Sunday 22 November we started the day with a church service at ‘The Way of Joy’ project funded by People against Poverty and the networking arm of the charity Business against Poverty. There were over 70 members of the congregation and the church has recently been extended to accommodate worshippers. The style of worship is akin to an evangelical chapel. It was interesting to see that faith is growing in Iasi, when at home the traditional church is dwindling.
After church we shared with people funded by the project a video created on the last awareness trip to Romania in March. It was made by Business against Poverty member, Big Picture Charity Films. Watch it here. Val (founder of the charity) wanted the people to know that they were not being exploited and the video was being used to boost funds and improve their lives. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house and the members of the local community supported by the project were forever grateful for the support they had received.
We then hopped in the mini-bus headed for Ierbiceni. A rural village (more like a hamlet) about 20 minutes outside Iasi. We visited the home of Madaleina and Mahai who have been given a home through the work of the charity. They previously lived at the disused railway station we visited on Friday (see blog post named day 2) with their two children. When they moved into the home Madaleina was pregnant, but the baby is now with us a beautiful little girl of five months called Emma. Their new home was warm and dry and it was great to see they were making the most of their garden space and had planted flowers. Considering these people have very little, they are so proud.
Madaleina’s younger brother George, aged 14 is living in the house with the family. We were all astounded as we walked into their lounge area where he was drawing a Disney mural on the wall. He clearly has a raw artistic talent and we discussed how this could be encouraged and nurtured by the charity.
We also visited the home of Anisorara and Costel who have two children. Costel, the father has Hepatitis C and is at an advanced stage of the illness. The family is in urgent need for a separate room to be built for Costel to sleep in and People against Poverty/Business against Poverty is currently raising funds to help them. He is clearly very sick and coughed lots whilst we were there. His condition is further complicated by a heart condition. Their daughter Denisa aged 9 is incredibly affectionate and bright. It’s evident that despite their problems the children are being brought up in a loving environment and are being taught morals and manners.
We ended the day with a group meal cooked by ‘The Way of Joy’. Tomorrow we’re visiting a micro-farm in Negresti funded by the project.
To find out more about the work of Business against Poverty and to register your interest in becoming a member visit: www.businessagainstpoverty.com
Pictured above: George, aged 14 and his wall mural.