Project Aletheia is the humanitarian aid organisation of the Church of God Luxembourg. It was initially established as a humanitarian aid soup kitchen in L’viv, Ukraine. We are, however, very pleased to announce that the Soup Kitchen has now been closed, since there is now no need for it. The State pays out basic incomes to the needy, which is not excessive, but it is enough to live on. This project was followed by support for a school for deaf children (Zovka), in the same country. We are able to withdraw from this work, thanks to a Swedish church taking over the full support of these – now – very happy children.
Our work has now transferred over to supporting a project in Romania. This involves us joining with TEEM, ‘The European Evangelical Mission’, which is run by Pastors John & Pauline England. They are moving to live in Romania and so will be our permanent, on-site point of contact. John & Pauline are sponsored by the Baptist Union of Romania.
The project is best described by John & Pauline:
“The world was filled with shock and horror to see the video coverage of conditions in the Romanian orphanages fifteen years ago – shock because the average person had not suspected such neglect of children in institutions possible,- horror because children were treated as refuse to be discarded. Public sympathy caused an influx of aid into orphanages. Conditions for most improved. But decades of neglect, child abuse and abandonment could not be so easily overcome or swept away. There were terrible consequences. Thousands of young people had been emotionally and physically damaged. Their education and thus their prospects were minimal.
Fifteen years on and the public have largely forgotten or moved onto the latest news sensation.
Teachers are already willing and available to pass on their skills in carpentry, bee keeping, basic computer, agriculture,sewing and mechanics. For those youth who show promise it is hoped to find sponsorship for further education. Teams of volunteers from Luxembourg, Britain and New Zealand have visited the project called HORIZON of HOPE. They have donated their time and skills in preparing for the initial sixteen bed hostel, staff accommodation block and training facilities soon to be built in Savastreni, Romania.
Bureaucracy and corruption have caused many delays but work on the building is expected to start later this year. The project is funded by donations from people moved by the plight of these young teenagers many of whom live on the streets by necessity not choice.
John and Pauline have said ‘If you could see the conditions these young people live in, you would understand their desperation to get out of the country. This project gives hope to many and enables them to support themselves and to stay in their own country’.”
John and Pauline England of The European Evangelical Mission have been working in and visiting Romania during this period. With the support of Oasis Church of God, Luxembourg they are about to build a youth training centre to help to cater for young people coming out of the orphanages or particularly deprived backgrounds.
High unemployment coupled with no training means these young people face a bleak future. The training scheme will select young people who show some interest or initiative and give work training, basic biblical discipleship and life skills. Many Romanian orphans have no idea how to care for themselves, keep clean or maintain a routine.