Wesley College, an Irish school which has been helping build homes in Bihor county for 15 years

For 15 years, a school from Dublin, Ireland, has been helping families in Bihor to have decent, liveable and healthy homes.

The Revererend Nigel Mackey came to Romania for the first time back in 2003,when he came to Beius with students from Wesley College, Dublin, to help build apartments for youth who had grown up in the orphanage in Beius. The Irish were deeply affected and impressed by what they saw here and chose to come back the next year and together with Habitat pentru Umanitate Beius to help other families in need of a decent home. It then became a tradition that the youth spend at least a week in Romania. It’s been 15 years now and with small exceptions, volunteers from Wesley College and have come back yearly to help families from Bihor with at least one home. In 2013, to mark the 10 years of partnership, 250 students and teachers from the irish school built in record time 10 homes in 5 days!

“The heart of this partnership is Reverend Nigel Mackey, who has dedicated himself to helping the less fortunate from here. And he did this even when their country was going through a difficult economic period, giving us and the youth from Wesley College, a good lesson saying: “Our young people must understand that there is no recession in generosity , of giving, of compassion, of the time they can give to others!” says Emil Popa, director of programs at Habitat pentru Umanitate Beius.

To date, more than 20 families have benefited from a new home, and another 11 have been helped in various stages by the good samaritans from Wesley College who since 2003 have involved more than 500 students in projects around Bihor. And in this year, during 4-13 June, for 10 days, another 30 volunteers from Wesley College are building a house in Oradea for a young couple. Norbert, the head of the family, had a difficult childhood moving with his brothers to an orphanage after their home went up in flames.

“I am very happy that these youth, who are so hard-working, have come especially to help us build the home of which we have dreamt of for so long. I’m so looking forward to having a place again which I can call my home,” says Norbert, the home beneficiary.

The 30 volunteers, in addition to their involvement in the construction of the house, will visit the homes where abandoned or orphaned children from Caminul Felix are raised, will go to the Bears Cave, enjoy the thermal waters of Baile Felix and participate in a Traditional Bihorean evening with spiced with local cuisine, clothing, music and traditional folk dances.

The house inauguration ceremony will take place on Wednesday, 13th June at 3pm, and on Thursday morning the Irish will return to their school to tell their colleagues about their Romanian experience.

More photos from this project can be seen in the facebook album here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/habitatbeius/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156406305627334