Florin – ursuletul clasei

 

Nu sunt pentru porecle. Nu le accept, dar când vine vorba de Florin fac o execepție. El e ursulețul clasei. E o pufoșenie de copil. Când îi strigi numele e tot un zâmbet. Larg și în care se oglindește toată frumusețea lumii.

Dar acest ursuleț nu a fost mereu așa. Are o sora mai mare în grupă, Ioana, care e total opusul lui. Independentă și sigură pe sine. Florin e mai închis, e mai încet și încăpățânat. În primele zile nu făcea nimic din ceea ce îi spuneam. Dacă era să mâncăm la masă, el nu. Dacă ne jucam, el nu. Dacă coloram, el nu. Parcă l-a îmbrățișat pe acel nu. Continue reading “Florin – ursuletul clasei”

House Insulation Project 2018

One can only appreciate how much we can live without when visiting a poor community like the gyspy community in Lazareni, Romania. It is a great reality check for most teams joining us throughout the year.

There is however, a great need that we have been trying to meet for many years, and that is the lack decent living conditions. Even though the process of providing decent living conditions for the gypsys in Lazareni is slow, we are celebrating every step of the way.
Because of very low income, very few families have been able to build a house that provides adequate shelter from the elements as well as safety. With help from our partners and individuals we have been able to help six families build a house and insulate them in order provide a more appropriate living conditions. Continue reading “House Insulation Project 2018”

Celebrate the miracle of Water!


Water in Lazareni

In this day and age, the advertising industry and social media has managed to teach what are the things we need, deserve and should want to have. Unfortunately, that makes us take things for granted. We subconsciously think we are entitled to the things we own, use or have access to. In the early 1900, they made a list of things necessary for decent living and they had 16 important items on the list. In the recent years, they have redone the list with the things necessary to a decent life and the number jumped to 114 items. We will let you decide for yourself what to think of these numbers.

Working and spending many days in the gypsy community of Lazareni, we have learned that the so-called list of indispensables is so relative. Continue reading “Celebrate the miracle of Water!”

After School – Summer Camp

It’s incredible what the right incentive will accomplish especially in the lives of the gypsy kids in Lazareni where much is to be desired in the excitement department. Motivated and with a clear goal in mind these kids achieved what most parents and teachers believed to be impossible.

Against all kinds of weather, transportation issues, discrimination they attended classes and had some of the highest academic achievements ever recorded.
We know these celebratory achievements have a lot to do with the passion and love our teachers and instructors have shown while investing in these beautiful lives.

In the years past we have had various ways of rewarding their efforts and this year we decided to take 47 of them to a four-day camp up in the mountains. While we were all excited about the camp, the leaders could not hide the fact that they were nervous, as never before had we taken these kids out of the village for more than half a day.

We would like to thank all of those who have made this life changing experience possible for the After School champions!

Here are some highlights from the team leaders:

Salomea, team leader

“I went to the camp having some expectations but didn’t really know what to expect. It was an amazing experience for the kids but also for all of the leaders. I went to camp hoping for a change in their lives, but on top of that I was changed and my life will never be the same after this experience. I really believe that with love, care and education we can break the cycle of poverty and literacy. Really looking forward to our next camp.”

Denisa, team leader

“We were blessed beyond measure at this camp. One thing that really touched me was when the last day at camp I asked the kids: “Are you happy that you are going back home?” and with a sad face all of them answered: “no miss, we want to stay here longer.” They have learned new things, new songs, new Bible principles but the most important thing is that they have experienced love in a new way.”

Doroteea, team leader

“I am a not a brave person. Really, I am not. And this camp was like a Goliath for me, and I was not a David. I was too scared to take the kids to a camp for 4 days. This camp was a life changing experience for me. I have learned that teaching is not about being smarter, not at all. The key in education of these kids is love. The best moment from camp it was when Mea, one of the leaders, said to us “let’s go and put the girls in bed and love on them” So we did that. In that moment, I realized that they have never experienced this kind of love before. Maybe some of them never heard their parents saying to them “I love you”. It was a heartbreaking moment for me but also a life changing experience. Love is the key for all our endeavors that involve these kids.”

Celebrating the gypsy women of Lazareni.

On March 8, women all over the world are being celebrated and honored. Unfortunately not so much among the gypsy women. Therefore, we decided this year to show all the gypsy women of Lazareni how precious and special they all are to God. A party where they were all invited served and celebrated made them feel loved, special and appreciated. Surprised by all the food, fun, crafts and laughter they wished the day would never end!

Christmas Party

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”