I must begin by apologising that this diary is late coming but after one and a half glasses of Geo’s home-made wine last night there was no way I was ever going to do my diary till the next day!
have now left Cefa – though hope to visit them again on the way to the border
on Friday morning to return my borrowed Romanian mobile to
It took us most of the morning at Cefa to pack yesterday and fit it in the car – Beni was amazed that we had so much luggage and that it could fit in the car. It is much better now as we had a work-mate and electric drill (or similar) for Geo so there is a lot more space in the boot now! [As a female I cannot for the life of me understand why Phil insisted on bringing the workmate himself in the car instead of putting it in the trailer as it took a lot of space in the car!]
Yesterday afternoon we went with Speranta Familiei (name means hope for the family) and Raul told us about their projects. Due to financial reasons they have had to cut back on what they were doing and have handed their work at Cheriu to another foundation. They now focus on 3 projects and they arranged visits distributing shoeboxes to show us all their projects. We made 4 visits all in the town area.
They have Naomi Project which works with single parents; originally they ran this by having an apartment with 4 rooms for mothers and children but now they work with the single parent (male or female) in their own home and find this works better. They will pay rent or/and provide whatever is needed most gradually moving towards self sufficiency. Our first visit was to a mother on this scheme – she lives with a large family of brothers and sisters. Raul has plans to help them tidy the place by painting it in the summer. We gave shoeboxes to all the children and adults including a retarded toothless young man who got very excited. In view of his mental age we gave him a box for 6-11 year olds. In the box was a bottle of bubbles which he immediately went to drink – we were just able to stop him in time! But I was horrified that we had sent bubbles (our guidelines say no liquids) and there was nothing on the bottle to show it was not for drinking, so I feel it was an understandable mistake for a non-English speaking recipient. So I must try harder to make sure the checkers remove all bubbles in future.
Our next visit related to the school support programme. To enable children to receive education Speranta Familiei will help the families sometimes with bus fares or transport costs to go to school, education materials, school bags, food, etc. We visited one family where the oldest boy tries to earn money as a mechanic while his sister keeps the house immaculate as well as attending school – when the parents died a number of trusts helped the children but all have stopped that help now except for Speranta Familiei who continue to visit each month and monitor what goes on.
The next project we visited was related to their fostering programme. We visited a family who had fostered an 8 year old girl since the age of 4 months. They are a loving family and have treated her as their own throughout. They always said if they had a 3 roomed apartment (meaning having rooms that can be used as bedrooms) then they would adopt her. As they do not earn much money (the father is a carpenter or similar and the mother has just qualified as a nurse) this seemed an impossible dream, but amazingly a family member wished to down-size and swapped their 2 roomed apartment for his 3 roomed one with only a small cash adjustment. The mother explained that as Hannah in the Bible had promised God she would give him baby Samuel to serve him, so they had promised God if they could have a 3 roomed apartment they would adopt the child. And so it has happened.
After that we contacted Gyonghy again to say we had her Christmas shoebox and ask if we could meet her somewhere to give it to her. We spent a very very happy couple of hours with her as she invited us to her new home to meet the others there. She is now with Agape Trust who have a programme reaching out to vulnerable young people affected by the state orphanage system or poor family background. They have a group of girls living in a lovely large house near the MacDrive, on one floor the houseparents live and the girls have the lower floor. They offer a life skills programme and also very positively encourage further education, as well as employment.
were impressed with what we saw and with meeting the houseparents. They spoke
of the difficulties unskilled young people face in finding work and told us how
Gyonghy had got a job at the shoe factory for a trial 5 days. She was kept on
for a further 5 days but then sent away without any pay. Agape Trust (who are
After that we came home to Geo’s for a lovely meal.