28/11/2007 – FAITH

The project was set up to help a child from a family with three children who was diagnosed with a ‘non-Hodgkins lymphoma’ and is now undergoing chemotherapy at the ‘Bambino Gesù’ hospital in Rome.

FAITH, as in the name of the 13 year-old boy (in Italian it translates as ‘FEDE’)

FAITH, because if someone doesn’t have it, they discover and seek refuge in it at difficult times

FAITH, as in having faith in others

Estimated cost: € 3,000



The aim of this project was to donate 10 personal computers to the Padre Pio Foundation – Rehabilitation Centre, in Manfredonia (Italy) to help children in residential care ‘communicate’ with others and with the outside world, breaking down the wall of silence and isolation that surrounded them.

Estimated cost: € 10,000




The General Medical ward in the ‘Giovanni XXIII’ Children’s Hospital in Bari needed an ‘ULTRASONIC 2000 Nouvag Ltd Ultrasonic Nebulizer’ for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, post tracheotomy surgery and other diseases of the respiratory tract. This is highly sophisticated equipment controlled by a microprocessor and timer, absolutely indispensable to successfully treat the numerous infections that can affect the delicate respiratory system of babies. This equipment was of the highest priority as the number of babies hospitalized due to respiratory infections is always on the increase, especially during ‘flu epidemics which are becoming more widespread, often with unpredictable consequences for children.

We wanted to donate the Ultrasonic Nebulizer in time for autumn/winter.

Estimated cost: € 3,600


16/6/2006 – ‘A QUESTION OF CLASS’

The Dan & Sarah Petit Foundation was set up in 1982 by a husband and wife, Joseph and Marie Madeleine Pingui, in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The founders were joined by a team of sixteen volunteers involved in social, educational and health initiatives for children and families living in extreme poverty. To date, approximately sixty children are cared for by the Foundation in the centre they have built. It is financed by their agriculture activities and small craft workshops as well as donations from members and other charity organizations.

The Foundation’s flagship is the Nursery and Primary School of Okoa which welcomes, educates and trains children who have been abandoned or are too poor to attend the country’s public or private schools.

Every year, the Foundation takes in and cares for at least one third of the almost two-hundred disadvantaged children in the Okoa school (refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, abandoned or orphaned children and victims of abuse).

The Educational Project of the Dan & Sarah Petit Foundation deserves as much help as possible. Only by saving these children can they be reintegrated into an otherwise difficult social context.

So how could ‘The Mustard Seed’ help?

The school in Okoa had only four classrooms, forcing students and teachers to follow one curriculum which obviously makes learning difficult, especially for the younger children.

The first two classrooms were built in 1993 by a Dutch Catholic Charity.

The other two classrooms were built between the 1st and 26th of August 1998 by friends of the Chatenay Malabry, the Scout movement in France.

The school needed another two classrooms.

Our project consisted in giving a contribution to the Dan & Sarah Petit Foundation to build a class which would be decorated and furnished by their small carpentry workshop.

Estimated cost: € 5,000


19/12/2005 – BREATHE

This project donated a ‘Portable Computerized Capnograph’ to the Pneumology ward in the ‘Giovanni XXIII’ Children’s Hospital in Bari. The ‘Capnograph’ is a sophisticated, extremely useful piece of equipment for children with respiratory insufficiency as it can immediately analyse and measure the level of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the blood without repeatedly taking blood samples. High levels of CO2 can lead to intubating the tiny patients and their transfer to the critical care ward.

Estimated cost: € 13,500


16/6/2004 – A DREAM FOR SERENA

Serena is a sweet 11 year-old who weighs 13 kilos!

This little girl has a very special mother who allowed her to live against all medical advice. When she was born they gave her three months to live saying, “Pray that God takes her soon”!

She has hypoplasia of the brain and Joubert syndrome.

Serena can’t speak, walk, sit up, or possibly even see.

Licia, an extraordinary mother, gave up her job, closed her photographer’s studio and for years has lived only for her daughter.

Obviously this is all a huge financial burden, with little help from the public services.

Serena has always lived in the family kitchen and still does. It is the only room which has a bit more light.

The hot summers of the Salento are difficult for Serena but air conditioning would risk compromising her health even more.

There was the possibility of converting a garage to create a naturally fresh environment where Serena could stay, at least during the hottest hours of the summer.

Estimated cost: € 6,000