From the Field – September 2016
School bells have started to ring again in Romania, just as they are here in the States. All of the kids are back in school with the exception of the college students who start the beginning of October. The biggest change this year is for Simon and Marian who have started attending vocational school.
The vocational schools in Arad are a fairly new concept, and an answer to prayer! Before these opened, if a child could not pass the eighth grade exam, they could not go to high school, and had no choice but to find day labor without any skills to boast about!
The vocational schools are very unique. There is no tuition, but instead different companies pay for students to go through the 3-year schooling. In fact, each student earns 500 ron/month (which is about $125/month) while in school. This is a lot of money to a teenager, and tempting to run out and spend, but it is paramount they save most of this money. The situation is that each student signs a contract with the school/company that is training them. The student is obligated to complete the training and to then work for the company for five years. If the student leaves for any reason, they must pay back all that they earned while in school. That adds up over three years!
The education is some classroom time, but primarily is hands on experience working more as an apprentice. Simon is working on mechanics while Marian is working with iron, and they both are working hard and so far enjoying the challenge!
Besides school bells, wedding bells are ringing in Romani as well! Simona Chis, a graduate of Ana’s House, got married to Grancea Trandafir on August 27, 2016 (pictured on left). And, coming up on October 30, Ioana Parajdi, who grew up in one of Global Hope’s foster families, is getting married to Mirel Petrisor (pictured on right). We are thrilled and give thanks to God for these two beautiful and bright women finding happiness in good, Godly men who will care for them deeply!
Hope for Orphans Rescue Center
Peer to peer relationships are hugely important in a child’s development. It’s where they learn social skills, cooperation, emotional control, conflict resolution and so much more. For older kids, peers often provide much needed emotional support and understanding—kids believe their friends understand the challenges they face much better than an adult does. And, they also feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings to friends over adults.
This is why Hope for Orphans Rescue Center (HOREC) began what they call HOREC Mentorship Family Groups. With over 40 children, it can be hard to find your place and develop a group of trusted friends. By dividing the kids up into small groups that mee
t regularly, they begin to form close bonds. With the oldest child leading the group, the kids talk about how things are going for them: they share advice with one another, they review their academic performance, they set goals, and they share problems and work together on solutions. Occasionally, fun days are set up when the Family Groups have friendly competitions in such things as sack races, tire races, treasure hunts and field games. Recently, one such day was held and the kids had a blast! Besides the games, they danced, sang, and modeled unusual clothes.
Spring Valley Children’s Centre
In developing countries millions of people rely on biomass such as firewood, charcoal and agricultural waste to meet their energy needs for cooking because using electricity or gas is too expensive or not readily available. At Spring Valley Children’s Centre, firewood is used to cook the large meals that feed 400 children who attend school every day. This is because using gas or electricity to cook four times a day is very expensive and firewood is the cheaper option. Getting firewood for the school is not easy though, because the school is located in the city and most firewood is found and sold in the rural areas. Many times only a handful of firewood can be found that lasts about five days.
Earlier this month, Pastor Stanley and Alice were able to secure a truck load of good firewood about an hour away from the school from a farmer who was clearing his land for planting. They had to hire a truck to get the wood to the school, but now they have wood that will last the school more than a month!
The effects of poverty on a child are different from that of an adult, and one could easily argue, it affects them more severely. UNICEF explains that children living in poverty “experience deprivation of material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society.” The lack of material resources exposes children to all forms of abuse and exploitation, and it creates economic need that pushes children into child labor. A child’s right to education and recreation goes by the wayside.
The children’s homes Global Hope supports in India are built with the goal of ending this cycle of poverty and giving children a chance for a happy, healthy and successful life. Take Shiva Durga Prasad for example, who lives at Hope Boys’ Home…
Shiv’s father was an alcoholic to the point of selling all the family assets so that he could have his drink. Two years ago, when there was nothing left to sell, he left his family and never returned. Shiva’s sister became very sick and his mother struggled to cope with providing for her family, and now seeing her child sick and not being able to help. She couldn’t afford to take her to the doctor. This drove her to enter into the sex trade, an easy trade for any woman to enter, although still difficult to make much money to support a family. Shiva was left with his grandparents while his mother worked, but they weren’t in a position to really care for him. Seeing his situation, some villagers brought him to Hope Boys Home. Initially S hiv didn’t want to talk to anyone and walked around with his heard down all the time. Slowly he made friends and started to open up. As he began to feel better, both physically and emotionally, Shiva became very active. Today he studies hard and is getting good marks. His big dream? To get a good job that makes enough money to take care of his sister and mother!
Kathryn E. Larson Children’s Home
The past month was a joyous ones for the kids at KEL. They received new school uniforms, which they get once a year. This is a big deal for the kids since they don’t often get new clothes and it helps reinforce the importance of school. In addition to new clothes, four girls and two boys received new bicycles on behalf of a Global Hope Godparent. They are thrilled to be able to zip around town and ride to school!
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