Aurica Rostas is a prime example of the huge impact the work of Smiles has had in Tileagd. A single mother who never went to school herself, she is thrilled that her son has managed to graduate 8th grade in the Romanian system. If funds were available, he would probably go on to High School.
Aurica was one of the first in Tileagd to confess her faith in Christ and was baptised in 2006. Because of her desire to read the Bible, she started attending a literacy class and learnt to read and write.
This helped her in progressing within the Craft Project, that enabled her to earn some money through selling the items she made and thereby better support herself and her son. She also had the opportunity to work in our Vision Project workshop, but to do so – she needed to understand numbers and not just to count to 100 or to add and subtract! She had to learn to work with decimals. She did and now she is able to undertake a responsible job as a technician for the Vision Project.
This is very much part of the Tileagd Miracle!
Aurica has had to take a lot of giant steps to reach where she is today… and she has managed to do this because she knows God is helping her.
It has always been one of the Craft Project’s aims to help women support themselves with dignity and take more responsibility for their needs and their family.
Aurica has worked the hardest but she is not alone. She is one of the key amongst up to 12 others who are embroidering bags, cushion covers, banners, book covers and spectacle cases.
There is often demand of up to 18 women to work each week enabling them to earn money for the work they produce. They are mainly working with hemp/linen/cotton – material grown and woven on hand looms during the Communist period – organic, traditional and local. Our more recent bags however, have been made on a handloom with donated wool but using traditional techniques.
The aim of the Project is to empower this group of Roma women by providing them with fairly paid work for their embroidery and handwork in a place where there was only poverty and unemployment before and to refute the lie so often claimed “These women can do nothing.”
It is only a beginning but it is a beginning and God is blessing the project, the women and the community in wonderful ways.
The product is always available in Romania and a selection is available from consignment stock held by our Ambassadors for sale at local fund-raising events.
If you would like to order items for yourself or would be interested holding a small supply for sale at your local event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0113-276-5060.
In 2005 UK Missionary, Margaret Biddulph joined the Smiles team and helped develop the ‘Craft’ project – making many beautiful items that are sold across the world to raise funds to help support the families with a more regular income.
Margaret retired and returned to England in 2015, but the Project continues under the supervision of Smiles Director Maria Hava-Cimpoca who is expanding the Craft Project significantly into Jewellery to enable a greater impact for more of the women of the community.
The basic Operating Costs for Tileagd Crafts average £500 / $650 per month.