The heart of the project, adored by the children
Maria Bolea has been the heart and soul of the project in Alba Julia since its inception. The whole thing began when Maria decided to adopt two severely disabled children. Since then, Maria doesn’t just care for the children. She deals with heaps of administrative red tape, looks after the staff, and encourages the mothers. Maria starts cooking at 5am, cleans the facilities over the weekend, and is the 24/7 go-to person for everybody.
“One of the highest priorities this year is to find somebody who will support Maria in her never ending administrative tasks”
The staff around Maria consists of the psychologists Joana and Letitia, the speech therapist Mihaela, a music therapist, part time educational workers and a state-ordered accountant. Niko Bolea, Maria’s husband, a universally skilled craftsman, single-handedly carried out almost the entire restoration of the house, and is still occupying the role of the project’s janitor. This small team is extremely motivated and dedicated, as well as highly qualified. We are currently working on offering the educational staff opportunities to continue their training, to stay up-to-date with current research in their fields and to learn from other institutions. We were, for example, able to organize internships for Joana and Letitia in educational institutions in Germany (Neuburg a.d.D.), where they were able to get new input regarding child psychology methods.
In the coming year, we would like to expand these efforts and offer special training courses, for example in physical and musical therapy and how to best support children with autism. On top of that we are aiming to slowly increase the staff salaries. Their current full-time salaries lie between 250 and 350 Euro, which is rather low, also by Romanian standards. We will require additional funds for this.