Romania Challenge 2014

The Romania 2014 team have just returned after successfully completing a six-day house build, as part of project to help ten families in very poor rural area.

The long-term project will provide a smallholding, to be worked on and shared by ten families who already have homes, but not enough work or food to sustain their families. The Stonar team built a 'sanctuary house,' which will provide a home for Costel, a reliable and hard-working local man, who will act as a caretaker for the farm. The families themselves have already started growing crops and have constructed a bore-hole for water. Other teams have built animal shelters on the site.

The Stonar team did so well with their fund-raising this time that they were also able to purchase animals for the farm – pigs, chickens and rabbits. "We felt proud and heartened to realise that these families will have a real chance to make something of the farm, and to provide for themselves and their families. The team felt genuinely privileged to be part of such a forward-thinking project, which enables people to learn to help themselves," commented Tracy Gates, Team Leader.

“I was so surprised by what I saw. We see so many adverts about poverty in Africa but I never realised that people in European countries were living in the same conditions but in some ways worse because it is so cold. I was shocked by the amount of people who are living in such small houses they have built themselves and are absolutely freezing due to not being able to afford wood to warm their houses,” said Abigail Collis-Smith, Year 13. “Taking the children shopping was probably the highlight for me. Seeing how excited the children were just by getting a hat, coat or pair of boots, which we would buy without a second thought was amazing and really showed me how lucky we are.”

“The trip was all so positive and felt like we were really making a difference to a lot of people.  Also as a team, we had fun and got a lot out of the experience,” added Laura Sheppard.

“The hardest part for me was seeing the way people lived and not being able to help them. For example none of the people we visited have enough wood to last them the winter and so they won’t be able to heat their homes or use theirs stoves as much as they need. It was also heart-breaking to see the families that have been badly affected by poverty; seeing the children with no shoes on outside while we were all wearing our thermal layers and seeing how alcoholism is a massive problem for the parents that can’t provide enough for their families,” said Lucie Walker.

More pictures can be seen on our Facebook page and a full write-up of the project from pupils is below.

pdfRomania Diary

You can also see a video of the girls' experience here.

 

“I was so surprised by what I saw. We see so many adverts about poverty in Africa but I never realised that people in European countries were living in the same conditions but in some ways worse because it is so cold. I was shocked by the amount of people who are living in such small houses they have built themselves and are absolutely freezing due to not being able to afford wood to warm their houses,” said Abigail Collis-Smith, Year 13.

 

“Taking the children shopping was probably the highlight for me. Seeing how excited the children were just by getting a hat, coat or pair of boots, which we would buy without a second thought was amazing and really showed me how lucky we are.”

 

“The trip was all so positive and felt like we were really making a difference to a lot of people.  Also as a team, we had fun and got a lot out of the experience,” added Laura Sheppard, Year 13.

 

“The hardest part for me was seeing the way people lived and not being able to help them. For example none of the people we visited have enough wood to last them the winter and so they won’t be able to heat their homes or use theirs stoves as much as they need. It was also heart-breaking to see the families that have been badly affected by poverty; seeing the children with no shoes on outside while we were all wearing our thermal layers and or seeing how alcoholism is a massive problem for the parents that can’t provide enough for their families,” said Lucie Walker.