Our staff takes part in the daily work, they enrich the work with their commitment and their individuality. They keep a diary and let us share their thoughts and impressions.
Cristina Ghinea, 30, office worker in Marpod: We don't decide where, when or how we are born. You can be born a prince, you can be born a beggar. If you're one of those who has a roof over your head, a kitchen (no matter how small), running water and warmth, not afraid of catching a cold while washing, I've just started your list of reasons to be grateful.
But can beggars also become princes? It is more difficult than you can imagine from afar. There are not the same values, the same meanings in words, there is not the same relationship with life, with learning, with work, with time. There isn't even their own story to read. But there are personalities. Who are motivated to overcome obsticles, and want to show those close to them that change is possible.
Andreea Reti, 24, teacher in Casa Martin: It was a Sunday, -17 degrees. I had heard that children at Cartier Marghita in Nocrich have been going snow sliding every day since it snowed. There were older and braver children who started with sleds or bags from the top of the hill. They held their younger siblings in their arms. More cautious preschoolers and school children started from the middle of the hill.
I met Pamela, a 10 year old girl whom I take into my heart because of her ambition to learn to read and write. She had a string on her head that said: "Princess." Between two slides she called to me: "Do you know that I read the book with the princess this summer?" I laughed and realized that she really was a princess. No palace, but she is a princess. She has the courage, intelligence and loyalty of a princess, even if she does not have a palace, crown or royal robe. I just hope that she will keep up these values in her future, build on them and find out what she wants to become.
I hadn't finished my thoughts yet, when I was pushed to the top of the hill and started off.
Josef Bräutigam, 19, volunteer: After a year of community service in a refugee hostel in Vienna, I am trying to answer the question to myself whether social work can actually work. To anticipate the answer is: Yes, it can work, good social work can move worlds and change lives. The laughter of children, the constantly crowded social centers and the changed living conditions of Roma make me understand why someone lives his life and invests all his strength here. I got the feeling that I could make a difference.
Ovidiu Căliman, 24, volunteer: "Our daily bread" echoes incessantly in my head. In the sermon we talked about this broken bread. Jesus was recognized in this gesture of breaking. I believe that we too will be recognized as his disciples when we break for others, when we give something of ourselves. In social work I see every day that next to the everyday bread that we all need, there is a much deeper hunger: that we share with each other and that we are ourselves. The most remarkable experience in my work with the poor is that in the end they give me more than they get from me. They give me food, they give me bread for my journey.
Florentina Sandu, 39, social worker in Casa Paul: Drawing, dancing, singing - these are the favorite activities of our children in Casa Paul. These are tools we can use to encourage them to express themselves. They have the greatest joy when they give us presents - with drawings, small flowers, sand cakes, a song when they say “Please” and “Thank you”. Nadina, a 6 year old girl, fell into my arms and whispered in my ear: "Thank you for being in my life!" With tears in my eyes, surprised by her words, I replied: "And I thank you, my miracle, that you are in my life!"
In moments of uncertainty, I like to remember this short and deep dialogue with a child who lives in a marginalized sociey. This should be the basis of our doing: "Thank you for being here."
Maria-Minodora Lăcătuș, 22, social worker in Casa Martin: At Elijah nothing is treated superficially, but the root of the problem is sought in order to find the best solution. We, the educators, not only know the first name of each child, but also the names of their parents and siblings, their temperament and their dreams.
I hope that during this difficult time we will stand still for a while and realize that giving up does not necessarily mean loss, but also opens up new opportunities. I hope that we not only wash our hands but also our hearts. I hope that we are not only grateful for what we have, but also for what we are there for.
Benedicta Toma, 24, volunteer: The virus surprised me and I woke up in my apartment with no yard, no garden and no stars. Far away from the children, from friends and from the mountains. I'm here and I want to resist the temptation to just run to be anywhere other than here. To travel somewhere in time, yesterday or tomorrow, just to avoid today.
"Heaven is where you are", it swings in my head, so this is where I start looking for heaven. And who would have thought that there is heaven here in my block, on the "green space" with the many trees and flowers, in the birds that I hear and watch, in my mother, whom I got to know better in a few days than in the years before ... in the distance that does not break the connection to my friends, but fills them with life, love and meaning. Who would have thought that we would pray for one another and feel united that way more than ever? Let's feel heaven where we are, and if we don't see it, we bring it.
Let us be the bearers of heaven wherever we are. And let's be creative.