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Civic welcome for those helping overseas children with HIV/Aids

Press Release   •   Sep 09, 2014 10:28 BST

A Bury woman who has spent 20 years in Central America helping those with HIV/Aids was warmly welcomed to the mayor’s parlour.

Sister Dee Smith told the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Michelle Wiseman, all about the work she has carried out in Guatemala in dangerous areas where drugs and people are regularly trafficked.

Dee’s life has been shaped by her vocation; first as a lay worker in Kenya, and later as a missionary sister in Guatemala.

Cllr Wiseman said: “It was a real honour to meet Dee. She has worked long and hard with volunteers and health workers to establish a prevention and outreach care project, as well as a 16-bed hospice and three HIV treatment clinics with anti-retroviral medicines. This has inspired the creation of seven more clinics across the country. 

“Her latest venture is an eco farm, where they grow organic produce and local herbs and plants which have natural medicinal properties.”

Dee was brought up in Chesham and Brandlesholme, and returns to Bury every three years to visit family and friends. During her recent visit, she visited St Hilda’s RC Church in Tottington and the Caritas Centre in Peter Street, Bury.

One of her friends, Betsy Keating from Rossendale, visited Dee’s project in Guatemala to train health workers and introduce patients to the benefits of reflexology, which the local nursing staff have incorporated into their palliative care regime.

If anyone would like to know more about Sister Dee and her work, contact Betsy Keating on
betsygem@gmail.com  or 01706 212036.

ENDS

Press release issued: 9 September 2014.

Picture attached: Sister Dee Smith and Betsy Keating meet the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Michelle Wiseman.