Friday, November 4, 2011

Blue Friday and Sister Margueritte De Clerck

We are now on day 4 of Diabetes Awareness Month - not only that, it's also Friday - and during Diabetes Awareness Month Fridays are "Blue Fridays". Every Friday during the month of November, we will be wearing BLUE for Diabetes Awareness.

Check out the Blue Friday's Facebook page!

And, every Friday during the month of November my blog posts will be written in BLUE!

Here is a short video about Blue Fridays:

Now, since it is my aim during Diabetes Awareness Month to raise awareness of the issues faced by children with Type 1 Diabetes living in remote areas and developing countries I have embedded a video featuring Sister Margueritte De Clerck, a Belgian nun who has dedicated her life to helping people with diabetes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The following passage was taken from an article by Stephen Moss published in The Guardian on 5 April 2005 and refers to Moss' first encounter with Sister Margueritte:

"In Kinshasa, a few days later, I meet perhaps the coolest missionary of all. It is Sunday morning and a mini-coup has broken out. At three in the morning, I had heard the rattling of windows in the mission house in which I was staying, but thought it was a typhoon sweeping across the Congo river. It wasn't; it was mortar fire. My driver has been attacked, his car stolen; there is shooting just a few streets away. I am panic-stricken.
Sister Marguerite De Clerck, a Belgian nun who had seen it all before in her 50 years in Congo, calms me. "Sometimes nothing happens; sometimes everything happens." She is hanging on in the mission house waiting for the shooting to die down before making her way to her office across the street. For 30 years, she has been running an anti-diabetes programme in Kinshasa. Once, there were 60 nuns from her order - Notre Dame de Namur - in Congo. Now there is just her, an unforgettably vital and resilient 77-year-old. Her mother, she tells me, died only a few years ago. Congo will have Sister De Clerck's services for a while yet. "I will go home when I can no longer make a contribution," she says. "I don't want to be a burden on these people." When the streets are a little quieter, she gets up to leave. "Enjoy your stay," she says."

Sister Margueritte De Clerck is a true inspiration.

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