Update: “Reaching Out Romania” with Director Iana Matei
Pizza and Dessert
10 exuberant young ladies, smelling of the outdoors and camp fires, tumbled out of the 2 vehicles after their 2 hour drive from the mountains where they had been camping for the week. The girls, most rescued within the last year from the trauma of human trafficking, hugged those of us waiting at their home, talked, laughed and told stories of their hikes, washing in the lake and the beauty and inspiration of being in the mountains, God’s creation. Then all became quiet as they began to devour the 20 pizzas, drinks, fruit and desserts bought from the funds of Dan’s Canadian recycling contributors. Visiting with us and meeting Iana and the girls for the first time were Steve and Patti Hertzog, our new Regional Directors.
Earlier in the summer, three of the girls joined with the youth of their local church, a 45 minute drive away, for a 2 month period of Bible teaching and mission. Along with an American team, the girls visited community orphanages and needy families in nearby villages. Full of new confidence and a radiant smile, ‘L’ shared with us, “It was so wonderful to live with other believers, to study the Bible every day and to help the children in the villages.”
New Shelters for Young Ladies
The plight of human trafficking is not diminishing but becoming increasingly complex. With the funds provided by the Velux Foundation in Denmark, Iana has been able to open a new home for 3 girls, ages 13-16, in an apartment in the Transylvanian region of Romania. They are cared for by a rotation of 3 social workers and a facilitator who teaches handcraft skills.
Up the hill on the property of the present shelter in Pitesti, a foundation has been dug and a third home will be built before year’s end. It is important to help girls recently rescued from trauma in a different manner from those in a later stage of recovery. The transition house will be for girls who are progressing well towards independence, who have responded to psychological counselling and who are doing well academically. Though they will be able to seek guidance next door, they will no longer have their social worker 24/7 with them, they will be independently managing their own schedule, cooking for themselves, and practicing skills for living on their own. It will also act as a motivator for girls in the first phase of recovery at the main shelter.
The 120 acres of agricultural land donated to Reaching Out Romania is beginning to take shape.
As the Romanian government does not provide funds to assist children in crisis, the strategy to develop this land will lead towards self-sustainability, help to fund the shelters and new activities while also addressing prevention, assistance and alternatives for the victims of human trafficking.
In the 1st year of this 4 year project, sponsored by the Velux Foundation, amazing progress has already been made:
- The road on the property is complete and the access road in progress
- Half of the property is fenced
- The summer kitchen is built with 2 bedrooms for site management
- The permits for building the shelter are under review; this will become the 4th home for girls more comfortable in a rural environment where they can gain agricultural skills
- 2 green houses are built and the third is in progress
- A room for cool storage is built into the hill
- 10,000 jars are filled with the traditional, sugar-free plum jam, boiled in a cauldron over a wood fire and stored for marketing in 2017
- 10 goats on the property are well cared for by a newly hired herder; cheese is already in storage.
- Cooperation with local universities is achieved to provide needed expertise
Plum Jam Production
Goods and Services Tax Needed
Though funds for the project are provided by the Velux Foundation, Reaching Out Romania is expected to pay the ‘Value Added Tax’ for goods and services. With the present start-up costs of new building materials and supplies the VAT is high during this 1st phase of construction. Though Reaching Out has raised ½ of the amount they still need approximately $40,000 CAD before the end of December when the next report is due. Thank you for prayerfully considering this need. A modest investment now will reap a multiplied investment in the future.
As we encourage Iana in this broadening endeavour, would you pray with us for success as each step and stage unfolds and progresses.
Connect with us:
Dan and Mardell MacTavish
Global Workers Eurasia
14166 Malabar Avenue,
White Rock, BC V4B 2Y3