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Irish students build in Romania

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Irish students erect a roof during Easter build in Romania.

20 students from Wesley College, Dublin, have travelled to Romania to help build a home in only five days. The five-day build marks the fifth Easter that a family in Beuis will move into a new Habitat for Humanity home.

I would do anything to give my children a better life, to have their own room, to stay warm when it is cold outside, to stay with their heads held high. It’s not fair for them to live in the same poverty and misery as we did. My wife and I have been thinking over and over about what to do, but without someone’s help, we cannot offer them more”, says Ioan Heredea.

Many Romanian parents have similar thoughts regarding the future of their children who, due to the poverty, live in misery, are permanently subject to violence, hunger, health problems, school abandonment and delinquency. Having a decent home dramatically changes the life of the families and has positive and long-term results in the entire community.

Ioan and his wife, Geta, are looking forward to having a healthy house in which to bring up their sons, nine-year old Viorel and Cristian, aged twelve.

Ioan works long hours at the local furniture factory trying to provide for his family, although the small wage he receives barley covers the families essential costs. Geta tries her best to work for people within the village they live, although her disability limits the amount of tasks she can do. For her efforts she normally receives some food for her children and corn for the family’s animals.

Ioan’s father, who recently passed away, tried his best to assist his son. By making clay bricks and bringing wood from the forest, he built the house they currently live in. The old house consists of two small rooms and a hall. The wood stove is made out of a metal drum that has three iron legs welded on the bottom and is fueled by sawdust as wood is an expensive luxury. The toilet is in the garden and they wash within the kitchen area of one of the small rooms. They get their water from a well that Ioan dug in the courtyard. “A bathroom is what I would like most in order not to wash clothes in the cold of the winter” says Geta.

This Easter, they will move into a house with a living room, kitchen, pantry, bathroom, and 2 bedrooms. The Heredeas will build their own house together with the Wesley College students, and other Romanian volunteers. At £6,600, with no interest charged, it is a home that they can afford.

Last year, other students from the College renovated 3 apartments and poured the foundations for another family home in Romania. Teacher Keith Lemon said “I will treasure the experience I had here. The friendship of people, the joy of building and helping others see their dream come true are wonderful things. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to live all these.”

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Europe and Central Asia in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our donations page to support projects in Romania.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this country.

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