The most important attribute of providing help to the children in addition to providing them daily meals, is creating an environment that encourages and nurtures education mentally and spiritually to strengthen their future. Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity(SPOC) is embarking on a new mission to offer educational opportunities for Romanian’s most vulnerable children in partnership with the “Varlaam School” a project developed by the Varlaam Mitropolitul Fundation.
This school serves as an innovative example of one of the Romania’s first educational projects, providing great benefits for youth starting with kindergarten age to adolescence. This project in particular supports youth from various grades, ranging from 4th grade to 6th grade, with the hope of expanding these opportunities all the way to High School continuing to foster educational opportunities centered on Christian values.
Moving forward in the 2016-2017 school year, Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity (SPOC) decided to offer scholarships to 4 students attending Varlaam School Mitropolitul in Iasi, a school operating with Orthodox Christian values. We received a generous donation of $3,000 from Ancient Christian Foundation. We combined that donation with another $4,000 from our own fundraising events, enabling us to provide a total of $7,000 in scholarship funds to the 4 students. The conditions to keep the scholarship are: annual grade point average over 9.30, and annual conduct grade 10.00.
The following are brief descriptions of the 4 student scholarships provided by Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity, each of whom have excellent academic records, but whose families struggle financially and would not be able to keep their children at the school without the assistance that SPOC provided:
Ancuta, 13 years old, is a student in the sixth grade at Varlaam Mitropolitul School. Anca is open-minded, studious, and enjoys activities involving in games, especially the most rigorous ones. She is friendly, calm and eager to learn. She loves studying and takes school seriously, striving to live closely to the school’s values. She lives with her mother, who is unemployed at the moment. Her father remarried and he is less involved in supporting them. She has integrated very well into the Varlaam school community, and has made good friends. She appreciates the school as an environment that provides education steeped in the spiritual values of Varlaam.
Iuliana, 13 years old, is a student in the sixth grade at Varlaam Mitropolitul School. Iuliana comes from a village near Iasi. Her greatest desire was to attend a school like Varlaam. She is grateful for having been given the chance to attend our school, and she has managed from the beginning to achieve high marks in her studies. She is very good at History and Romanian language, and she wants to become a journalist. She is a disciplined and hard-working girl, being also slightly shy. Her parents are not employed, though they engage in small farming activities. They make an effort to provide her daily transport to school.
Steliana, 11 years old, is a student in the sixth grade at Varlaam Mitropolitul School. She comes from a large family, having two sisters and two brothers, much older than her, all being raised in an environment of Christian values. Being the youngest in the family, since her mother died, her sisters and brothers take care of her, and they have a very close and beautiful bond. Her sisters are students, one at Medical School, and one in the school of Journalism. For them and Steliana, school is very important, as evidenced by their interest in studying and the tasks at school. She is a very serious, responsible, hardworking and friendly child. Her best friend is Alex with whom she can discuss all kinds of topics, having in common the hobbies of reading and drawing. In the first three grades, Steliana went to a school in Harlau, and in the fourth grade, she came to Varlaam School. This year, she started the secondary school and she coped well with the change and increasing responsibilities. She became more confident, sometimes going home on her own, has exhibited more initiative, and is very resourceful. She likes many of the subjects in secondary school: foreign languages, biology, history, Romanian language. She carries out the duties in the classroom and is concerned about her homework. Her sisters support is so important, and they are often present at school to talk with the teachers about her progress and achievements.
Damiana, 12 years old, is a student in the sixth grade at Varlaam Mitropolitul School. She comes from a family with 4 children, where her mother is a housewife. She is passionate about dance and piano, and participates in county dance competitions, getting good ratings. Damiana has asthma, but this does not prevent her from participating in all school activities and trips. She is studious and very organized. She has artistic interests, often occupying her free time with activities in this field, such as painting, and modeling. With Vaiva, her best friend, she shares the joy of dancing, and they go together to dance classes. At the Christmas party last year, they did a great demonstration of dance for their peers.
Please join us in this wonderful program so we can sponsor the education of many more children whose families are struggling economically in Romania today. Thank you for your partnership!