Lavalla200> Moinesti, Romania

Lavalla200>

The community has established itself in the city of Moineşti, in the region of Moldova, the most impoverished part of the country. According to the latest census, Moineşti has a population of 21,787. Most of them are Orthodox (87.4%), Catholic (4.87%) and Pentecostal (1.5%).

Initially, our mission targeted children who have been abandoned by their parents due to migration. However, with a better understanding of the reality, we saw that such children are under the care of one or other family member and they are better off than the gypsy children (5.9% of the city’s population).  These children are more impoverished and marginalized, with many difficulties regarding social integration and school learning, which generates a high number of school dropouts.

From the time we arrived in Moineşti, we have been getting to know the social reality, the culture, the relationship of the Orthodox and Catholic Church and mainly learning the language. Early on, after we discussed our hopes with the local Department of Social Service, we visited the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods with them.  Lucăceşti was chosen as the area for our mission and the community residence, especially because in this neighbourhood there is a welfare building where approximately 40 families live, mostly gypsies.

Given the reality, we saw that there is a need to prevent children dropping out of school, so we decided to open a Marist Day Centre for children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability and who are at risk of dropping out of school.

There have been some bureaucratic difficulties in opening the Centre, causing a delay in starting. At present it has legal status and a certificate of service provision, but it still lacks the operating licence, which authorises the carrying out of socio-educational activities. It is expected that by the end of November we will have the license and thus be able to begin the activities of the Centre in December this year. Not before time, since the place has been rented for a long time already, and the professionals who will work in it have been contracted, and the wider community contacted.

During this waiting period, the community has been carrying out activities with the aim of getting closer to the local reality, such as: catechesis with children and young people in the parish, recreational activities and summer camps; also as volunteers in the Salesian Social Centre of Bacău (a neighbouring city). Working with children and adolescents over summer in the Marist places in Bucharest, the “Centru de Plasament Sfântul Marcellin Champagnat” and the “Centru de zi Frații Mariști” was good fun.

Photos

Members:

Barsen Garcia Alonso fms, Francisco Decezaro, Mario Meuti fm, Nanci Alexandra Prochnow, Qalista S. Dhony (April 2020)