After having obtained a personal picture of the situation, we have been supporting a relief organization's project on the Moldavian/Romanian border for several years.
Romania is a country with an extremely high unemployment rate, which is even worse in the villages due to the lack of industry, and in the towns due to the lack of financial means to provide training opportunities. At the most, one can find day-to-day work in the summer as a farmhand.
Many families have no perspectives for the future. After leaving school, most of the young people are unable to find employment, and there is no money for travel expenses, etc., particularly as the costs for food, accommodation, heating, and fuel are about the same as in Germany. On the other hand, alcohol is very cheap, and is therefore widely used as a comforter. In order to provide better perspectives for their children, many families are forced to send them to a distant children's home, where at least they have adequate accommodation, food, and education. But this means that a reunion with their families is only possible during the summer holidays.
We have therefore decided to support the admirable work of the relief organization by placing large 40-ton trucks at their disposal 3 to 4 times per year for the transport of all kinds of relief goods (food, clothing, shoes, mattresses, blankets, toys, wheelchairs, etc.).
In Romania, the goods are sorted professionally by German and Romanian volunteer workers, who have committed themselves to helping this poor region with the assistance of friends in Germany who donate the goods, as well as visiting and organizing special events like “Christmas parcel in a shoe box”. Another serious problem is the purchase of firewood. The winters in Romania are very cold, and firewood costs more than 60 €/m³ – virtually unaffordable for the poor population.
With the aim of keeping families together in the long term, a large property was purchased in this region about 2 years ago, on which a day-care center is being built. After the end of their lessons in school, the children will be cared for with food and regular supervision of homework, so that their chances of a good education are improved.
There will also be a playground on the property, as well as an area for small gardens.
Meanwhile, the building shell is finished. What still needs to be done is the interior work (floor screed & tiles, sanitary, heating, and electric installation), so that with a bit of optimism the center will be able to open in spring or summer of 2014.
We can contribute actively, so that the children of many poor families in this region will be able to stay at home with their parents.