Written by Louis Pang, who belongs to Casa Ricci staff and works in our office in Macau.
My name is Louis Pang and I am a Catholic. In May of 2000 I started working in the leprosy service that Casa Ricci was doing in China. Casa Ricci’s work does not involve only the medical treatment of the patients. I, for example, was working to make sure that they also have all the help and conditions they need in order to have a better life. An important part of this work is to use well the donations and contributions that we receive, most of them from abroad.
It was a friend that told me about the work and service that Casa Ricci was doing. I discovered how much the lepers were discriminated by the society and, sometimes, even by their own families. After thinking about how hard the lives of those old and handicapped lepers were, I decided to stay and started a service that I believe is very meaningful with the hope that I could help them feel that they were not completely abandoned after all, and that they could still hope for a better and safer future…
I took office as father Ruiz’s secretary, and was put in charge of “China Desk” that had the responsibility for the leprosy service in mainland China (at that time Casa Ricci was almost entirely dedicated to the service of the lepers). In order to better understand their situation, I sometimes had the opportunity to go to the mainland and see the situation by myself. Being able to see them with my own eyes made me realize even more how much those abandoned and discriminated people needed help. Some of the places I visited at that time made me shed tears…
In 2002, after a visit of Fr. Ruiz to some leprosy villages in Sichuan Province, he planned to start 3 new rehabilitation centers and, at the same time, invite religious sisters to do service there. The centers were all located at Sichuan Province. At that time there was a big organization in Spain – Anesvad – that greatly supported our work. They followed very carefully how the money was being used, demanded a strict control on the work and construction times of those centers, and required clear reports on the progress of the operations. Regarding this aspect, I was a bridge of communication and followed closely the construction process of those centers so that I could report properly.
For several years I assumed the task of fund raising with this organization.
After the care centers were successfully established and including the money for the patients and the sisters at one center, that Spanish organization spent more than one million US dollars from 2002 to 2006 to be used many other centers in the mainland. Besides this I would also try to help my colleagues at work, especially in their contacts with foreign benefactors, and several other projects.
Casa Ricci Social Services is a bond of help between our foreign benefactors and the poor Chinese that suffer from disease and discrimination. In the beginning we focused on the lepers (especially those that had lost the ability to work and sustain themselves). Afterwards we extended our help to their families, especially supporting the children in their studies, and finally also reaching people with AIDS. (We built schools, provided scholarships, and started AIDS care centers.)
I feel honored to be doing this kind of work, because I feel this is the work of God! Even if sometimes I feel certain monotony and tiredness, I can always find inner joy for being here! When I see a new center being opened for those that need help I really feel great consolation and satisfaction! May God continue to help us to serve the poor and marginalized!