Praiseworthy Activities at the Old Folk Home in Taiz [Archives:2000/35/Culture]

August 28 2000

Yemen Times Staff
Taiz Office
We have already paid visits to the orphanage and Psychiatric Diseases Center in Taiz. Each time we were used to and are still calling upon officials concerned to do something to relieve suffering of those people and perform their duties properly.
The Old Folk Home, located on the road of Dhabab near the Orphanage is a modern clean building with trees and plants in its park. Sisters in charge of this center are very gentle and kind-hearted. No sooner you enter the building than you see a picture of the eminent, kind-hearted late mother Teresea who was lamented by all the poor in the world.
Mrs. Joan was the first we met with. Expressing a warm welcome and growing interest in the Yemen Times, she showed us around the Home which consists of four wards; two for men and two for women. Besides, two rooms for rest and watching TV. In the rest room we met with the residents, most of whom are disabled either due to their old age or due to their illness.
Mr. Abdullah al-Hurbi, journalist, worked for al-Jumhuriah Newspaper for four years and then for al-Thawrah. As he grew old in age, he suffered from a disease that made him unable to write. He, then, entered the Old Folk Home. He said I was in a miserable condition. However, after the treatment I received here, I am much better now. The people working here are very nice.
Mr. Mohammed Shamsan al-Shuwaie said I used to be homeless in the streets and then they brought me here where I am well taken care of. So far, I have been here for five years. Now I am in good health.
As for nutrition, it is good and our sisters here are showing full care to all dwellers.
Salim, a getting-on and disabled person, from al-Misrakh was lying in bed. In front of him, a typing machine and small TV set, were neatly placed on a desk. He said I feel the affection and kindness of the sisters. I feel secure in this place.
Zain, an elderly women, used to roam in the streets with torn cloths is now in the Home feeling good after she was treated and cleaned. There are also some other ones taken from streets of Taiz, Somalis and some other women who are advanced in age.
As we went over the place and the wards, we were content to see the beds well arranged and tidy. The floors are clean and there is some kind of affinity between the sisters and residents. Sisters belonging to the al-Ehssan Society are very amicable and nice in dealing with the people here. People here do feel secure and at home.
We met with Mrs. Joan who talked to us about the Home,The Home was built in 1995 at the expense of the late Hail Saeed Anam. There are 95 aged people in the Home. We take care of them and provide the sick with the medicine needed. They take shower in the morning. Then they have breakfast and walk in the sports hall. After that they watch TV in the sitting room and listen to radio. Those who are able to move perform their prayers. Some work in the park. At noon they have lunch, pray and have rest. In the afternoon, they have tea with cakes, do some exercises, have dinner and then finally go to bed.
As regards the nature of al-Ehssan societys work and how mother Teresea started her mission of helping the poor she said she started pursuing her mission in Calcutta, India, in 1948 where she used to be a teacher in a school for the gentrys. She was very much hurt when she saw the poor sleeping on the streets. She gave up teaching and started helping the poor.
We work under the slogan Every man is loved by God and it is important that people love him for the sake of God. Another slogan is The poor should help the poor.
We help all those who are in need, regardless their age, color, rank, religion, nationality, etc. We work for free throughout the world. We never ask any help from any one. Those who are interested are welcomed. Mother Teresea started her mission with five rupees, equal to $ 1. However, branches of her organization are found now all over the world.
As regards Ehssan society activities in Yemen, she said We started working in Hodeidah during the rule of late leader al-Hamdi in 1973. Then, we moved to Taiz in 1974 and started working in al-Noor city. After that we moved to Sanaa and then to Aden.
There are 25 sisters working in Yemen; 8 in Sanaa, 7 in Hodeidah, 5 in Taiz and 5 in Aden.
Asking her about the impact of the tragic incident that happened two years ago in Hodeidah claiming the lives of three sisters, she said We were astonished and were very much frightened at knowing about it. It was incredible. It happened at eight oclock while our sisters were preparing things to feed the people, a man opened fire at them and killed them. That was the first time ever to happen all over the world in 50 years. All the people in Hodiedah condemned this act and prayed for the sisters.
IN SHORT, the Old Folk Home is an example to be followed. Sincerity and commitment are found in the very best. This center has impressed us with its quiet, clean and nice atmosphere. We have paid visits to the Orphanage where we found orphans in a real misery surrounded by four walls as if they are in prison. The Psychiatric Diseases Center was nothing better. We hope that other centers will follow this model and try their best to relieve suffering of the afflicted section of the society.