Friday, 30 May 2008
Three years ago we were looking for a home for Silvia who had grown up in a different 'orphanage' (school for children with learning difficulties), then at 16 been re-integrated with her natural mother only to then be sent by her mother to the centre for young delinquents. Poor Silvia ... after a year at the centre the staff had only good to say of her and pleaded with her to find her a place after she turned 18. We tried several options without success, and then Helen sad she would give her a trial even though up to that point she had taken in only boys. The rest is a fairytale come true ... Sofi and Silvia fell in love and in October 2006 got married.
Both managed to find a job cleaning apartment blocks and then a better job in a textile factory - Silvia on a sewing machine and Sofi cleaning. They have their ups and downs but we are all proud of them for the amazing progress they have made.
Friday, 23 May 2008
Much has happened over these last couple of weeks including the addition of several new volunteers at the "Secret Garden". There is a project for young people in Arad called the "Millennium Project" which has volunteers from all over Europe and even as far afield as Turkey. I have been privileged to meet people from a wide range of countries including Germany, France, Holland, Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and UK. Some of them want to come on a regular basis for the rest of their time in Arad. They are a lovely crowd of young people and I think it's a great initiative to bring together young folk from so many countries to work together on projects. As well as social and community projects they participate in environmental projects such as planting trees.
We also have two young Romanian volunteers coming to the centre although at the moment they are in the middle of exams. Finally we have two girls, one from Poland and the other from Spain based in Arad with another youth initiative who also want to be involved in our work. It's exciting for us and very encouraging that so many people want to help us and be involved in our work with the poor and needy. Of course this doesn't decrease our need for long term volunteers but it means we can do more activities in the day centre. If Irina and I are alone it takes all our time to supervise and maintain discipline while making sandwiches, soup, teas and coffees ... at the same time loading and unloading the washing machine, and answering everyone's questions. Having an extra volunteer or two (or more) is a great help and really benefits both us and our clients. On Wednesday 5 volunteers came and played games and helped young people with drawing and basic literacy and yesterday a German volunteer came to do musical activities with the homeless young people.