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No. 37 • July - December 2003 • Page 78
 •  Initiatives

Amsterdam -- Dutch students in Poland

With the support of a British institution, a program to develop the cerebral activity of handicapped children through the use of exercises took place in Poland. During this past summer, twelve young Dutch women went to Poland to help out with a group of disabled children. The ten day program was organized by the De Borcht Club in Amsterdam, a corporate apostolic activity of Opus Dei.

Two of the participants, Esther Roeleveld, a financial consultant in Amsterdam, who was responsible for organizing the trip, and Corine van Vliet, a doctor, put some of their impressions in writing.

Esther records: “In addition to providing the children with various types of care, we helped them to eat, played games with them, and took them for walks. After a few days we saw that the children quickly learned to recognize us and sought us out. It was a chance to work, to learn, to have fun, and above all to experience friendship.”

“In the exercise of my profession as a doctor in Holland,” notes Corine, “I have had contact with many sick people, but it is only this summer that I experienced what it means for a family to have a handicapped child. And I learned how one can confront a child’s handicap with love and joy.”

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