27 August 2009

A desperately sad overseas worker story

A desperately sad overseas worker story

Áras an Uachtaráin, the presidential residence, Phoenix Park, Dublin

The Irish Independent reports the story of Eugenia Bratis, 50, only 4'10" tall, who was found brutally murdered in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, very near where I grew up, some weeks ago. For many days the Irish police had no idea who she was, had no leads as to who had stabbed her. They then did something that I don't recall happening before in Ireland: they released a photo of the face of the dead woman, hoping that someone would recognise her.

It turned out that Eugenia was from Romania and had been living in Dublin for about a year, but as a beggar and living rough - sleeping on the streets much of the time. She often begged on O'Connell Bridge, right in the heart of Ireland's capital. Many would have passed her by. There are many such women in Ireland now. After she had been identified it was discovered that she had two teenaged children back home in Timisoara, Romania, and she had been sending home whatever money she managed to get so that they could go to school.

I've used the term 'overseas worker' because a major reason for thousands of Filipinos going overseas to work is to put their children, brothers and sisters and relatives, through school. Poor Eugenia went to Ireland from Romania for the same reason.

O'Connell Bridge, Dublin

We here in the Philippines tend to see the Western world as affluent and for the majority it is, even in these days of recession. But there are still countless people whom the affluence passes by.

Beggar, probably from Romania, on O'Connell Bridge

Here in the Philippines we can relate to Eugenia's efforts to do the best for her children. We can hardly imagine the sadness in her life adn in that of her two children. Please remember them in your prayers.

Timisoara, Romania

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