Frank and I recently visited Pro Vita in Romania and enjoyed the bountiful hospitality as well as valuable planning time with Mihail and Melanie Tanase. There’s a lot going on and even more projects in the pipeline.
First we would like to thank all of our recent donors: Phyllis S., Charles J., Joyce Y., Terry & Terry, and the parent (Michael D.) of two student volunteers who thoughtfully forwarded his daughters’ leftover Romanian currency. Together their contributions totaled $3750.00 which the Board is matching with a $4200.00 contribution as several were first time contributors and received our 2 for 1 match. This $7800.00 contribution will help fund several of the many projects underway in Romania. The Board still has funds remaining to match your future contributions.
Six seniors from St. Stephen and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA are spending their “Service Week” at Pro Vita next March, continuing more than a decade of the school’s commitment to helping Pro Vita in Romania.
Remember — GIVING TUESDAY is on December 3 this year — the perfect time to be thankful for your blessings and help those less fortunate.
Romania is closing its State orphanages and moving the children to a new foster care system. Judges are transferring a number of teenagers to Pro Vita which is changing the demographics. The government continues to pass new legislation regarding housing requirements (minimum square footage, maximum occupancy, etc.) for both children and adults.
Here are many of the projects with their estimated completion dates/milestones:
The construction of a large refrigerator and freezer as well as two large cool storage units in Valea Screzii. Completed
The renovated Admin Center (old Police Station, Phase 1) in Valenii de Munte is completed and approved for occupancy. November 2019
The 4 new homes near Valea Plopului that will house elder residents relocated from the overcrowded house in Valea Plopului will be completed and occupied. The builder went bankrupt and Pro Vita was able to buy the houses which were 50-75% complete at a bargain price! As more Romanians leave the country in search of higher paying jobs in Western Europe, the elderly population at Pro Vita grows. There are now 60 elderly residents in Valea Plopului. December 2019 – January 2020
The second story of the heating building at the Social Center/student dormitory in Valenii de Munte is under construction. It will provide much needed apartments and office space for Pro Vita. December 2019
The rehab of the 1996 children’s house in Valea Screzii will be completed and occupied. December 2019
The demolition and construction of factory and living space adjacent to the new Admin Center in Valenii de Munte will begin. March 2020
The new stove for the common kitchen at Valea Screzii will be shipped from Italy and installed. A desperately needed improvement! January 2020
The 41 social enterprise projects that started with a large European Union grant will be evaluated for additional funding based on their success to date. They received start-up funding of 28,000 Euros each and could receive 10,000 more Euros if they can prove their economic viability. Projects range from providing transport for pigeon-racing to buying a large drone for agricultural oversight. January 2020
The Valea Screzii house formerly occupied by the intellectually challenged adult women is being completely rehabbed. March 2020
The reconstruction of the wooden house brought from northern Romania and worked on by our Dutch volunteers will be completed and occupied. After the Dutch team left, the basement was completely dug out and the structure raised. April 2020
A new house conforming to the latest Romanian government regulations will be built on vacant land adjacent to the Social Center. April-Sept 2020.
The Sewing Enterprise which is currently on hiatus due to the lack of an instructor will start up again. November 2020
I will be posting new pictures in the AFPVO website Gallery so you can see firsthand what’s happening in Romania. All of the wood (needed to provide heat throughout the long winter) was donated by a businessman who owns a chain of appliance stores in Romania and who is a new friend to Pro Vita. He came for a brief visit, and all the wood showed up a few days later!
Pro Vita residents and alumnae continue to achieve success!
Sonja who worked in a hotel in Bucharest and trained as a sous chef in Valenii de Munte retaurant is now a chef in a 5 star hotel in Bran.
Georgiana is completing her last year of university in Bucharest. She will be a social worker.
Minodora goes to one of the top high schools in Ploesti and wants to be doctor. She boards with a family in Ploesti.
Alexandra graduated from high school in Valenii de Munte and is now working as an event planner.
Several older teen girls have graduated from high school, studied hairdressing and cosmetology in Ploesti and are now working in Valenii de Munte.
Marian, who was our 20 year old “host” in 2012, is now married and living in Los Angeles. He visited Pro Vita for the first time in 7 years while we were there. His sister, Madelena, has completed her M.S. in Geology from the University of Bucharest and is leading one of the “social improvement” enterprises.
The intellectually challenged twin sisters who had been at Pro Vita for more than 20 years have been (somewhat miraculously) re-united with their birth mother and several sisters and are now living with them.
We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and encourage you to remember AFPVO and the amazing work being done at Pro Vita in your end of year charitable giving plans.
Fr. Sean, Donna, and Frank