The founder of Timulazu, Evaline Pongrat – Van der Kolk, has lived in Romania since 2000. She watched with great sorrow how young Romanians in children’s homes and family homes were put out on the streets when they turned 18. They did not have any preparation, guidance or money. Many end up in prostitution, crime or prison. Some of them get unwanted pregnancies, sniff glue and live in shelters. This is because there is no social safety net for these people in Romania. With the Timulazu foundation, Evaline wants to break the vicious circle the young adults are in with her experience in guided living.
The target group
The target group of the two-year programme is boys and girls that are eighteen or older, who live in Romania and have a history with child protection. They need to be able to read and write and be motivated to take part in the project.
The two-year programme in five phases
The young adults are supported to integrate in Romanian society in five phases:
Phase 1: October- April
In phase one the young adults think about essential questions: who am I and what do I want for my future? The participants get to know each other and learn to accept each other. They also learn how to work together in a group. The following subjects are in their schedule: English, personal hygiene, sexual education, housekeeping and cooking. The participants also do several jobs in maintenance on and outside of the campsite and petting zoo.
Phase 2: April- October
The young people gain experience in the busiest season on the campsite and in the petting zoo. They speak English with the foreign guests, do jobs on the property and help with excursions and activities. They also work at the campsite reception, answer the phone, and help guests. In the meantime, they think about which practical course they would like to do in phase 3.
Phase 3: October- April
The participants will do a practical course of their choice. A spot for an internship is found so the young adults can practise in the real world. If possible, a spot is found where the participants have further career opportunities. They still live at Timulazu, but there is less guidance. They learn to have working hours, to work and support themselves. They do their own grocery shopping and prepare their own meals.
Phase 4: April- October
The boys and girls will live and work independently in the city. They arrange their own finances, work, and wellbeing. The Timulazu-workers will visit one or two times a week if necessary. If they need help, the participants can always receive more guidance.
Phase 5: Final phase
After two years, the young adults are independent. They can always rely on help from Timulazu. The feeling of being a family is substantial and the participants will always be able to rely on their family.
The training programme causes a chain reaction. That is because an important goal is for the participants to learn that they have a responsibility in society and help their fellow men. They learn to be kind to one another and do good. The positive influence of Timulazu is extensive because of this.
Some of the activities:
- A nativity-play in the village of Chirileu for the surrounding villages Sanpaul and Sânmărghita.
- Youth-day (sometimes this event lasts for a day, sometimes it is multiple days): playing games, being creative and learning about the gospel are part of the programme. These youth-days are often sponsored by churches in the Netherlands.
- An afternoon to play in the petting zoo for the surrounding villages.
Are you interested in organising or preaching the gospel in Romania with you church? Please contact Evaline Pongrat.