Building a community centre is not a quick or easy task, but the dedicated student volunteers from RHS didn’t shy away from the challenge in June 2018. For 9 days, they put on their hard hats to build in the town of Buftea.
Buftea is located only 20 kilometres away from Bucharest. The town is made up of two poor neighbourhoods, Flamanzeni and Buciumeni, which are a majority Roma population.
Roma people within the community face frequent social exclusion and are segregated from the rest of the community.
Why Build A Community Centre?
Serving as an educational centre, this very special building will enable vulnerable children to have access to education, improve their overall school performance, and assist in preventing students being absent from school.
Aside from educational purposes, the community centre will also offer services of great importance to children’s growth and development such as counselling services, homework assistance, and creative workshops within a non-formal setting.
It is anticipated that approximately 50 children between the ages of 6-14 will be able to participate in the daily activities that the community centre will offer. As well as this, 150 vulnerable children will have the ability to participate at event that take place there.
Serving the children of the community is important, but this community centre will also enable parents and seniors the opportunity to grow.
The community centre has been designed to include a much needed kitchen and dining room extension. The instillation of a kitchen and dining room will enable visitors to have a hot meal – which is a luxury that many would not have otherwise been able to have.
As of 2018 in rural Romania, 1 in 11 children goes to bed hungry. Hungry children are at higher risk of school abandonment or poor school performance.
The Hercules Association
The partner organisation of Habitat for Humanity Romania, the Hercules Association, will be running the community centre once it is completed. As the partner organisation, the Hercules Association will be the ones to select those children who are most vulnerable in the community, that will most benefit from the services that the community centre can offer.
The Hercules Association has over 10 years of experience of working with vulnerable children in Romania.
This dedicated organisation manages a similar centre in other areas of Romania including Costesti and Arges County, serving 300 children every year.
The Construction Process
In August 2017 the building permit was obtained and the local authorities provided the land for the community free of charge.
Following the receipt of a permit, in September 2017 the set-up of how the Building was going to be Built began. Logistics, fencing, storage units, and more were planned ready to begin construction.
With the plans finalised by October 2018, and the work site logistics complete, it was time to begin pouring the slabs that made up the ground floor and the first floor.
As of January 2019 the concrete structure is finalised, all brick walls are finished, and the first floor’s concrete slab flooring is now complete with reinforcement. The next steps of the Build are to complete the construction of the kitchen and dining room.
With the current progress of the Build, construction works on the community centre are set to be completed by the end of 2019, with the kitchen and dining room set to be completed by the end of 2020.
We at Habitat for Humanity GB would like to say a huge thank you to the RHS team for contributing so much of their time and energy towards the construction of a community centre that will assist hundreds of children in Buftea to learn and grow.
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