Frank and I are back from a wonderful trip to Pro Vita in Romania. There is so much good news to share that I will be posting several Newsletters over the next few weeks as well as updating the Picture Gallery with pictures of the construction progress and the amazing children and adults of Pro Vita.
First, for all of you who have visited Valea Screzii — the gravel road that runs from the main road up past the orphanage has recently been paved!! Now the kids are able to bike and roller blade on a smooth surface — and skin their knees and elbows as they fly down the hill. Fortunately, no serious injuries to date. Now the residents in the upper village need to learn to slow down as they drive by the Pro Vita facility. Thankfully, the wooden horse-drawn carts are still common and still fairly slow.
All the houses now have potable water from the tap. No more carrying those huge bottles of “safe” water to every house.
Space has been acquired in Valea Plopului and all the 30+ elderly residents now live in a large house that is handicapped accessible The men with various mental and physical challenges have also been re-located. The Valea Screzii houses are now only for the children, house mothers, and the adult women with intellectual disabilities.
We were delighted to learn about the population re-assignments and to see the more homogeneous population at the Valea Screzii site.
Second, the playground at Valea Screzii has some new equipment for the younger children; the older children are able to enjoy biking, skate-boarding, and roller-blading on the paved road. The re-built kitchen and dining room boasts a large common area on the second story for the computer lab, library, play area, space for the volunteer tutors to work with individuals and small groups, and office space.
The animal husbandry efforts have increased dramatically. Pro Vita now has a herd of more than 50 cows, and they are making delicious cheeses for their own consumption. There are also 25+ pigs being bred and raised, providing meat for the table. A 400+ pound pig doesn’t go very far (1 meal’s worth) when there are more than 500 mouths to feed, however. The chickens supply all the eggs needed, and a herd of sheep and goats also provide meat and milk to the enterprise.
Food donations from various Romanian support groups keep the pantries well stocked. Frank and I helped unload hundreds of pounds of fresh and dry foodstuffs during our stay. The 180 pounds of fresh-picked strawberries were quickly rinsed, eaten, and turned into jars of jam by the house mothers. The local Danone yogurt factory regularly donates thousands of containers of yogurt, kefir, and cottage cheese that are nearing their expiration dates but completely safe to serve to the community.
The Teen House is nearing completion and should be occupied before the next school year begins. The sewing enterprise is successful and a new social enterprise for metal fabrication is being planned. Children we met in 2012 have moved on to university, jobs, and several have been reunited with family members. Details on all of this will be in upcoming Newsletters.
The AFPVO is planning our 2016-17 fund-raising campaign which will probably focus on the construction required to expand the sewing enterprise and set up the metal-working enterprise. This is in line with Pro Vita’s goal to create opportunities for the adults and older teens to develop career skills and become financially independent.
We are certain that you as supporters of Pro Vita and committed donors share the objectives to develop these pathways to independence.
Stay tuned for more specific examples of success and hope at Pro Vita.