The wealthy philanthropist Sir John Paul Getty and Nun Agatha, whose real name is Shirley Leach and who was the head nun of the monastery in Yorkshire, helped in the saving of the orphan children from the besieged Sarajevo during the aggression. Nun Agatha shared this story in the autobiographical book “A Nun’s Story”.
Nun Agatha met Getty, a billionaire and heir to the oil empire, in 1990. Then they became friends and remained close until his death in 2003.
According to Agatha’s book, she convinced Getty to help her save children from the besieged Sarajevo by helping her implement a plan. The plan included sending a charter plane to Sarajevo to save as many children under the age of 16 as possible.
In the book, Agatha described how she met Getty when she asked him for financial support to save her monastery. At the time, Getty was a drug addict who was trying to defeat his addiction.
Getty liked Agatha’s forwardness because no one ever asked him for money in that way. He started helping her, and after he refused to send money for the monastery at one moment, she told him that he will have to redirect the money somewhere else in that case.
“I told him I want him to organize a plane which would take as many orphan children from Sarajevo as possible. He was looking at me and could not tell if I were serious. When he realized I was, he agreed,” Agatha wrote in the book.
After that, Getty sent more than 6.000 USD to Agatha so that she could transport children to Great Britain.
Majority of the Christian children returned to BiH after the aggression, while the majority of the Muslim children still live in Yorkshire.
According to The Sunday Times, Agatha still visits them.
Shortly before Getty ilwl die, nun Agatha visited him and thanked him for everything. He told her that she did a lot more for him than he did for her.