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

ElteraMed – Eltera Report #1/2019

During the cold period, we put together a medical team and went to two villages in Brasov County: Maierus and Arini. We offered medical consultations and treatment to 52 children, between 8 months and 15 years of age.

Our doctors showed much care and dedication towards the little patients. They have all walked a long way to get to us. Many children had bad colds and some of them also had other health issues that will need farther assistance. 

We had a colouring and activity corner for the children waiting for their turn. And tea and cookies for their parents. At the end of their medical check-up, the children got toys, hats, gloves, and socks. 

As a result of our medical clinic, other doctors from Brasov offered to be involved in future medical projects. We would like to go to different areas where there are no medical clinics in the village and the parents can not afford medical treatment for their children.

Our volunteers were amazing. They smiled at the children, listened to them and gave them good advice. 

Luca (9)  is one of our patients we met in Maierus. He would like to go to school one day. He needs surgery on both of his eyes, and we already found a doctor that is going to perform that on him, free of charge. 

All these children live in sheer poverty. Most of them don’t attend school. The small ones have not even been registered in kindergarten. 

Sara is a teenager from Arini. She would have liked to go to school, but she quit in 8th grade. She was the only girl from her village attending school. Everyone else dropped out, so she decided to stay at home and help her mom watching her little siblings. She met us at the medical clinic and she said she would like to continue her studies, even if she will be the only one from her village. She would like to be a part of our medical team in the future. 

While we were in Maierus, mothers walked from the nearby village to come to see our doctors. They had to carry their small children. Some of them ran a high fever. 

We initiated this medical campaign in order to prevent or help their medical problems, and also to identify their social situation. Right now we are working on putting together a larger team of medical staff. We also hope to establish educational support centres and assist the children in this matter. We would like to see all the children in Maierus and Arini attend school in September. 

Wishing you best of health,

Caty Roos

The Summer School – Eltera Report #2/2018

The Summer School is an educational program that takes place during the summer vacation, as a part of A pencil for Romania Project. That’s the definition.

In reality, we get up early, load the car with materials, call each other to make sure we are all ready on time, so that we can leave Brasov not later than 8:00, because all the children from the village are waiting for us in Fisher, before 10 o’clock.

We rush through the store to buy 40 yogurts and 40 cookie packs, for snack. While in the car, we plan details for the day. Which one of us takes over the youngest group, who will teach the lesson on geometric shapes, how long is everyone’s lesson and we shouldn’t forget to stamp their passports at the end of each lesson.

When we finally arrive, there are a lot of big smiles waiting for us. How could we not show up?

One day, it has rained very hard. This didn’t stop the children from coming to our summer school program. They were all there. Wet, but there.

“This was the best summer vacation ever”, said one of the girls.

We chose Fisher because there is already a family of 5 children which we have been supporting over the years. We also signed a collaboration contract with the school in order to help children attend school regularly.

The summer vacation is so long when there is nothing to do. So, for one month we went to the children and tried to teach them new things in fun ways. All the children from the village took part.

The program was called “Vacation Passport”. Each child made a passport. Each page was going to get stamped at the end of every activity, so four stamps in a day. At the end, the children with a fully stamped passport could join us for a day field trip to the Zoo in Brasov.

The children have done chemistry experiments with Teresa. Peter taught them math by playing games. Alex showed them how to create and recognize geometric shapes. Matthias taught them about rhythm in music. Daniel and Christa talked to them about obedience, faith and forgiveness.

I was the goat. The goat that lost two of her kids (Romanian traditional story). I told the children all that had happened to me and my kids. At the end of the story, the children gave interviews as witnesses of the whole drama. “What happened?” And their answers were their first public speaking lesson.

We taught them about countries, passports, cities, and they taught us about their village.

Among our group of children we found some with very sad eyes, some were abandoned by one of their parents, most of them were very, very poor, but they all had hearts filled with hope.

At the end of July we got everyone on the bus and took them to the Zoo in Brasov. We had some lonely “grandparents” from the Fisher Elder’s Home join us on the field trip.

We got free of charge access to the Zoo in Brasov. Special thanks to Mr Horia Nistor and to Mr. Alin Pinzaru, the director of the Brasov Zoo. Delaco sponsored all the diary products for the sandwiches.

Now, the children seem to have a different spark in their eyes; a bit more joy. And every time they see us, they smile really big. They know we are up to something good. We will be visiting them during the next school year. You have seven months to think about it. In May, we will be putting together our team for the 2019 Summer School and we would love to have you as part of it.

And this is serious business. You will have to:

1. Wake up early, even if you are off from work.

2. Come and teach something useful and interesting.

3. Prepare an illustration, a story or an activity connected to your lesson.

In case you don’t have teaching abilities, you can still help by:

1. Serving the snack.

2. Slicing the watermelon.

3. Making sandwiches for the field trip.

But, if you can not make yourself available for these activities either, (someone has got to work), you could donate money for materials and activities, mentioning it’s for the summer school.

Treasuring the children’s right to development and truly thankful for your support,

Eltera Team

by

Caty Roos – the boss 🙂

The office opening

We’ve talked about Eltera’s projects at the office opening in Ghimbav. We would like to support children that are in difficulty and invest in their development. It could be that our smiles and gifts are the only generosity lessons these children will ever learn. 

Eltera is a book. And we, the volunteers, write a page every day. Most of our children don’t know how to read yet, but we hope they can read our example.

Alex is one of our super heroes volunteers. He puts a lot of his limited free time and uses his amazing abilities to give a chance to hopeless children. 

If it weren’t for Alex, Bianca and her family would not have a new and nicely equipped home now. 

Alex has also taken on the Budila school where he coordinates the “A Pencil for Romania” program for the second grade where Gabi is also a student. 

Amalia and Andreea have important jobs in a multinational company. When they are with us, they put on work outfits and take on any challenge: they recondition chairs, assemble furniture and do interior designing. 

Claudiu is the boss at work. But, when he works with us he gets on the floor with the children and shows them how each piece of wood needs to be assembled to make a bed or a wardrobe. 

We try to build every day, brick by brick, the broken future of precious children. 

Elfriede + Erich Roos

Româna:
Elfriede și Erich Roos au sărbătorit împlinirea vârstei de 60 de ani. Au hotărât, cu generozitate, să ofere cadourile în bani primite din partea prietenilor, pentru cărămizi la casa Biancăi. 

English:
Elfriede and Erich Roos turned 60 this year and decided to generously donate their money gifts to us. So, what they got from their friends, they spent on bricks for our home.

Deutsch:
Elfriede und Erich Roos feierten dieses Jahr ihren 60. Geburtstag und spendeten ihre Geldgeschenke großzügigerweise an uns. Was sie von ihren Freunden bekommen haben, gaben sie also für Bausteine für unser Haus aus.

 

A Pencil for Romania – Eltera Report #1/2018

The children from the villages around Brașov, are struggling to attend school regularly. In the schools we’ve been visiting, we found out that only 50% of the registered children, attend school. After visiting the school, we went house to house to find the children. Sadly, there are also children that have never been registered in school. 

During one of our visits, it was minus 20Celcius outside. Some children were sick at home. Other children didn’t have winter shoes or clothes, so they also didn’t go to school. One evening before, we had put together pots, lemons, honey and tea bags, and handed them out the next day when we were there. 

In the classrooms, we rewarded the children that attend school regularly, by giving them story books and school supplies.

Then, we went to visit the children that were not at school and we also talked to their parents. 

Adela, her sisters and her brother were at home that day. It often happens that they skip school. Their mother has never attended school and she finds it difficult to get the children ready to go to school every morning, again and again. She starts working at the farm early in the morning and lets the children sleep in. 

For children like them, we’ve initiated the program “A Pencil for Romania”. This program is meant to help children attend school regularly.

We provide shoes, clothing, school bags and school supplies.

We also work together with the teachers from these school.

We’ve signed collaboration contracts with two schools from Brasov county and we hope to extend our program in the near future.

Caty Roos
President – Eltera Association