Activities under the Outreach Pillar for the month of May 2021:
As the Outreach Pillar kicked-in the beginning of this year and now has a team of workers in place, I thought I would write a little bit about the various activities we’ve been involved with in the past few weeks and at the same time, say thank you again for being great supporters of Smiles and our programmes. This is greatly appreciated, as always, and we pray to see God’s reward for you!
The month of May went by fast and our Outreach Team, particularly the new members joining in April, started to do more and more visits out in the field, given that restrictions are now a little bit less severe and seeing people is possible again.
We started with going back to the Container Village – although not our exclusive programme anymore, as now shared with the State, it is still something we want to stay involved with, to try to do the best we can for the homeless people. For many months we could not go there, due to COVID restrictions, and our help was more ‘on the streets’ but now restrictions are lifted and visits are allowed. Our friends were very happy to see us and to get to know the new team, after a very long break. Some of them are not around, as either they moved in other places or they are simply back on the streets. Also, some of those we have known for many years died in the recent months and we feel sorry to not see them anymore.
For Sefora, Ruben and Adriana, these first visits meant a solid meeting with the harsh realities of life. Despite their various experiences, none of them had the chance to work closely with the homeless before and therefore, it was a little bit of a shock.
But, as in all things, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! So, in the past four weeks we went back to the Container Village every week at least once and they started to make friends, to get to know the people there better, by listening to their stories and sure enough, we are starting now to reach our objectives easier and more efficiently.
Ruben joined Pastor Vasile also when visiting the TAL Centre, every Thursday. As part of his job, Ruben will do his best in talking with people, no matter what project of Smiles they are helped through, and getting used to various places and people will help him no doubt. He is focused on offering spiritual support through prayer and bible study.
Sefora started her sessions with families and after the initial contacts, more in depth discussions with them can be considered – she seems to handle the tools of counselling well and we are glad to see the potential benefits for all our beneficiaries. So, she will put in the efforts particularly on this front, as a qualified psychologist.
Adriana also started her work with great enthusiasm and she did great with kids from Rapa. We do believe our presence in the community should once again help the progress of the younger ones and Adriana seems to be a good fit for what we need in there. Her passion is working with children and helping them as it is possible!
Not only the Container Village, but also visits to the families out on the field were some helpful reality-checks. The little community of Corbesti needed clothes and food and we delivered that. Seeing their rough living conditions, our new colleagues were not only impressed and surprised, but also motivated to help and they seem determined to do their best in order to assist families, adults and children, for getting a little bit of encouragement and comfort through whatever we can do for them.
COPs and Dezna Camp were also on the menu! We had the chance to spend some very constructive time with various groups of children and be it through games and having fun, or through more serious discussion, we hope we have helped them understand better what God offers them and how worthy it is to have Him as their friend! This is so very important for their future and a main area of focus for our work under the Outreach Pillar!
So, all in all, it was a busy month, but we felt it went well and a lot has been achieved. Of course, there is still much more to learn and discover, but the Outreach Team is engaged in doing the work right and we hope this will only continue to grow in the future!
Thank you to all our supporters for your commitment and generosity that helps us progress the work! Thank you also for praying for us and please continue to do so! The work is plenty and we all need to be good workers for the Kingdom!
Director of Outreach
The Smiles Foundation