Last year I had the opportunity to go on a volunteer trip to Romania to help a poverty stricken community as part of our church outreach. One of the project leads, Attila, has an incredible vision for this community - targeting employment, education and self-sustainability as areas he hopes will improve their quality of life and help them integrate into society. Our role in this vision was to build a barn to give the people of Apalina an area to store produce collected from their nearby farmland.
Part of the trip involved visiting and talking with families in the community, seeing the challenges faced by these people on a daily basis was incredibly humbling and heart-breaking. One encounter sticks out particularly for me. We met a family of three, a mother, son and daughter living in a leaky room marginally larger than a king-size bed. The mother was distraught because her daughter had a chest infection and they had been turned away by the doctors in the local town - a short walk away. The daughter was relying on a single strip of aspirin to help and the mother didn't know what to do. Between those of us visiting, we were carrying around 8 packets of paracetamol - needless to say we gave it all to Attila to administer as best he could.
Our church has agreed to partner with Attila and his team and is running another 3 trips this year with further trips planned over the course of the next 5 years. I am fortunate to be taking part on one of these trips and returning to Apalina to continue what we started. The first trip has already been out to begin this years project and you can hear them recount their experiences in the video below.
Last year, we had to raise money to cover the cost of the building materials we used e.g. wood, rebar and cement, and this year is no different. Each person going is trying to raise ~£500 as part of the overall £16,000 goal across all 3 trips.
To this end, I am taking part in my first triathlon sprint (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) on the 27th of July. I would be grateful if you would consider donating to help the people of Apalina (and see me attempt a triathlon in the process). Any amount is hugely appreciated!