Board Chairman, Fr. Sean Cavanaugh, visited Pro Vita in mid-March and joined with the Ukrainian teenagers and the displaced elderly celebrating their 1 year anniversary at Pro Vita. Twenty-five more Ukrainian adolescent refugees arrived at Pro Vita from a Romanian State institution, transferred due to overcrowding there. This mix of boys and girls were assigned to Valenii de Munte (10) and Posesti as well as new facilities in Valenii and Drajna, a village between Valenii de Munte and Posesti where another property has been acquired to house the new arrivals. All of the teens have intellectual challenges and two also have HIV, necessitating strict medical protocols. The county government as part of a large-scale restructuring of all its residential units in order to reduce the number of persons at each site has asked Pro Vita’s assistance in taking Ukrainian refugee children from the county’s Baicoi facility. Another dozen Ukrainian teens from an Eastern Ukraine site may also be coming to Pro Vita in the near future.
Ukraine continues to provide a rotating team of 2-3 teacher/caregivers to Pro Vita who are very helpful, especially in assimilating the latest arrivals. The adolescents who have been at Pro Vita for the past year are learning Romanian, doing well at the local high school and special education school, both in Valenii de Munte.
Spring is on the way in Romania and Pro Vita and a local sponsor, Side by Side Adventure Tours, are hosting a second 4Wheels 4Children fundraiser — a weekend of 4×4 vehicles scrambling around the local mountains to raise money to replace the playground at Valea Screzii – a sorely needed improvement.
Fr. Sean and Melanie have sent lots of pictures which will be posted to the website’s Gallery very soon.
The new house which will be built next to the Social Center is finally almost through the local approval process and construction contracts are in place with an estimated occupancy date of early Fall (6 monhs under construction). AFPVO has committed to funding the entire cost ($50,000 USD) of the house. The permanent protective covering has been installed in the courtyard and looks great! The basketball court is still awaiting its finish coat but is used daily for b-ball and bike-riding. Another Thank-You to KPMG’s Bucharest office for their very generous donation of new bikes!
Solar panels have been installed on the Social Center and at the Admin Center in Valenii with the goal of reducing the escalating electricity bills by 50%. Electricity costs have doubled since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Your generous contributions have paid for this 21st century addition as well as supporting the Tanases’ search for a used but sturdy 10-passenger van needed to transport the children to the special education school in Valenii de Munte.
AFPVO sent $35,000 to Pro Vita in March to cover these costs and pay the overdue electric bills (several months in arrears). Romanian donations of foodstuffs, etc. have dropped dramatically and Pro Vita has had to slaughter more hogs than expected as well as rely on the expanding chicken flock for meat and eggs for the growing population. The Board has authorized the Tanases to use AFPVO monies as needed. Until the greenhouses begin to produce the Spring/Summer crops, fresh vegetables are scarce and expensive — even at the local Lidl!
Unfortunately, Pro Vita did not receive the UNICEF grant to pay the salaries of the extra staff needed for the additional faciliities. The devastating earthquake in Turkiye caused the UN monies to be diverted to that catastrophe.
A local Baptist group of volunteers took all the Ukrainian teens to the mountains for a week, providing the Tanases and staff with much needed respite and the teens with a fun vacation.
As interest rates are now back in fashion, the AFPVO Treasurer has purchased two shorter term CDs as part of our responsible management of your donations. We are waiting on Mihail’s 12 month financial projections to determine our future steps.
As always, we welcome and are grateful to new donors: Marianne D., Jenny B., and Dr. Howard K. as well as our sustaining donors, Wendell B., Ho K., James K., and Narcis A.. As Pro Vita expands its community to embrace both the elderly and the adolescent Ukrainian refugees, its financial requirements also increase, compounded by global inflation and the teenage appetities of the Ukrainian young men. All your donations are fully tax-deductible; your monies are spent judiciously and are dedicated to providing all the refugee and Romanian beneficiaries with a safe place to live and flourish.
Fr. Sean Cavanaugh, Chairman
Donna Shelton, President
Frank Doe, Treasurer
Kerry Garikes, Communication & Design
Shelby Stowers, Member at Large