Mother’s Village Orphanage
Fr Dragan Ruzic in his Christmas 2016 letter, writes:
“This letter expresses our gratitude to God in the first place, Who in such imaginative ways uses YOUR hands and YOUR hearts to bring aid to Mother’s Village and all who live there. Our thanksgiving is our remembering you in daily prayers, so God will bless you, your families and all your good efforts on our behalf”.
Mother’s Village Orphanage was started in 1993 by Fr Slavko Barbaric with the support of the Franciscan Sisters. 100,000 people lost their lives during the cruel Yugoslav war of 1992 – 1995. Children were left in shock and without care and protection.
Fr Slavko Barbaric and the Franciscan Sisters, with the financial support of pilgrims to Medjugorje, built seven houses to accommodate the orphans. To give some semblance of family life, each house was organised by two female carers one of whom was usually a Franciscan Sister. Today, the system of caring for the children continues in that way. Not all of the children are orphans nowadays but have to live at Mother’s Village because their parents are so damaged by the effects of war that they cannot cater for their children’s needs.
Fr Slavko was the director of Mother’s Village until his sudden death on 24th November 2000. His loss was a huge shock but life had to continue. Fr Svetozar Kraljevic took over as director and did wonderful work for many years. Fr Svet explained that Mother’s Village “needed a miracle every month just to survive”. He thanked donors “for being part of that miracle”.
Arthur McCluskey and his directors have supported Mother’s Village over many years. Arthur worked with Fr Svet to build a Community/Sports Centre in the grounds of the Orphanage. It is a wonderful asset and well used by the children as well as the young men who spend three years on a rehabilitation programme called Merciful Father. The men make mosaics as part of their therapy. Each stone that they place in a mosaic represents another step along the road to recovery. Art works by the children and young men are sold in the Gallery Shop.
Mother’s Village depends on donations for survival. They invite sponsorship for children and save part of the money until, as adults, they move to independent living. They also need donations for their daily needs. Life at Mother’s Village is just like life in any other family. Food, clothes, shoes, dental and health care have to be provided. Heating, water and maintenance costs have to be paid. Transport to school and education costs are a huge burden, just as they are for all of us.
We welcome any donations that you can make particularly at this difficult time. With Medjugorje in lockdown, there are no pilgrims.
Mother’s Village depend on pilgrim donations and purchase of gifts from the Gallery where beautiful items made by the children are for sale. The kindergarten is closed resulting in loss of fees.
Please let us help them together and recognise that the staff and children at Mother’s Village are very much the least of the Lord’s brethren. Thank you.”