For anyone who is getting the AFPVO Newsletters for the first time — you can read the earlier ones at www.provitacharity.org.
This is probably my last update on our recent trip to Pro Vita. We do want to share some of the data on the large (500+ and growing) community that has evolved.
In addition to the 223 children, house-mothers, and intellectually challenged adult women who are resident at the primary site in Valea Screzii, Pro Vita has a large house in Valea Plopului for 52 residents (30+ elderly who were relocated from Valea Screzii and a number of young mothers with small children). There is also a house in Valea Gardului, on the outskirts of Valenii de Munte that is home to two mothers and eight children as well as several adult women. The Teen House/Social Center in Valenii de Munte will shortly become home for 36 teenagers and several house mothers with younger children. Pro Vita is also helping women and children in the Tulcea area (part of the Danube Delta and 5 hours from Valea Screzii) and hopes to acquire an appropriate property there.
With increased emphasis on teaching skills to the employable older teens and adults, the Tanases have inaugurated a sewing enterprise in Valenii de Munte and will soon begin a building project to expand the floorspace and add more seamstresses as well as inaugurate a metal fabrication workshop for some of the teens who do not go on to university or technical training after high school. Please check out the sewing enterprise workshop’s website at www.home-decorators.ro. In addition to the home decor items, the ladies are also making women and children’s clothing and selling them in a local store. The women are co-owners (with Pro Vita) of the enterprise and are the decision-makers about product line, pricing, etc. as well as being salaried and sharing in the profits. They are getting a crash course in business and learning skills that will move them towards economic independence. Like many of the women who come to Pro Vita, they had not previously worked outside their homes so the sewing enterprise is a major life change.
Pro Vita is also in the process of developing a seasonal tourist water taxi enterprise in the Danube Delta which will shuttle visitors from the Tulcea area to various resorts located on the edge of the Delta, inaccessible by road.
So many of the children are doing exceptionally well as they grow up. We’d like to highlight just a few:
Sonja came to Pro Vita as a 12 year old runaway with a very troubled background and limited education. She is now in her early twenties, financially independent, and a very successful sous chef in one of the new, popular restaurants in Valenii de Munte.
Marian and Madalina grew up at Pro Vita with their two siblings. Marian is married, living in the Boston, MA area, managing a Staples store and going back to school for his degree. His younger sister is majoring in geology at the university in Bucharest.
Another Madalina who with her brother, Tonso, was pictured on the AFPVO website in 2012 is now 14 years old and was one of 40 young women (out of 2000 applicants) accepted into the Romanian military boarding high school which she will enter in September 2016. Madeline ran the final 50 kilometers of the recent 100k Race for the Children.
Flori also grew up at Pro Vita and is now one of the seamstresses at the business in Valenii de Munte. Four young men have gone to Bucharest to work in a printing plant after high school and a number of other “Pro Vita graduates” are either working or pursuing additional education or technical training. Several younger children have left Pro Vita to reunite with family members.