2006-10-25 ROMANIA

The Marist presence is consolidated in Romania

The brothers arrived in Romania in 1998. They dedicated the first years to learning the language and becoming familiar with Romanian culture, and to the analysis of real problems that affect the children and adolescents of this society. Moved by the great quantity of problems associated with poverty and social exclusion, especially the phenomenon of street children, the brothers opened their own house in 2004 to welcome eight homeless children.

Since then, a series of meetings between the brothers and Caritas-Voralberg (Austria) led to a common project: the construction of a mini-village in view of welcoming homeless minors, street children as well as those abandoned by their families. The project was able to be financed thanks to the co-ordination of Caritas-Volralberg, who sought the support of numerous sponsors, and to the Marist Province of Ibérica.

The official inauguration of the Saint Marcellin Champagnat Centre took place on the 6th October, but it is useful to note that it had been functioning since last June, welcoming twenty-four boys and girls. Two children from the Centre symbolically cut the ribbon, after which the Archbishop of Bucharest blessed each of the houses. Those present included the President of Caritas-Austria, the Austrian ambassador and the Spanish Consul. The Marist Institute was represented by Brothers Emili Turú, General Councillor, and Samuel Holguín, Provincial of Ibérica. A few brothers from Greece, Hungary and Spain also participated in the celebration.

Congratulations to the new Saint Marcellin Champagnat Centre of Bucharest, whose principal characteristics are the following:
Aim: to welcome homeless minors.
Juridical nature: centre of social services in collaboration with the ?Direction of the Protection of the Child? of Sector 6 of Bucharest.
Maximum capacity: 40 children
Composition (first phase): 4 houses and the Marist community residence.
Annual budget: 110,000 ?
Personnel: 3 direction-management, 12 teachers, 2 cooks, 4 volunteer residents.


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