Diary 5 Thursday June 3rd 2010
Today was our final day based in Oradea and our last night at Geo’s. We have achieved all that I had planned for the time based in Oradea and I pleased about that.
This morning we went to Speranta Familiei – here Raul talked about how difficult it is for them financially and how they have had to look at whether to close down their work, join another trust or continue and diversify. They believe their work of support for single parents of babies and infants through the Naomi Project fills a need, as does their assistance enabling children to be placed in and supported in foster families, while their programme of supporting needy children through education means they should be able to get better paid work. So they felt their work should continue. Their plan is to use the building they have and set up a business in half of it (a coffee shop) which they trust will start to support the running costs of their charity. They asked Mustard Seed Jersey for help with sourcing various items.
Raul talked about the football kits we have managed to source for him and he explained how very grateful the village club members are and how hopeful the signs are that an interest in football could really help the community.
Our next visit was to Nicu Gal at People to People. We chatted about progress of various projects and future plans in his office and then over a leisurely lunch. People to People is assisting in the work of the government department or agency which we visited yesterday working for the repatriation of trafficked victims. He also gave instances of the sheer desperation of many of the victims before going away and how now they find themselves in an even worse plight. As an NGO People To People or P2P can access various government grants which the government department cannot. Nicu was able to give us more information about the depth and breadth of the problem and explained that through his foundation counselling is offered to those who need that. He told us the story of one victim, which we understand is very common: (For security I have changed the name).
Florina was brought up in a Romanian orphanage, on leaving there she was vulnerable. A foreign man took an interest in her, bought her gifts and then said he wanted to marry her. What he did not say and she did not know was that his best way of staying in Romania legally was marry a Romanian. Florina agreed and they were quickly married. Shortly after that they went on holiday but then her husband kept her passport and she was forced out to work in the sex trade while her husband took all her earnings and pressured her to earn more. Finally she escaped and returned to Romania but the resulting court case was difficult as she was married to the man who trafficked her. That story ended well in one way with the ruthless husband trafficker convicted and receiving a prison sentence. But for Florina the story has no good ending, she has moved to a new town with a new identity but even with counselling she is considered to be even more vulnerable and afraid than before.
Our final visit was back to Agape. Here we saw 4 of the girls we know (Nadia, Gyonghyi, Marinella and Aghi) and they were all over-joyed to see us and we found ourselves needing to split ourselves into 4 or even 5 as they all wanted our attention. We purchased some cards to try to sell made by the orphans, to help support Agape’s work.
There is one thing I must clarify: on Tuesday I was really disgusted at the doctor / surgeon who refused to operate without a bribe, so that the man died. Phil spoke about it to Geo’s son Gheorghe who has qualified as a doctor and is in his first year training to specialise in surgery. Some of what Gheorghe said adds a new dimension to that: he personally is working long long hours often 7 days a week but he earns 150 euros a month; this he finds covers his fuel for travelling to and from the hospital and no more. He lives at home so needs to pay no rent nor to pay for food, etc. but if he was having to pay rent, utilities, food, etc he simply could not survive on the salary the hospital pays.
Tomorrow we go to Cefa where we plan to stay till Sunday afternoon when we will leave Romania and head back for Jersey.