Diary for Monday December 10th
Bob and David the lorry drivers left at 9 o'clock armed with various gifts that we had been given – there was no way I could ever have got it all in the suitcases to fly. But they had an empty trailer.
I kept hearing from them
throughout the day with various progress reports. They cleared the Romanian
border by 11.30 but by late afternoon they sent a text message to say they were
delayed at Budapest with a major accident which had resulted in them being
diverted off the ring road and through the city – our 50 foot artic and trailer
must have been a bundle of joy for them on the smaller roads! They kept on
going till St Valentine in
As for me I was with Alex from Mustard Seed Romania. We began collecting shoeboxes for distribution and then distributing them at the Mustard Seed kindergarten and homework clubs in Cefa and Berechiu. It is all very encouraging to see the growth in these projects. Out of the homework club we have now 6 young people supported by Mustard Seed from either Cefa or Berechiu who have good enough grades to be in high school. Claudia is in her second year at high school and is top of the class – it is the first time ever that a gypsy girl from her village has gone to high school so it is ahuge achievement and thanks to the homework club supporting the kids with their schooling.
After a visit to the apartments of young women supported after they left the state orphanage system, Alex took me to a foster home for handicapped children. It was built by an English family who said that after an agreed length of time they would stop funding it and hand it over to the Romanian government to run - that time has now come. It was well built and well equipped in some ways but it would appear to me that the Romanian government do little more than pay the salaries of staff, food and heating and other utilities. The home which houses 10 teenage young people aged between 12 and possibly 25 (not sure of the upper age limit) has been desperately appealing to Mustard Seed for clothes. This is the second or third time Mustard Seed has helped them with clothes. We also took shoeboxes. Some of the young people clearly have autistic tendencies, one is wheelchair bound, another self harms and needed sedatives to calm him.
I found it quite shocking compared to facilities at home that there was not even a minibus or any transport for trips out and there seemed very little equipment for stimulation or education in the room.
Thinking ahead to next year's Christmas appeal – we must try to provide a small number of Christmas shoeboxes that are suitable for children or young people with learning difficulties – obviously in this instance there some items suitable for 11 – 15 age range that were simply not suitable for these young people though they needed the larger sized gloves and hats, etc. Something to remember next year I think.