For a couple of years now I’ve been a « patron » for an NGO called “Asociatia Valentina ” which helps the kids leaving in the impoverished areas of District 5, Bucharest. These are children coming from very poor families, with often illiterate and unemployed parents living on social benefits only. What is Valentina doing for them? It pays the pre-school fees of children and keeps them in school. It also provides them with school supplies, clothes and some food (as well as supplies for home). Older kids are part of an after-school program where they are getting homework help at the day centre where they can also eat, wash and get medical assistance if needed. They also have the opportunity to attend art activities or meet with the psychologist if they feel they need it. The children come every day at Casa Valentina before or after school and go back to their home in the evenings. The parents also benefit from social assistance, some women work at the sewing workshop where they learn to sew bags, clothes, costumes for children that are sold to receive their salary. The men can get vocational training in order to find a job. The association also helps these families renovate and improve their houses with the bare necessities. Specifically, with Valentina, there are about 100 kids discovering a “normal life”, a decent life where we show them there are alternatives to living on begging and theft – the only options they would otherwise have. I personally organized some events, here in Romania and in Paris, in order to raise funds for the association but financial support is constantly required. That ’s why I would like to ask the “Formula AS” readers to lend a hand, to as much as they can manage: by giving an used TV or stove, a carpet or clothes you are not using any longer, by making a donation of food or money, such an act of charity would be much appreciated. Moreover, anyone can help by choosing to redirect the 2% of his income tax to the Valentina Association.”

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