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Build the Wesley Way! – Habitat’s event of the year not only in Romania, but also in Europe!
Beiuş, Bihor 24-29 June 2013
Almost an entire school, pupils of 16-18 years old accompanied by their teachers, is moving to Beius for a week at the end of June to build 10 homes with Habitat for Humanity and 10 families in need of a simple, decent and healthy house as part of an original project!
How was the idea born?
10 years ago, in 2003, sometime mid-April, a group of 21 pupils and teachers were arriving in Beius from Ireland from Wesley College from Dublin. They chose to spend their Easter holiday differently from their colleagues that is to help families in need from Beius live in better living conditions. Thus they become pioneers in Europe by being among the first schools which joined the Habitat program in the long run. They have been returning every year to Romania ever since and, by now, they helped 21 families to live in decent and healthy living conditions. But they did not stop here, they presented their model to other schools which discovered the huge potential presented by volunteering with Habitat and how many benefits may have the pupils involved in such a project.
Due to its partnership with Wesley College, Habitat Beius is organizing in 2004 the first accelerated build by their own, meaning that in just 5 days a house was built and finished and the key is handed over to the family. Since then and every year, the number of these projects increased, so Habitat for Humanity Beius was recognized internationally for organizing such accelerated building events.
Coming back to our days, at the end of June 2013, 250 volunteers, most of them current pupils and part of them former pupils of Wesley College, will be working for a week in Beius at building 10 homes for young people and families in need of a safe house. We are organizing this event to stress even more the value of the 10 years of partnership between Habitat Beius and Wesley College and we decided to highlight this moment by building 10 houses in just 5 days.
The houses will be built in the neighbourhood built by Habitat on Traian street, corner with Plopilor Street, on the land provided by the Local Council of Beius three years ago. The foundation stone of the project was laid in 2012 when the volunteers’ coordinator from Wesley College and the heart and soul of this project, the reverend Nigel McKey, together with the mayor of Beius, Adrian Domocos, and Habitat board members took part at the break ground ceremony.
The “actors” of Build the Wesley Way!
10 homes, 5 days, 250 young volunteers from Wesley College, Dublin, Ireland
Besides building 10 houses in 5 days, Build the Wesley Way is promoting the value of the social involvement of the youth and is raising awareness on the poverty housing situation in Romania. In order to achieve this, we are looking to bring together the energies of several important “actors”:
1. Habitat for Humanity Beius whose goal is to have all families live in adequate conditions;
2. The Town hall of the Municipality of Beius whose goal for the next for years is to make Beius, together with Habitat, the first town in Romania where poverty housing is eradicated;
3. The youth from Wesley College from Dublin who are involved for 10 years already in the projects of Habitat for Humanity Beius and who supported the organization by helping 21 low-income families live in decent conditions;
4. Local, national and international companies which are participating with volunteers, financially or with construction materials in Habitat projects;
5. Local or national mass-media which is promoting for years now the association’s projects and thus making the effort of all actors visible and heard;
6. The church through its priests, reverends and other church people by providing spiritual, material or labour support when needed to help the people in need;
7. County politicians who joined their energies for a noble purpose by contributing financially or by taking the tools and working as volunteers in order to be an example for others;
8. The families who are part of the Habitat program and who joined their efforts and broke the vicious circle of poverty housing together with the people who helped them and who turned this chance into reality;
9. The volunteers, including the team from US who worked hard in big events as Jimmy Carter Work Project, always willing to help those in need.
The beneficiaries of the project
Even if the direct beneficiaries of the project are the families who are going to move into the houses built between 24th and 28th of June, there are many more others who have something to gain by participating in this project. The local authorities (the Town hall and the Local Council) release themselves from the pressure the 10 families would have exercised to obtain a house from the state. The local community is interacting with hundreds of volunteers and participants in the project creating new friendship relations and beautiful memories. The small local businesses have many new clients or customers. The volunteers and the families who are receiving the homes go through a unique lifetime experience which is providing a new perspective on human values. The companies involved benefit of a good image due to associating their names with this great and media event. The politicians are improving radically their image and have the opportunity to show that they are not just talking, but also doing real, practical things. The mass-media has the chance to present an original project with the characteristic of having a large group of 16-18 years old pupils capable of accomplishing such a project in such a short time.
The profile of the families
The average age of those who will be receiving the keys of a new home after they will be working at their own house together with the volunteers is a little above 30 years old and most of them have 1-2 children. There are also single mothers raising their children or young families expecting another child. They all have in common the fact that they are simple, decent and dedicated people who are thriving hard to live a better life. Their occupations are diverse and go from unqualified workers to sales women, forestry workers or nurses.
The history of Habitat for Humanity Beius – Wesley College partnership
2003 – they worked at NEFA project and at 2 foundations for 4-unit buildings built in Beius;
2004 – they built the Easter house together with the Heredea family in the village of Mizies (they raised in their school the money that was still needed for Habitat to be able to continue the Easter House, Habitat’s annual project, which was in a sticking point in 2004);
2005 – they built the Easter house together with the Herdean family in the village of Draganesti (they financed fully the house and brought a new school together in the program, the Neuchatel Junior College from Switzerland);
2006 – is the year when, for the first time, Wesley College is coming with 50 volunteers carefully selected from hundreds of applications and also the year when they manage to finance and build 2 houses in the village of Mizies together with the Cos and the Morgovan families;
2007 – the youth from Ireland continue the performance from the previous year by building two more houses in the village of Mizies in which the Burz and the Galea families are living nowadays and they are recognized for the quickest built done with pupils;
2008 – still in the village of Mizies, just one house distance from the Heredea family helped in 2004, the volunteers are building a new home for the Farcut family who were living in an old adobe house;
2009 – this year, as the Wesley College and Habitat Beius program was considered a great success, Habitat Europe and Central Asia suggested the volunteers to try a new location. So, in 2009, the volunteers from Ireland went to Honduras;
2010 – Wesley College comes back to Habitat Beius and is building a house together with the Tomoroaga family from the village of Lelesti, a poor family whose house is also built with the help of the villagers and the town hall of the commune of Buntesti, which the village belongs to;
2011 – the Coras family from Beius is the one who is working for a week together with the pupils from at building their own house;
2012 – in this year, the Ciupe family from the small town is enjoying the new house built by the energetic youth from Dublin.
Build the Wesley Way – summary
Beneficiaries: 10 families from Beius, 3 of them being part of the partnership with the local authorities who gave Habitat the land.
The cost of the project: 200.000 EURO.
Volunteer teams from abroad: Yes, 250 volunteers from Wesley College from Dublin and 14volunteers from USA between 24th and 29th of June.
Open for local volunteers: Yes, 10-25 volunteers/day before the event and 10-15 volunteers/day during the event (just on Tue, 25th of June, and Wed, 26th of June).
Project time: 1st of February – 29th of June (the accelerated building event takes place between 24th and 29th of June).
Opportunity for sponsors’ recognition and promotion: Yes, very high, at national level, too!
Short description: The first Wesley College volunteers from Ireland arrived in 2003 when they worked as part of Easter house project. They had such a good volunteering experience that they returned next year when they worked again at an Easter house project. In the third year, they financed only by themselves and built the Easter house. And they kept on doing this performance every year. In 2013, in order to celebrate the 10 years of partnership, they decided to come back with 250 volunteers, most of them being 16-18 years old pupils, and build 10 houses in a week.
Financing: The volunteers are financing the biggest part of the project, Habitat Beius is contributing also with its own resources, but we still need 40.000 EURO either in cash or in construction materials!
Support the “Build the Wesley Way” project and be part of the most beautiful volunteering event in the country this year!