve helped with winter firewood.
It’s a serious business, working with HIV children. Paul says he tries not to think about the 450 families he is unable to visit, just so that he can sleep at night. Medication may prolong life almost to normal expectations, but the stress of severe illness and potentially never being able to marry lingers.
It’s a difficult calling, but we are glad to help.