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Following the Christmas sale at St Richard's in November 2004 in aid of Mercy House, Diana emailed a progress newsletter with her thanks to St Richard’s for their timely generosity.
A new Zulu priest, Fr Francis, from the Comboni fathers, has joined. "He’s well liked already, and gives counsel to our young people. He visited a newcomer, Isaac (in picture), a young ex soldier who was forced into the army in Dafur, escaped and was shot in the leg – a wound that hasn’t healed. He arrived in South Africa and Diana is trying to get medical help for him – there’s no free health care in SA."
Newcomers: Jacinto, a fourteen year old refugee from Angola, orphaned in the war. He brought in a pet – Princess, a puppy, and Diana realized the therapeutic value of the pet: “she adds a lot of fun to the place”.
Then Jimmy arrived – left at the house. His whole family had been butchered. He was terribly scarred but will now have medical help.
A young former soldier – Richard - arrived. He survived the 1994 Ruanda genocide and was put through school, but he was forced into the army and sent to war. He escaped, was captured, beaten up and left with a fractured hip – unattended for seven months. Diana got him into hospital for an operation.
New recruits to the Mercy House team: Susan, a British lady living in SA, has started a handcraft group with the boys and women. Some excellent pieces are produced - very popular. Some were sent to St Richard’s during the year.
A stranger, Elaine from Ireland (centre picture), came out of the blue and is helping schoolchildren with homework and liaising with schools and teachers.