ROSE'S DIARY Thursday December 12th 2013 12/12/2013
We have had a lovely day. It began with a beautiful distribution in the village schools in Tasad area, giving out Christmas shoeboxes. Several children kissed their shoeboxes. Although the village schools are comparatively needy they are WORLDS better than when I first went there in the early 2000s. It was the Beaulieu group's first shoebox distribution this year.
After that we went to Caritas which is a Roman Catholic charity. They have a number of outreaches including giving hot food to a number of poor families who arrive with utensils between 1 and 2 o'clock. This service is offered Monday to Friday. For the weekend they give the families some ingredients that hopefully they can use to feed themselves. It was moving to see people come with various containers to collect their food.
After that we went to Vineyard where we packed up food parcels, which were bought with money donated by the Rotary Club to assist the victims of people trafficking. Florence spoke to the girls about Vineyard's outreach to the impoverished through the packing of food parcels. She spoke of how God had provided, and how they now pack 400 food parcels. Possibly what the girls remembered most was the delicious home-made lemon cake and carrot cake!
Simona the social worker came to collect the food parcels for the trafficked victims and told about her work with repatriated victims. It was quite shocking to hear of parents who sold their children through poverty, husbands who sold their wives .... We heard of horrendous beatings and batterings by the traffickers and how the victims live in fear. Now she said most victims are female and young, many end up in prostitution. Romania is the 3rd worst affected county by people trafficking and this is due to the poverty here. 42% of the population live in poverty - I was shocked the figure was so high. Her husband spoke of how distressed Simona is at times after dealing with traumatised and distressed victims.
Simona told us how they are developing their education programme, believing prevention through education is vital. As we talked we could see how so many of the people we have seen could so easily be deceived by the smooth talking promises of clothes, food, a job, money and end up in an even worse situation.
Simona emphasised how important the Welcome Boxes are that Mustard Seed sends and how they are sometimes the only gift someone has ever received, which is a really challenging thought.
Please note that there will not be another diary uploaded onto the website till Sunday evening, as my brother is away over the weekend.