New Humanity Movement

Social Harmony and Art

Suore PoloniaSister Malgorzata’s arrival at a grey institutional building which houses abandoned children in Bardo in Poland’s Lower Silesia.  With the help of the other sisters, she manages to change the lives of the children, involving them in a project that captures the imagination of the whole city.

From Sister Malgorzata - Bardo (Polonia)

I am Sister Małgorzata, from the Sisters of Mary Immaculate. I live in Bardo and I work as a teacher in an orphanage.

I already worked in this orphanage a few years ago and returned after being away for six years. I walked into a very difficult situation not least because of a poor relationship with the director and a high staff turnover which resulted in a situation that was not very positive for the children. I realized straight away, especially because of the very sad atmosphere there was in the house, that everything that had been built in the previous years had all come to nothing.

One day I heard that Sr Janina had arrived in Bardo, an Ursuline sister who like me lives for a united world by seeking to build fraternity wherever she is. We got in touch with one another and started meeting up regularly with other sisters in order to deepen our knowledge of the Gospel by sharing our experiences of how we try to translate the Gospel into life.

From that moment on I regained the strength to go ahead again in my work with the children. I suggested almost immediately that we should throw the ‘dice of love’ – this is a normal six-sided dice but on each side there is a different phrase to be lived that can help to build fraternity amongst us.  By trying to live this way I start to see little miracles happening.

One day, for example, I was suffering from very low blood pressure and feeling rather weak. I sat down in the classroom to speak to the children. After a little while, Kewin got up and went out of the room without telling me where he was going. Shortly after, he returned with a cup of coffee and some sugar on a tray and told me, ‘When I threw the dice today the phrase was ‘Love your neighbour’. I was so surprised but I understood that it was worth the effort to continue on the path I’d started out on, even though my colleagues disapproved and advised me not to bother.

Then the children and I had the idea of getting involved in the ‘Colouring the city’ project that was taking place in Bardo and a number of other cities. This project brings together lots of boys and girls in their efforts to make their cities more beautiful through various initiatives, focusing mainly on those in their neighbourhoods who are most in need or who are most lonely.

We decided to formally inaugurate this initiative
by holding a special event.  We invited friends from the school and the school directors, the local Mayor and the Sisters from the four different congregations in the city.  We made 130 ‘Dice of Love’ and put together a programme that included games and some of the children’s experiences of throwing the dice. Everyone, sisters and children, worked together, enthusiastically decorating the hall and preparing the different parts of the programme. We were working together for something we felt was important, something great.

Patryzia, for example, was a child who was known to never finish anything she started but, this time, it was different: she was the first to come running to the venue after school to see if we were working and painting on that day. Even though she had to go into hospital, she wanted to make what contribution she could by telling me on the phone how much she would have been able to tell people on the day the project was inaugurated.  This moved me very deeply.

She was discharged just two hours before the start of the programme that so many of our children participating in.

This is how we started to ‘colour’ Bardo through various initiatives. On ‘Grandparents’ Day’, for example, we were invited to visit a rest home run by the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth and we took the gifts that the children had made for the elderly people and sang Christmas carols for them.

It is interesting how both the Catholic press and the local press have taken an interest in our project and are spreading the word to other people. It is our wish that the passion we had for ‘colouring the city of Bardo’ spreads to lots of other children in Poland and throughout the whole world.

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