Hi - on Saturday 28th June I'm heading to Romania with a group from Queen's Park Baptist Church for a week of voluntary work. QPBC have developed a relationship with a charity there - FAST Romania - and 3 teams go out to support them each year. FAST Romania support Roma families living in 4 settlements near Brasov - in Transylvania! The Roma are Europe's largest and most persecuted minority. FAST Romania's main activity is building safe, warm homes for families living in absolute poverty there. They also deliver Integration programmes, operate an Education Centre, run arts/music projects, and they are just in the process of developing a building given to them into a training centre for construction skills and other training. www.fastromania.eu
Our group is made up of architects and construction types, teachers, musicians - all talented folks, plus me! We're going to be helping local people to build their own homes, developing the new training centre, training local teachers and other practical stuff. I'll helping with some of the construction activities but also supporting the coordinator develop some social enterprise ideas, looking to implement some good practice from similar settlements across the EU and helping with funding bids.
The Roma in these areas are living in unimaginable poverty...not just economically but also poverty of hope and opportunity. It would be amazing to get your help to improve their lives and opportunities. You can help in several ways:
1. Make a financial donation through this page - ideally Gift Aiding it so you can add an extra 25%. The money will go to FAST UK which has been established to help people in the UK to donate to FAST Romania through pages like Justgiving.
2. I can also take any cash donation. The team are meeting our own expenses so all money will go directly to FAST Romania.
Fantastically, the Santander branch in Govanhill are matching all of our fundraising so every pound donated with gift aid (after Justgiving fees) will raise £2.20!
3. The group is aiming to take out full suitcases - you can help us fill them! In particular we are looking for the following: Toothpaste and toothbrushes, colouring books and coloured pencils, any arts and crafts utensils or materials (as long as they are compact) kids' clothes – pants, socks, vests, t-shirts etc - though we are only taking out brand new stuff. We're also taking out stuff to support the construction activities so if you have any new or good condition kit then that would be really appreciated. In particular we need work boots/shoes, small hand tools, bibs, masks etc. If you've got stuff which isn't going to get used then we can happily take it! We're leaving early on Saturday 28th so let me know ASAP if you have anything.
Give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07970 050820 if you want to know more. Please try and help if you can. Anything you can provide will be very greatly appreciated and will make a difference.