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Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director   November 2015

Salard Life snapshots..

It’s Thursday afternoon, middle of October. After the recent heavy rains, the temperature dropped severely. These last few days were cold, much colder than usual and you can feel the air changing, soon the weather will turn to winter. In the night time it’s already freezing cold. The fall is not waiting, but rather strongly demands its rights. The mornings are foggy and wet, the dust of the past summer turns into mud and the streets of Salard are filled with water puddles, one will need to use Wellingtons Boots to make sure to make it through. The little rubble that is thrown around, to help prevent the car getting stuck in the mud, is lost way before the heavy work begins, so the only choice is to stop and walk. This is quite a new experience for several of the mission trip guests!

Days are not warm and clear anymore, as they used to be in the summer. The sun plays hard to catch with us, for many days now it is hiding behind thick clouds and we only wish it was again hot like it used to be. Thing is, autumn isn’t a threat anymore, it’s happening. We are all concerned with how soon the winter could come too, but at the same time we’re hopeful that November will bring some brighter days, as it has done before. We’ll see.

In Salard, life doesn’t change that much whatever the season. I am afraid the need there is so big, that we’ll not have finished our work for many years to come. Whenever we are encouraged by hearing some new kids started going to school, or an adult decided to start or continue at the second-chance classes, there is other news about people having lost their house, living in the street or under a plastic shelter. We always hear of a new need, more medical treatment needed, new problems that need us to help resolve… It’s true that there’s progress with many families, on various fronts, but we still have a lot to do in Salard!

Florin and his family do not have a house anymore. He lives together with his wife and their two children, as well as with his parents in a small caravan at the end of the street. They were evicted a while ago and sent out from the house they used to live in, as the owner claimed his property back. They have been living in this old and broken caravan through last winter and barely made it. The children were in hospital several times with pneumonia, the parents didn’t do too well either. Now, they will have to face the same problem again – the winter cold will erode their health and most likely before Christmas they will be in the hospital for more treatment… just to come back then to the same inappropriate conditions. The family comprises of four adults and two small children and the total space in the house (except for the outer shed which they will not be able to use through the winter) is about 4 (four!) square metres. That is about 40 square foot.

On the other hand Marti and his family are doing little bit better. He is skilled with construction and about two years ago he decided to build a new house, next to the converted container Smiles helped them with. I was surprised to see the foundation and then walls rising and I asked Marti what are his plans. He told me something that warmed my heart – he says "me and my wife, yes, we have the container, but my kids will grow-up soon and they will need a place of their own, so I decided to build a house for them." Keep in mind, their children are 8 and 5 years of age. But isn’t this exactly what a responsible parent will think like? In their culture anyway, I believe is a tremendous sign of maturity and progress. It really made me feel good about what is possible.

Marti jr. is now second grade in school. He started last year, did reasonably well and now he’s continuing with the primary education in the public school in Salard. His brother Cristi is in kindergarten and while he is rather a very impatient, energetic and some would even say a naughty boy, I think the education will change his behaviour and will help him integrate better with the rest of the children. Shony is another one who continues the school and seems to be willing to do well. His family is among the poorest in Salard community (yes, even the severe poverty has various degrees) and because of that, he is supported by one other charity that has an after-school programme for the children of Salard. For this I am very happy, as he is offered a meal and he is helped with homework. This programme is running for two days a week only, but it helps a lot and it makes a difference for Shony. He has 14 other brothers and sisters, some of them still living at home with the parents and food is always of a great value! As well as clothes, medicine, blankets…

Kati and her son Pishti are another one of those families that received a container from Smiles, five years ago. Her health condition is not good, most of the times she needs to take a lot of medicine and she is very fragile. Pishti is in school, he was supposed to be in the fourth grade this year, but last year was just too difficult for him. So now he is doing the third grade again – he assured me it was for the last time! So, I am confident he will get into the fourth grade… next year! Kati is a careful and accommodating mother and she tries everything she can for Pisthi’s best interest, but there’s still some difficulties. He’s a little bit slower than other kids and much patience is needed to get him around. Also, because there’s no father figure in his life, at times he’s hard to control.

Snapshots of what life is in Salard these days… Smiles did a lot and will continue to do. There is much need and we are happy to be able to answer that need, at least for a part of it. Thank you so much for the support you are providing and for the care and compassion for these people. Some of them you’ll know, some names might be familiar, but maybe you will not remember them all – still, they all appreciate your desire to assist and to help. So do we! And we pray for God’s blessings in your life and for you to continue being a blessing for us!

Many blessings!

Adi Matis

Assistant Director Smiles Romania

adrian.matis@thesmilesfoundation.org

Salard Community Project


Previous reports from Adi:
October 2015 - After Summer

September 2015 - The Small Things that go a Long Way

August 2015 - Mission Trips with significance

July 2015 - A great way into knowing God

June 2015 - History with a man that is no more

May 2015 - A Story Worth Sharing

March 2015 - Here in Romania, but not only...

February 2015 - New year, new hope and new plans

January 2015 - Management Team Reports

December 2014 - Preparing for the Celebration

November 2014 - A man's true story... an inspiration to us all

October 2014 - Golden September

September 2014 - A Summer of Experiences

August 2014 - Salard Community Reloaded

July 2014 - Sessions for the Mind

June 2014 - Unknown

May 2014 - Celebrate with us

April 2014 - Beliefs

March 2014 - From being taken care of to taking care...

February 2014 - My dream... to become a pig caretaker

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    Page last updated on 02/11/2015 11:32:28 AM
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