Outside school – Eltera Report #1/2022

“ANDREI!” I call his name and I stare at him and smile. He knows how happy I am to see him.

Andrei: “Present!” We’ve been practicing for days and he knows what to say.

Then I call “FLORI!” And I look at Flori who is fixing her dress of excitement and joy.

Andrei helps her: “Flori, say ‘present’!” And Flori shouts, “Flori,” not knowing exactly what the other word means.

And one by one I call out one by one: “MĂDĂLINA! ELENA! DANI! MIRUNA! ANASTASIA! BOGDAN! IONUT! ROMINA! ….”

This is the first of three groups of children enrolled at the school outside. Each group consists of ten children. We know them by name and we notice when one is missing and immediately ask about them.

When a child is missing, the saddest answer is: “He’s in Brasov!” That actually means he’s begging in town and won’t be back until later in the evening. He’ll have to make some money before he can get home.

And I know he didn’t want to go, because the outside school is so much fun and we serve snacks. But, he had no choice…

With a sad heart that one is missing, we begin the activity. We wash our hands with soap. We throw the napkin in the trash after wiping our hands and then we sit down at the table. We wait for the lesson because we have so much to learn before school starts in the fall and we have to be ready.

At school outside we learn to come on time, sit in our chairs, pay attention, take turns talking, hold a pencil. We learn about colours and how to draw. We learn which is our right hand and which is our  left hand, or ‘the other right’.

Outside School is a program for children who have never at on a chair at a table and never held a pencil in their hand. It is a support program designed to prepare children for school in the classroom.

Grandpa Vasile – Eltera Report #1/2021

We found Grandpa Vasile reading from the Bible by a stove where no wood was burning. Mutulica rushed to show me that there was no firewood in the padlocked shed.

I then learned that the old man had worked all his life without a contract, and now, at 72, he has no pension and no other income.

So, we created a pension for him. Because we value Grandpa Vasile’s dignity, that’s what we’ll call this monthly allowance that we want to give him for the rest of his life.

In December 2020, we brought his first pension. With joy and frozen hands, we handed him a pen. He, teary-eyed, searched for the place where he had to sign. I also asked him for his ID, just like the officials do, and then handed him the envelope with his first “pension”.

Bread Voucher programme – Eltera Report #1/2021

It’s hard to build when you first have to fill a hole so deep, dug by deprivation, ignorance and despair. This is what we are doing now. We try to bring them up to the level of dignity and then build with them.

“An ingenious solution”, the Brasov newspapers called our Bread Voucher programme. We created some vouchers and signed a contract with a local bakery. With these vouchers, which we give out to our children and elders, people can go and buy a loaf of bread, and then, once a month, we collect these vouchers and pay for them. We have given out around 3000 bread vouchers so far in FIser and Rupea.

Harvest in the garden – Eltera Report #1/2021

In the autumn we enjoyed the harvest in the garden. Grandma Mihaela opened her doors to all the children in the neighborhood. We prepared food outside in the yard on the wood stove, potatoes and “big cucumber”, which is also known as zucchini. The children entered the yard and they stood in line as Grandma Mihaela put a plate in their hands. “Here, have something to eat.” Their eyes sparkled with joy and with a smile they walked carefully so that they didn’t drop their food and sat down on the floor and found a place next to the other children. That’s how the children in Africa used to sit.

Grandma Mihaela knew them all by name. “Come and join us! I think this child hasn’t eaten since yesterday,” she assured me that the most hungry children in the village were there with us.

A different future – Eltera Report #1/2020

I believe that every child from these poor communities needs a “brick” of hope.  And we can build a different future for them. 

I handed the keys from the new house. I thought I was done and I could put my constructor’s helmet down. But instead, I discovered that there are so many more children with no hope: children that are lost in the darkness of poverty and need us to build a brighter future for them.

Kids’ Club – Eltera Report #1/2020

“Kids’ Club” is what we call the educational support centers for village children. We have two Kids Clubs in Brasov and two in Buzau. The children receive a warm meal, help with their homework or are being taught how to read and write. 


We also organize activities that help them develop their skills through play. Through this program, we try to substitute a family environment, where the parents are absent or neglecting their children. 


Once the schools suspended their activities, we also had to stop out educational programs. We visited the children at home, gave them reading books, hygiene products, medicine and food. 


Not being able to go out of their homes, most parents could not even provide food for their children. 


Even if the situation at home was hard before, the children could have a warm meal at the Kids Club. 


Agriculture program – Eltera Report #1/2020

For these families found at risk, we created an agriculture program and we started to plant. We planted a vegetable garden, a field of potatoes and built a greenhouse. 



The people that are part of the project did all the digging and the planting and are now watering the garden and keeping it free from weeds. They go to the garden every day. Every Tuesday they receive a bag of food, detergent and soap. On Fridays, we sit on the grass and talk about the week and make plans for the week to come. One of the most special things that we’ve done with our team is that we celebrated birthdays. And for every person that we have celebrated together, it has been their first cake, first candles, first chance to make a wish. Yes, poor people also have wishes. 



There are two elderly ladies in our team. They raise their grandchildren alone. In their community, the grandmothers are mothers for all. They have lived in other circumstances and have gained a sense of responsibility; a sense that their children seem to lack. So, they have taken upon them the care for the entire family.



Caty Roos

Summer Camp – Eltera Report #2/2019

Once school ended, we took them to Camp. It was their first camp and the joy they had is hard to be described. Every child had his own bed and every room had a bathroom. None of our children has such comfort at home. 

We served three meals per day and at least one snack. The food was prepared by wonderful people that dedicated one day to serve gypsy and farm children. We had managers, engineers, people in high positions being willing to prepare with love, delicious meals for our children, with love and garlic, lots of garlic. 

Our volunteers came from CRH, DSSMITH and DEXION, prepared to also play games with the little ones. They all brought books, smiles and hugs.

CRH Day with Monica and Dan Nitu, Amalia Popescu, Denisa Hanco and Ibolya Stroie.

DSSmith Day with Remus Craciun, Chef Mugur Tureschi and Sous Chef Ion Jantovan.

Dexion Day with Alice Stanescu, Georgeta Gridan, Claudia Dobre, Dan Dita and Marian Ionita.


Caty Roos

Stable children – Eltera Report #2/2019

We found the children living in a small room attached to the animal barn. They had two beds and a wood stove. Their clothes were stored in boxes. Five small children and their parents live in this home.

The school is one mud road away from home, their clothes carry the smell of animals and smoke, and their unwashed hands hold each other on the way to school and under the desks. They don‘t have notebooks and pencils, so they just sit in the back of the class, trying to be as quiet and unnoticed as they can. And they seem to have been unnoticed for a very long time.  

Every morning, their mom rushes out to the animals. She has no time and no food to prepare for them. They are left alone and the older ones help the younger ones to get ready. They start their way to school at whatever time. They don‘t know what time it is. There is no clock on the wall and if there was, they wouldn‘t know how to read it. 

They don‘t know the days of the week either. They know the week is over, whenever the teacher says: „no school tomorrow!“

How should we help? What should we give them? This year we decided to teach them about dignity. We wanted them to know they are special and we celebrated with them for the very first time their birthdays.

We showed them how to take care of their village and clean it by picking up the garbage. We taught them that we all have to work for a life lived in dignity.

Everyone can do something for himself and for someone else. 

The children are still learning how to read and write. We do this during the after-school program where the children also receive a warm meal. Every Wednesday and Friday we have lunch together. Everyone does his part: Ionut and Alin hand out the boxes of food. Denisa lays a napkin in front of every child and Maria comes behind her and sets the silverware. Remus and Silviu place the cups and two slices of bread. We say a prayer and give thanks, as we know that every day we live and everything we have is a gift. And then, we enjoy our meal. When we finish, Gabi washes the silverware and the cups, Andra rinses them, and Florina dries them, together with the other children eager to help. 

Shortly after lunch, the children take a seat at their desk and are always happy to start a new lesson. We learn the letters and learn how to use them. There is great joy when we put a word together and even greater when a whole sentence is formed. 

We would like to create an educational support center that will be opened every day for the children in Fiser.

We are so proud of these children!


Caty Roos