I’ve always wondered how Romania looked like in the 60’s – 70’s. Well, there is one English man who could tell us about it. But rather then telling stories about a decayed country, he actually took action and tried to help the people here.
Graham Perolls’s first contact with Romania happened in the late 70’s when he became friends with a young Romanian couple which made him come back a few more times. Many years later, in 1990, when the governmental system allowed him, he came back with a big plan: to open up a hospice foundation.
After his father’s death of cancer in 1980, Graham Perolls came up with the idea of creating a charity hospice. Seeing the misery Romanians lived in he decided to do the same thing in Brasov. In the early 90’s he started teaching Romanians about how to take care of dying people; how to make the rest of their lives easier and more pleasant. He got an amazing response from people so he opened up the Foundation Hospice Casa Sperantei. A few years later they were able to build the first hospice centre and from there they went to Bucharest, Bacau, Oradea and Cluj. From Romania they extended the whole movement to Serbia, Moldavia, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Their goal is to provide care and support for people in the last phases of a life-limiting illness. Hospice care focuses on controlling the patient’s pain and other physical symptoms of their illness but also provides emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their family. Hospice helps patients and families with end-of-life decision-making, meeting life goals, enhancing family relationships and promoting comfort. And they do all this relying on the generosity of individuals and companies. To take care of 1 000 people each year, they need 1 600 000 euros. Right now, they can only cover about 5% of the need in Romania.
To raise all those money they organize different events where people enjoy themselves while helping others. Their last event was the Bucharest City Marathon where they managed to recruit 247 runners (and I could proudly add my sister was one of them) and even had supporters from Portugal and England flying over to participate in the race. Even an American Ambassador’s wife came to their help. Unfortunately they didn’t manage to reach their target, but they’re still hoping they’ll hit it soon.
Next on the events’ schedule there is their biggest indoor event which is called Edelweiss Ball, taking place on the 27th of November at the Hilton Athenee Palace. This is where you’ll find all the top companies, celebrities, politicians and VIPs that day.
Other upcoming annual events include the Hospice Table Tennis Tournament, Fashion Show, Hospice Cup (Football Tournament) and various concerts. If you are interested in finding out more about their work or wish to attend their events, you can contact them at contact email@example.com.
We all have lost someone close at some point in our life. Death is inevitable unfortunately. But there are people willing to make out last deep breaths a little more pleasant; willing to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. These are the people from Hospice Casa Sperantei.
It is a tough job to dedicate your life to helping others but most of us can help without giving up on our lives. We should try harder to put a smile on someone else’s face.
– Bucharest Expat Contributing Author
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