The Leon Daniello hospital in Savadisla
In the spring of 2002, at the request of the hospital chaplain and the chief doctor of the
turburculosis hospital in Cluj, we began an
alcoholism treatment program for the
patients at the Leon Daniello Hospital in Savadisla, Romania. All of the patients this
hospital are either homeless, abandoned by their family, or suffer from some sort of
disability. Some of them have been in this hospital for more than 10 years.
The hospital is located 20 miles outside of
Cluj, in a small village called Savadisla.
It can be a rather dismal place. There are more
than 100 patients in this hospital, and many of
them will never leave here.  We are the only
outside program visiting this hospital on a
regular basis. We have programs here 4 days per
The hopelessness of their situation makes
alcohol an attractive diversion.   They
sometimes get paid in alcohol for doing odd
jobs for the villagers, making the situation
even more difficult. Some of them have small
pensions, but not enough to live outside the
We offer the patients addictions counseling,
spiritual counseling, recreation therapy and
occupational therapy.
They find it a great diversion,
especially around Pascha and at
Christmas time, when they make
cards for each other and their
friends and family.
Short term missionaries are always a
hit with the group. Knowing that
people from the outside care about
them gives them sense of
encouragement and hope.
As part of our program we consider  the
spiritual well being of our patients.  Fr.
Liviu visits the group on a weekly basis to
do spiritual counseling and to attend to
their spiritual needs. Here you see one of
our group members being baptised.
Our programs are known about in other
parts of the country, and people come to
our program for training. Here Fr. Ion from
Craiova is playing croquet with the patient
group. He stayed with us for three weeks,
and became a part of our family.
At Christmas and at Pascha we try to find
the means to give everyone a bag of
"goodies" like coffee, tea, cookies, gloves,
scarves, candy, fruit and other things that
will brighten up their day.  These patients
are always very grateful even for the
smallest act of kindness. The lady in red is
one of the doctors whom we work with.
All of our  patients in Savadisla are
special, and all have special needs.  My
staff has done an excellent job in working
with the women in Savadisla, and in
helping them to work through some very
difficult issues.
When people heard that I was starting
a program in Savadisla to help
alcoholics, they said, "your crazy, it will
never work". I told myself, "have
faith".  What can I say, other than my
faith was never tested.  I sensed
"Presence" from the moment that I
arrived. My faith in God's love for "the
least" is stronger than ever because of
my being with these wonderful
people. They inspire me, and indeed,
they are the teachers.
"Christiana" - The Philantropical Christian-Medical Association
St. Dimitrie Basarabov Program
- Addiction Education and Counseling in Romania-