Mustard Seed Jersey’s Project to build a Home for needy pensioners in Romania


As time had passed Mustard Seed Jersey representatives had grown increasingly aware that the neediest group in Romania by 2006/2007 was the pensioners, whether elderly or medical pensioners. The amount paid in the pension directly relates to the amount earned during the working life and for some it was a literal impossibility to survive on the pension. For some if their paperwork was wrong there was no pension.


A number of pensioners are assisted through Mustard Seed Jersey’s Adopt a Granny sponsorship programme but after visiting the homes of some of the sponsored pensioners, it became evident that for a comparatively small number a home was needed as their living accommodation was impossible and in some cases literally non-existent!


[The Adopt a Granny scheme aims to give a helping hand (either just in the winter or throughout the year) and often the financial support means the pensioner can manage. Often  with that promise of help the family know they can care for their loved one which has to be the best solution.] 


In May 2007 the appeal was launched for £65,000 to build a home for pensioners in need in Cefa Romania. The first donation was received from a Jersey pensioner called Mabel who donated £650 from her savings and promised to pray the rest of the money would come in.


By the late winter 2009 the whole amount was pledged or donated and the building began.


At the end of May 2009 the home was officially opened and named CASA MABEL. On the name plaque in Romania it was written CASA MABEL a home of love, joy, peace and hope.

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The picture shows Rose Helie of Mustard Seed Jersey, Alex Stroie of Mustard Seed Romania, the local member of parliament for Cefa area and the Mayor of Cefa standing in front of Casa Mabel at the opening in May 2009.


Downstairs at Casa Mabel there is a large communal area with kitchen, dining area and lounge and 3 double rooms with en suite facilities. It was decided that until stair lifts are donated and fitted it will not be possible for elderly pensioners to have rooms upstairs.

Upstairs is another smaller communal area, seven double rooms and a bathroom block. Two of the upstairs rooms are designated for staff and another may be used for secure storage / administration area.


6 younger women moved into the upstairs part of Casa Mabel – one a medical pensioner, another is her carer, another a social worker. There were also 4 young women from Mustard Seed Jersey’s programme to assist vulnerable young women brought up in the state orphanage system – without support and life skills these young women are at risk and at times end up living on the streets, turn to prostitution or may end up being as victims of people trafficking (people trafficking is a big problem in Romania). The combination of younger and older in Casa Mabel is working well and it has increasingly the atmosphere of a happy family home.


In the lounge area at Casa Mabel all furniture has come on the Mustard Seed lorry from Jersey.


The first pensioner to move in to Casa Mabel was Maria – a widow of a church minister. She said she had been praying for a home where she would be cared for. She can walk with the help of a walking stick. She is very appreciative of being in her new home.


The second pensioner to move in was Terez. She is in poor health with many medical needs and needs much help. She was unable to walk and so needs to be in wheelchair and needs help with many day to day tasks.



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