Unification News for April 1997

Partners for Peace: WFWP and RYS Cooperate in a Kindergarten Reconstructing Project in a little Village in Romania

by RYS Staff-Bucharest, Romania

From July 31 to Aug. 11, 1996 in Doicesti, near Tirgoviste, a volunteer project took place, including 33 participants from eight nations (USA, Japan, Korea, Great Britain, Austria, Russia, Italy and Romania).

The project itself was the restoration and preparation for a kindergarten to be used as a full-day kindergarten in the future. The building could not be used until now because of lack of finances and several necessary prerequisites.

A truck filled with material help was brought from Austria, represented by Forum-Ost, a NGO (non-governmental organization) which has helped in many East European countries, materially and educationally. We also received support through donations and materials from the organizations and companies listed below.

All participants showed a very enthusiastic attitude, not just to give their best externally but also by taking loving care of the crowds of children whose curiosity drew them every day to meet their new friends. These children, suffering in the dirty environment of this highly industrial village, became truly the center of our whole project. They wanted not just to play and talk with us, but also were very eager to work with us. Because of the patience and trust the participants brought to the children, it really became a great event not only for them but for all the people in touch with this project. Especially the mayor, who was supporting us strongly, and Mrs. Ioana Bragorenco of the Women's Union of Dambovita County, who served all the participants daily with food and other necessities. We all realized that through service coming from the core of heart of any person, the ideal of sharing as a great family, in this time really a worldwide family, can become reality.

The practical work accomplished in this short period of seven working days was as follows: several rooms painted, one even quite artistic, with a tree, a teddy bear, a rabbit, etc., to have a really inspiring playroom for the children. Windows and doors painted, some rooms with linoleum or carpet adapted, and a kitchen was installed. In the courtyard an adventurous wooden playground was constructed and immediately occupied by a hundred children.

The idea of such an international project is the RYS (Religious Youth Service), founded in 1985 at the Assembly of World Religions as a project of the International Religious Foundation (IRF). Its purpose and common base is to practice the ideals common to all great religions such as service. Young people are offered a great opportunity to come to know different cultures and lifestyles in a personal experience. Through sharing and lectures on several topics, such as "Family Values in our Time," which was the theme of this specific project, all could gain internally for their future life. All participants were serious about using any possibility to participate in a future project.

The first RYS project in Romania was initiated and sponsored by the Women's Federation for World Peace, which is an international NGO already active in 165 nations worldwide. Its Romanian chapter has already been serving for three years in projects in Romania, such as helping orphanages, organizations for the handicapped, a nursing school, and initiating an exchange program between a Japanese and a Romanian school. It also offers opportunities for women to learn how to develop better heartistic relationships within the family in order to rebuild strong "stone families" (a Romanian expression referring to good, harmonious, stable families) which help concretely to create world peace.

To the following sponsors we wish to express our gratitude:

Anglo-Romania Insurance Company; Betty Constructing Impex.; Doicesti Mayor's Office; Forum OST, Austria; GOLDSTAR-Bucharest Office; Kokusai Koeki Co., Ltd.; LG International Corp.; Meditech Super S.R.L.; Montero S.R.L.; S.C.A. Arta Casnica - Breaza; WELLA-Romania; Women's Committee of Bucharest; Women's Federation for World Peace-Okayama, Japan, chapter; Women's Union of Dimbovita County

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