Agricultural Development for Reaching Out Romania
It has been some time since we have driven to the exceptionally rural areas of Romania, to the south west of Craiova, close to the Serbian border, one of the poorest regions of the country. According to the travel guide, the 125 kilometers should take just over an hour but it fails to consider the 50 km speeds through the many villages, the single option roadway with stop and go traffic through a meandering 4 km town, the constant trailing and or passing transport trucks along curving and dipping roads. But, the 2 hour drive from Bucharest and a further 2 hours from the next city of Pitesti, was well worth the journey.
Iana Matei brought us to see the agricultural land that was donated to Reaching Out Romania a few years ago. Now, with finances contributed by the Velux Foundation, a window-solution business in Denmark, the 50 hectares/120acres will be developed over the next 4 years:
- 6 greenhouses for agriculture
- Small livestock
- Fruit trees for jam production
- Bee keeping
- Shelter and work for the victims of human trafficking
- Economic development for the neighbouring villages
Looking across the beautiful, terraced hills, we thought, “This is the God-send we have been waiting for – the one that can now move Reaching Out Romania towards the long-held hope for self-sustainability.” A wider scope and more alternatives can now be offered for the restoration of the victims of Human Trafficking and also for its prevention.
Iana is not only interested in developing her land but bringing improved opportunity and quality of life to the people of the area. As we stood on the land and dreamed, a weathered farmer walked across the muddy, damp field just to speak with us. “Good people,” he said, “If you can come, please help us to build a bridge, help our community with work. Our mayors make promises, but never keep them.”
The area desperately needs some infrastructure:
- A 7.2 meter bridge over the stream bed to the agricultural land. At present, the villagers plunge their horses and carts down into the 2-3 meter-deep stream bed and up the other side, often upsetting them while attempting to cross.
- A 2.8 km gravel road giving access to the property
- A water system for the villagers so they can grow some of their own produce on their land. Most have to haul water by buckets from the village well.
Peter, a representative from the Velux Foundation came to view the present Shelter in Pitesti. Iana showed him around and asked what other information he might like. “Iana, I’ve read your book,” he said. “We know all about you already. We know what you’re doing. You don’t have to sell the project to us. You’re already well recommended.
Believe with us for the personnel, expertise, support and financial resources Iana will need for this Velux Project to become a reality.
Acts of Kindness: Little Things – Big Meaning
As we said goodbye to Iana and were just getting into our vehicle for the return trip to Bucharest, a young waitress came running out of the gas station where we had just had a light lunch. Four young men had been sitting across from us while eating, one of them held up the purse that Iana had left behind, he quickly handed it to the waitress who ran outside. “Wait – your purse. You left your bag.” Cell phones are wonderful! We made a call to Iana who pulled to the side of the road and waited a few kilometers down the road for her returned bag. What a Huge Act of Kindness!
A day later, as we prepared to leave the local mall, Dan reached for his parking ticket and it was not to be found. Rather than the 2 hours of free parking we had anticipated, we now needed to pay the equivalent of $17.00 to leave the lot. He retraced his steps back to the Information Booth and discovered that a young man had found his ticket on the floor and returned it to the counter.
This may seem not seem like a big thing, but to us it is huge! It shows a social consciousness and concern for ‘strangers’ that we would never have witnessed years ago.
COMMUNITY: Bucharest International Church
Though we have been unable to meet in our Sunday facility for the last 2 weeks, we have seen a great display of community and have experienced many ways to be the ‘church’. And, why does so much of this sense of community take place around food!?
Connect with us:
Dan and Mardell MacTavish
Global Workers Eurasia
14166 Malabar Avenue,
White Rock, BC V4B 2Y3