May 04, 2007

Joint Venture - Holy Cross Laundry and Mater Hospitals (Australia)

It was at the launch of the interactive Mercy CD-ROM Mercy and Justice Shall Meet that the challenge was issued. How could we as member ministries of the Sisters of Mercy Brisbane provide assistance to the broader world family of Mercy Ministries? In an almost flippant manner I said to John O’Donnell (CEO of the Mater) “let’s send over something useful” to that hospital in Kenya. We were at that stage providing linen which did not meet our Australian Standards to a community service club for an aid project that they were undertaking.

However the message of the CD-ROM and the need of our Mercy Family of Ministries made the issues personal for the Management Team of Holy Cross Laundry. The decision was made that if we could find a way to get linen to other Mercy Ministries in a way which was not cost prohibitive we would do so. The concept was good but the cost, customs and logistical matters with other laundry issues to be addressed seemed to make the task impossible.

However in discussions with Mater Supply Services Manager Terry van der Ham, he put his hand in his deskdraw pulled out a halo, gave it a quick polish and put it on his head. (Not bad for a kiwi and All Black Supporter). He then answered our prayer with a response “no problem I’ll organise it” after I talk to John O’D.

St. Terry then contacted some shipping mates at DHL organised a container donated by DHL with all shipping costs. He then set about doing some scrounging over at the Mater and hassled other Mater Staff for any useful materials. We finished up with Mater computers, and other medical equipment wrapped in Holy Cross Laundry linen on collapsible beds and other assortments of hospital equipment. The forty foot container was almost bursting at the seams. Terry gave a blessing and off it went. Later he told us that the shipping company also offered to provide labour to load it at no cost but he said it was not necessary. Good one Terry! I hope it was as hot as “hell” up there stacking the linen to the top of the container. (The Kiwi strikes again).

I think Terry has plans for the next container to go to Papua New Guinea.

from Bob Campbell
Manager – Holy Cross Laundry

Mercy Ministries in partnership can make a world of difference.

Mater News – Mission in Action

The Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy in Brisbane, Sr Sandra Lupi alerted the Mater to the existence of a Mercy Hospital in Nairobi Kenya. Sr Sandra asked if we could provide their ‘sister’ hospital with much needed medical equipment and supplies. Mater immediately came to their aid.

Mater filled a semi-trailer sized container full of beds, linen, medical equipment and other general supplies that the hospital needed and the shipping company, DHL kindly transported the container to the Mater Hospital in Nairobi free of charge.

The Mater Hospital in Nairobi was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1962, providing medical care for the sick and needy in Kenya. Since that time the hospital has more than doubled in size, growing from a 60 bed hospital to a 130 bed facility, offering both private and public medical care services.

The funds raised from their private services are then used to provide medical treatment to people from other parts of Kenya who are in desperate need of health care services.

The Mater Hospital in Nairobi specialises in midwifery care and cardiovascular procedures. As well as being the largest maternity hospital in Kenya, the hospital also trains over 50 midwife graduates each year, who subsequently work all over sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, the Mater runs a cardiac program where children from lower socio-economic families who suffer from serious cardiac ailments are surgically treated free of charge.

Mater Health Service's CEO, Dr John O'Donnell said that Mater staff were extremely happy to donate much needed supplies to the Mater Hospital in Nairobi. “The Mater Hospital in Nairobi relies heavily on donations from other organisations to help support the free health care services it provides to some of its poorest communities. We hope the equipment and supplies that we sent over will assist them in providing exceptional health care to the people of Kenya,” Dr O'Donnell said.

Special thanks to Dr John O'Donnell, Steve Wallace, Duncan Hall, Bob Campbell, Peter Hill and Terry van der Ham for taking the time to pack the donations into the container.

Messages to Elizabeth O'Keeffe rsm Congregation Secretary

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