Solid recognition of the efforts in Romania

The Fundatia Adina Foundation has become a full member of the worldwide Home Start network. A solid recognition of the work done by staff and volunteers in Romania.


- There is no doubt that we fill a need in many disadvantaged families in the countryside outside Craiova, says Hilde Sandnes, general manager of the Adina Foundation. She is rightly proud of what a small but efficient organization has achieved in Romania in close and targeted collaboration with the Church's City Mission in Bergen.

- The impact, need and results in the local community are actually easy to measure. We see that more young people from what we can call their own ranks now sign up to work as volunteers for what began under the name New Start. These know from their own experiences and local knowledge that there are many families who need a fellow human being to talk to, says Sandnes.

SILENT REVOLUTION. The mothers who are the mainstays of our New Start program have caused a quiet revolution in several of the homes they visit. These are tough women with roots in the local community. They spend three hours each week on free work for the benefit of others. Volunteering, volunteer work, free work for the benefit of others - call it what you will, is in itself a significant social upheaval in rural Romania. When we want to know more about their experiences, it is a common thread in the conversations that the women themselves have benefited greatly from getting so close to other families' living conditions.

NEW FRIENDSHIP. Many say in clear words that they now appreciate their own more than they did before they started as volunteers. One of them has also had his son on assignment, and it has resulted in new friendships. The mother of a small child believes that the insight into the situation of others has made her more patient with her own children, and that she has become better at listening at home.

- I was a little nervous about the star, admits Aurelia (28) who was close to escaping from the whole program after the first hour at her visiting family's home. But the relationship changed quickly, and today Aurelia is considered a family member.

THE PIG IN THE FREEZER. A little outside the program, Aurelia had to teach her mother in the visiting family how to take better care of the food. - The mother had put a whole freshly slaughtered pig carcass in the freezer. I explained to her that it was smarter to divide the animal into small portions, and she greatly appreciated this lesson, says Aurelia and pulls on the smiley face now that it has all come a long way.

Aurelia says that having come so close to other families has changed a lot in herself. - Now I am more satisfied with what I have while before I just wanted more and more. I also value playing with my own children more, says the 28-year-old.

Ani (34) is herself a great-grandmother and gave birth to her first child very young. In her visiting family, the mother had her firstborn at a young age, and Ani experiences that the mother in the house also needs an adult woman from outside to consult as the group of young people grows. The same good relationships built on mutual respect also exist between Ani and father in the house who are more or less unemployed.

CLEAR MESSAGE. Gica (32) received a very good reception in her family. The confirmation comes from the children themselves when they say to their mother in clear words: - Now you are silent, we will talk to Gica! Our woman says she meets a family where the parents are very aware that the children will finish school. Gica hopes that the changes she has seen in the family will continue, but little money and poor living conditions stress them severely.

PROFITABLE PROJECT. New Start costs money, but the women who have gained experience in the field agree that the scheme must continue. "Our" mothers have experienced varying levels of knowledge among their fellow sisters, and it is not easy to take care of the house when living conditions are miserable. During the winter, adults and children often move together in one room and sleep in the same bed to get the best possible benefit from the heating. Toilets and running water are rare, and firewood is expensive in an area where winters can be quite cold.