The gypsy colony is the focus of our ministry in Lazareni village. About 100 families and a total of just over 400 people make up this special little village we like to call it. A lot of the adults are still illiterate and uneducated while we’ve been working hard for 13 years at making sure the children get a proper education thus a better chance of making it in life.
The roma people in the village is quite simple. Most of them are busy during the summer months collecting whatever the fields, and forests have to offer: mushrooms, berries, herbs for tea. They sell these goods thus providing for their families. Their income is very low, most of them get social support and only 4 or 5 out of the whole village have jobs.
At the moment among our priorities is to create job opportunities for the gypsy men and women by training them different trades and then hopefully helping them get a job.
Our good relationship with them mayor has helped us join forces and speed up the process in getting approvals for various projects.
Proton Foundation has created a partnership between The Caleb Foundation, Proton Foundation, New Life Christian Center and the Local Council with the purpose of helping the roma people of Lazareni realize that there is hope for them too.
HIP stands for House Insulation Project. The project was born as a result of the Proton Foundation Global Shift trip in June 2013, when all those on the trip were able to see first-hand the living conditions of some families in the village of Poiana, Romania. Soon after our visit, we started attempts to make the winter months more livable for these families, one house at the time, by insulating and fixing their house. The families do their best to heat the house using wood, but most heat is wasted because the house is not insulated to cope with the harsh winters that can easily bring temperatures of -25 centigrade for weeks on end.
In September 2013, we insulated the first house and this has given us a better idea of the real costs involved as well as the time frame necessary to complete the work. These are the words Alex and Heather our missionary friends in Poiana who wrote a week after the event: “the village is still buzzing after you all being here and we have even been approached by people asking if we would consider putting them on the list for a HIP project.”
Very encouraged by our success and impact we planned on giving 10 houses the HIP treatment in 2014. As a result of many people’s contribution both financial and volunteering to help hands on five houses have been radically transformed. Seeing the impact it has had on the families that now will no longer have to dread the winter months we’re even more determined to reach our goal: 10 HIPPED houses in 2014! Since then another 15 houses have been HIPPED. We are shifting our focus on the gypsy community of Lazareni where this year (2018) we plan on insulation 12 homes.
Joining a V4C team and making your skills available to teach others how to make a better living, how to improve their lives or simply teach them basic hygiene principles.
Teaching the children crafts, musical instruments and sports or anything else that would improve their self-esteem.
Getting involved hands on in different project like: house building and renovation, painting, carpentry, welding, landscaping, and gardening to name a few.
Talking to your peers and challenge them to get involved too.
Supporting the Foundation: Proton can be supported financially by regularly monthly giving, one off gift or project based giving. From time to time the Foundation will also run special appeals. Your financial help, however small, will enable the Foundation to pursue the development of new community transformation initiatives right across the continent of Europe. We welcome your support as we innovatively advance change in the most needed areas of our world.
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