Helping to alleviate the suffering of disadvantaged children and adults in Romania
Charity No. 327245
See Latest News for updates: Helping babies; New micro farm; Mission trip to Reghin
We are on a mission to bring help, hope and dignity into the lives of Romania’s most vulnerable and marginalised children and adults who are suffering from extreme poverty or disability.
We believe all children, the disabled and the elderly have equal worth and equal rights. Disability, ethnicity or age should not be a barrier to having the basic necessities of life. We are all created in the image of God and believe in every child and adult’s potential.
Our supporters know their money is well spent and is getting through to the right beneficiaries. They are able to specify exactly where their money goes and how it’s used and can see the difference they have made through regular communication.
Sadly, through neglect, there are many disabled children and adults in Romania experiencing severe and heart-breaking difficulties in their lives.
Belief in Action is a real force for change, delivering resources and support for sustainable community-based projects to alleviate their poverty and suffering.
Working for over 40 years in and around Romania, we have built strong relationships and work along side men and women of faith, helping children, the disabled and elderly, and their communities, to bring about a lasting change.
Our vision is that in Romania children, the disabled and the elderly, including those from ethnic groups, are treated with dignity and respect so they have a sense of belonging and are loved and valued.
There are two amazing projects we are really excited about both conceived by partners who inspire us and work tirelessly to show Jesus’ love for those who are marginalised, poor, orphaned, or sick in mind and spirit.
Vision for a multi-use Centre – Otto Kis, who has a true heart for the disabled, has a inspiring vision to build a multi-functional church centre in the heart of his community in Sacele to provide a safe haven and meeting place for able-bodied and disabled folk. The land has been purchased, and as well as the centre, he would love to develop the land and be self-sufficient, giving and selling surplus produce to the local community, whilst engaging people with disabilities in paid or volunteer work.
Vision for a Children’s Home in Reghin – Attila Toth and his team work long hours, selflessly serving the poor living around them. In an area of acute poverty where small derelict houses have no running water, heating, electricity or toilets, he is in the process of building a specially designed children’s home for unwanted babies he finds in the gypsy villages he visits, born to very young, unmarried teenage girls. It is hoped it will accommodate ten orphan children. There is more work to be done but the home will soon be ready.
How We Work
We tailor our work to local circumstances and sustainable community-based projects. We love working with passionate and inspiring people, local churches, community leaders and organisations with years of experience, helping them develop sustainable community-based projects with their own ideas that are already impacting their communities and tackling the problems which contribute to poverty and despair.
Where We Work
Our work today is with children, the disabled and the elderly in Romania:
• Whose families need support
• Who are living in poverty
• Who experience severe difficulties in their lives
What We Do
We are changing the lives of the poorest, most disadvantaged children and adults as we partner with some amazing people who excite us with their vision of what the future could look like for their communities.
We change lives for good by focusing on three key areas of work:
- Supporting and helping the disabled
- Humanitarian and emergency response
We believe all children, the disabled and the elderly have equal worth and equal rights. Disability, ethnicity or age should not be a barrier to having the basic necessities of life. Find out more below about what the problems are, and how we’re working with communities to build long-term solutions.
Supporting and Helping the Disabled
Sadly in much of Romania there is still a stigma attached to those who have a disability, especially in the villages and rural areas. They face inequality and discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives. We believe that disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else. With a failing healthcare system and little spare money, the situation has improved little over the years. The needs for basic healthcare, health education, therapy and medical care is huge.
To do this we:
Provide facilities and/or resources for people working with support groups for the help and care of both children and adults who have disabilities.
Which will give a greater understanding of the times and knowledge of how to live, enabling the power of God to be released to bring about repentance and revival as we herald the dear Lord’s return!
Based on the meaning of 1Chronicles 12:32
Supporting and Helping the Disabled
Otto Kis (Sacele)
Otto is a pastor with a real heart for the disabled and disadvantaged. He visited door to door in the village to find those who were suffering from a disability; if he saw them in the street he would stop and chat, later visiting their homes to offer practical help like chopping wood and shopping. He found, sadly, that many in Sacele were lonely, struggling and feeling abandoned.
Touched by the plight of so many, Otto and his wife Elizabeth work has started holistic day centre sessions twice a week which provides a much-needed social outlet, for chatting, group activities, spiritual help, with a meal together. A much needed time of real friendship and respite. Realising there was such a need, Otto’s ministry has developed over the past few years and now he is working closely with other pastors and organisations in the community to help those in the villages nearby. They are reaching increasing numbers of people with disabilities who need help and assistance. The opportunity to make contact with unreached and unchurched people of huge.
Supplying much needed medical equipment
There is a great need for this due to the scarcity of walking frames and other disability equipment. This scheme was set up to help the disabled improve their mobility and encourage them to become more independent and is now flourishing and changing lives. Word is spreading and people are travelling from long distances to obtain equipment. Peter Iuga, a carpenter, previously worked as a translator and distributor of aid before joining us to run this scheme; he is assisted by his wife Ramona (a social worker). Together they had run a group for people with special needs so they were ideal to help us. They have been to the UK for training for adjustment and repair of the equipment and are doing a fantastic job for us.
UK Therapists to visit Romania
A group of therapists visit Otto Kis and team in Sacele each year to facilitate and provide advice, support and specialist training to the network of community leaders, pastors and organisations we work with. They also visit individual homes and institutions to increase awareness of aid and equipment, assessing various needs, advising about mobility and accessibility to buildings, and teaching some basic physiotherapy which would enable a better quality of life. Hugely successful and appreciated.
Annual Retreats for the disabled and their families
Meeting people through the Medical Equipment Loan Scheme, we realised there is a desperate need to help families who would benefit from a Retreat and respite care for their families and carers. For many this is their ever holiday and it is amazing to see the difference this time away can have as the dedicated team of volunteers slowly reveal their potential.
Dealing with poverty among the gypsies has always been a significant need. There is a constant need to look for ways to help the people in their desire to better provide the basic needs for their families. Education is a big part of the work in this area. It is the hope that in providing opportunities to learn, the people will be equipped to provide for themselves over a longer period of time.
We believe we are all created in the image of God and believe in every child and adult’s potential, no matter what their disability or ethnicity, and that they are loved and valued by God and should have the same opportunities as everyone else.
To do this we:
Support Attila Toth (Reghin Area)
Attila Toth’s team have been working with some local teachers for the past four years in After Schools Clubs in the villages. The aim of this club is to better prepare the children in the local school for further study in High School.
In addition to providing a hot meal and instruction each day, the team has worked hard to make attendance a priority, using special weekly and monthly incentives. These incentives have also been tied to behaviour that is expected or productive citizens.
Some special classes are also held for adults with a desire to learn to read and write in Romanian.
The kindergartens are also working towards this goal of supporting education of the gypsy children in the community. Alongside the daily club meetings, Zozo Kalányos is working to help the young people of his community through a mentoring program. His desire is to see the youth follow in his footsteps of completing school and going on to find a steady job.
Educational support for gypsy children with disabilities (Sacele Area)
Because of culture and inter-marriage, there are many children with disabilities which prevents them from attending school. Many are left to vegetate at home, often with no supervision. Help with this is desperately needed.
Help for babies (August)
Such are the living conditions of many families in the villages visited by Otto and the Hope team. Many young mothers in Romania have no means to provide for their new born babies.
Our friend, Chris, provides us with ‘baby boxes’ full of essentials for these new borns and young mums. This month we collected 180 of these boxes in a hired transit van and took them down to our new warehouse near Bath ready for the next aid lorry when it goes out.
Chris can only do this work through kind donations and an army of knitters!
Mission Trip to Reghin update (August)
As being able to speak English is so important these days, one of these activities was classes to help Caleb (their son) and his classmates improve their English.
The parents were amazed and happy to find these were free and as a result some good relationships have been formed. Attila and Adele are keen to capitalize on this and they have a real vision and plans following on.
Micro Farm Update (July)
Our partner, Pastor Attila Toth (Reghin), who works with the gypsies, wants to develop a micro farm in the small village of Glodeni to provide food, labour and income for families in the village.
Our UK partner Graft for Growth has been taking teams out to kick start the project. A tractor shed, shepherds hut, elevated maize store [to keep vermin and damp out], toilet and two outside sofas made from pallets have been built.
The shepherd, Oscar and his wife Alina were homeless but are now secure in their small hut with their four children. It was built for two but this is Romania! They have solar electric and can have lighting.
Next stage is to build the security fence [steel in concrete] and to build a small barn with a secure machinery section.
A trip to remember
People with disabilities encounter countless barriers when it comes to doing the various activities that we take for granted and enjoy. There are many studies that show spending time outdoors, in nature, gives many benefits: it improves health and psychological well-being, reduces anger or stress, and boosts happiness.
The picture is of Zoli with Lajos and Otto, having the time of his life.
For more pictures click on the link to our Facebook page on our Home page.
Graft for Growth
It is so exciting to partner with passionate and inspirational people, not only on Romania, but here in the UK.
Our friend, Jon Williams, runs a social enterprise, Graft for Growth, helping rural communities in Romania by running social action projects with UK students and adults.
We’ve joined forces with him on some projects to ‘enlarge the place our tent’. Here is one of the teams helping build a poly tunnel for Attila Toth to grow food. It is so inspiring to be working together, helping our partners in Romania to overcome poverty, prejudice and discrimination.
We are excited to see how this partnership will develop.
A sweet way to raise funds!
In October we were sent some delicious, organic, Transylvanian honey from Lajos’s father-in-law who is a master bee keeper. This has been jarred and labelled, and sold at Fairs to raise money for an urgently needed, wheelchair accessible, minibus for Otto. Supporters have been selling it for us as well.
All costs were covered by donations, so any income has gone directly into the minibus fund. To date, we are delighted to say that over £5,100 has been raised. We have a further load of honey due soon, so please spread the word (and the honey!) to help increase the fund; total needed is £10,000.
Humanitarian and Emergency Response
There are many families living well below the poverty line; the elderly struggle to exist as they have very small pensions and therefore need help. Many gypsies have large families with mothers who have a limited understanding of child care, cooking, hygiene, struggling to exist on meagre incomes.
To do this we:
Work with families in dire need. Support the elderly who need our help to buy food and medicines. Give out Baby Boxes: because of poverty many young mothers are unable to provide for their new born babies. These boxes are filled everything for the new baby.
In Romania, through neglect, there are many disabled children and adults experiencing severe difficulties in their lives.
We believe in a world where they should be able to break through injustice, deprivation and inequality to fulfil their potential, shape their own destiny and live rich, productive lives and where they:
• Have equal rights • Have enough money for a decent, secure life • Have access to healthcare and social care • Have the opportunity to live healthier lives • Live in homes that are safe and comfortable
Our aim is that all of our work in Romania is sustainable and our partners there would like to become more self-sufficient. Honey for Hope is a step towards this.
We are sent delicious, organic, honey from the pristine meadow fields of Transylvania by Lajos’s father-in-law, a master bee keeper. This is jarred, labelled and sold to raise money here in the UK.
As volunteers, working with charities, churches and partner organisations both in the UK and Romania, we ensure that help and proceeds go directly to improve the lives of individuals.
Honey for Hope aims to provide help and support to people with disabilities in Romania and the money raised will help resource the disability equipment loan scheme, train local volunteers and facilitate regular occupational therapy and physiotherapy visits.