Romania: Social work is relationship work

“Some learn fast”, says Simona Marti (BIOMIN Romania), “others need a lot of support and have problems with getting into a working routine.” The Viloi family caught our attention a year ago. The father of the family, Mihai, lost a leg. He skillfully hobbles on his crutches from the hens’ to the pigs’ stable. His pride is his Mangalitza sow from our program with her four piglets. She has already farrowed twice.

Evidently a lot has changed here on his farm, where he lives with his wife and seven children. The stables are tidy and clean, the animals are all well fed and cared for. Their success in the stable was placed on the table right before us, as the Viloi family invited us to a wonderful meal of pork, goat, potatoes and delicious self-made cheese under a tree on their farm. It is obvious that really a lot has changed in the extremely poor Roma family.

What especially moved us was that we had developed some kind of friendship through our project; with Simona Marti and Bogdan, for sure, who have accompanied the young farmers in their work and also advised them. What moves us even more is the hospitality this poor family is now able to show their visitors. How much dignity lies in this generous gesture. “I am blessed with you and your help. Now I can give some of my blessings back to you.” This is what Mr. Viloi and his family want to express with this lunch under a tree on his farm. We sat down with him in his house. Giving help is not a one way street. It’s not just having a wonderful meal served for us, it is this new relationship which develops thanks to such cooperation.

Quite naturally we talked about the possibility of making a prosthesis for his leg. His eyes brightened up. The children shared in his joy. Now Mihai already has his prosthesis and walks confidently across his farm. Where friendship develops, wonders are done. His next project will be to extend and renovate the house for the family.