While trying to remember how many road miles it is to Romania from where I live in the north of England I looked it up on Google map and within seconds had the information. It is 2664 km (that’s 1665 miles in old money!) with a journey time of 1 day 3 hours! The route has tolls, crosses the sea and multiple countries. I smiled, remembering our numerous journeys by that route during the 1990s and the 4 days and 3 nights it took us! Then, most fascinating, it sets out directions, starting with “head west, turn right”! Door to door! Of course I know that we can fly to Romania now and be there by lunchtime having eaten breakfast at home, but it struck me that the simplicity of how it all starts doesn’t change: Take a step, follow a direction…and keep on going!
For over 20 years now our Partners in Romania have done just that. They grew up in a country that had no concept of today’s modern terms and the rules we live by of diversity, equality and even human rights but when, through revolution, the veil was lifted in 1989 they began to map out a better world for themselves, their children and their communities. Overseas opportunities were many, especially for educated, hard working, sincere people. Some took advantage of those but our Partners made the choice many times to stay and work with their own people with a vibrant belief that together and with God’s help they would create a stable, healthy and more hopeful future.
It has been a journey of many highs and lows, great successes and deep disappointments! Most recently the icy winds of economic chaos that have swept Europe have bitten the most vulnerable first and those who are most vulnerable in Romania are the children of poor and isolated communities, orphans, elderly and those who are sick. Homelessness sweeps away many into the silence of a cold winter death and as unemployment tightens on family survival year after relentless year that stable, hopeful future starts to feel like a mirage!
In what is a bleak picture however, we at PovertySwap, have heard hearts beating. They are the hearts of those who endeavour to continue and lead the work of bringing hope, social care, community life, education and good news day after relentless day to the people in their own community. They make sacrifices in their own family to reach out to those who struggle alongside them. They make personal sacrifices and turn up every stone to find answers and sustainable creative solutions for each desperate situation. They work together with community leaders, faith communities and those who have a sincere desire to secure a better future. They will leave a legacy and a pathway for many generations to follow. They will herald in the springtime after so many dark winter days.
And we will help them! Partnering together with our contacts in Romania means we have opportunity – not as in times past to run trucks of questionably useful supplies to unknown sources – but to bring something that will be of sustainable value to the table along with our trusted friends on the ground and their network of community leaders. They have good networks and are respected by local government and industry leaders with whom they are currently negotiating support for some very exciting projects. These talks progress well.
In the spirit of PovertySwap we want to give our friends and networks an opportunity to be part of this amazing work. Our aim of working together with local communities to make dreams happen is very simple to do on this occasion. We have a plan to create a social work/community development/children's worker post that will be filled by one of our Partners who already visits voluntarily the poorest community in the area. She is a person of clear vision and her job specification is strong and practical. She is fully qualified and gifted for the post. She is a dedicated Christian woman who has sacrificed much in her life for her passion of making a better world for children who suffer! She has the support of a strong, loving family and community around her. The main thing that lacks is the funding to employ her. It has been sought in many places but the space remains a void.
We got to thinking that a sustainable solution to this could be quite simple and we shared it with a few people who agreed…and signed up! Initially we need to find 20 people who will commit £10 per month by Standing Order specifically for this use. This small step will create the first hours of employment. Beyond that we will look for 10 more but first, if we can raise 20 people then we can send those donations every month for this post, reviewing it each year.
Our partners in Ethiopia have seen in their work with young families that placing fresh positive and inspiring ideas into their pathway can benefit the future for the country! It begins with one step, one small £10 note perhaps! We believe this work in Romania can produce much fruit. There will be measurable outcomes and lives may well be saved, and definitely changed.
Please consider your part in Making This Happen!
Read More about our work on the Romania page.
We can send you a Standing Order form if you get in touch.