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Healthy Fun!
In addition to encouraging students’ minds to grow and develop in the classroom, through a partnership with the United Way of Romania, Project Ruth has been encouraging students to develop healthy habits and lifestyles. Since November of 2015, 50 Ruth School students have been enrolled in a training program at a local Club where they have been instructed in rugby, soccer (football), volleyball and handball. To test their skills and encourage stellar sportsmanship, 28 students were selected to participate in Sports’ Day competition at Ethos School in Craiova, Romania. During this event, Ruth School students competed in soccer & volleyball events before enjoying a fantastic meal with their new friends. It was impressive to the adult spectators the excellent sportsmanship the children from both school showed towards one another while also the instant friendship that formed on the sports field.
Never Too Old
The first day of school is exciting for everyone especially the first day of first grade. Typically, first grade girls are excited about whether or not they have the coolest Barbie backpack or not. Yet, Bianca wasn’t excited about her new backpack provided by Fundatia Providenta but was just thrilled to be starting school. Sixteen year-old Bianca came first to the Fundatia Providenta for help getting her birth certificate after she saw how her cousin in 4th grade was able to receive assistance to finally get his birth certificate last year. After meeting with the social worker several times for this process, Bianca shared that her mother is deaf and mute and had never sent her to school because she wasn’t able to enroll her. Her birth certificate is still in progress as her education now is. Bianca will be able to complete two years of schooling in one calendar year through this Second Chance program at a nearby institution. Project Ruth will continue to support young Bianca in her educational efforts as she strives to be the studious young woman, she never dreamed she would have the opportunity to be by providing school supplies, transport cards and tutoring support as needed.
Healthy Balance
New babies take a lot of time and energy. Robert had a new baby sister in December who began to occupy not only the time of his mother but also many of the already limited financial resources of the family. Robert’s mother was worried that he was going to resent his sister because she would not be able to take him to the park, for walks or other outside activities. The 50 Weeks of health improvements program was perfect timing for this family as Robert has not noticed the difference in time he is spending in sport as no park could compare to two afternoons per week training at Steaua. His mother, however, has felt the difference this program has made in her grocery budgeting as Robert has a significant, healthy afternoon snack each day which helps balance the costs in the family of a growing young man and a new little girl. The 50 Weeks of Improvements program is supported by a grant through the United Way of Romania. The scope of this program is to improve nutrition and increase physical activity of 50 students for 50 weeks as a way to teach children healthy lifestyles while also improving their current health status.
The End is the Beginning
Every end is a new beginning! For the Vasile family, the completion of Ena’s education at the Ruth School so many years ago was just the beginning of the journey for this family to success. It was in September of 2010 during the opening ceremony of the Obed Day Center when a young mother came to our founder, Oti and said “Brother Oti, I don’t know if you remember me but I remember you when I came to school here.” Ena was in one of the early generations of Ruth School students and she was enrolling her youngest in the Obed Day Center. This year in June, Ena’s two oldest graduated from the 8th grade and will be going on to an academic high school in the fall. Ena and her family are just one testament to the way that the conclusion of an academic career at the Ruth School is often just the beginning of a life transformed.

Shopping Race
Towards the end of May, the United Way of Romania organized the first of what is to be an annual event. Fourteen disadvantaged families from across Bucharest who are beneficiaries of charities like Project Ruth were paired with a team of supporters for one of the most thrilling races for most women: a shopping race. Each family’s needs were identified by social workers and together with the United Way shopping lists were created. The lists contained items such as pillows, children’s shoes, clothing, dry goods, washing machines, vacuums, etc. Each team was given the budget of 1000 euros and was sent off to complete their list in the shortest amount of time possible. Of the fourteen families, three were families with two or more children enrolled in the Ruth School. Through the efforts of the business professionals they were paired with and their commitment to winning which was demonstrated the evening before when they went and scouted out the store to complete the event in the shortest time possible; a Ruth School family won the competition! All the families were thrilled with what they were able to ‘purchase’ through this competition. Several of the families had money remaining in their budgets, which they then received in gift cards to purchase perishable goods in the coming weeks.
Celebrating Childhood
The first of June in Romania is a holiday to celebrate children. For many children in Romania, this means just another day of people saying “La Multi Ani!”(equivalent of birthday greeting in English). Yet at the Ruth School, we take Children’s Day very seriously. It is a day set apart of celebrate being children and childhood. For many of the Ruth School students, their childhood ends much sooner than it should as they have to begin working for help support their families, taking care of younger siblings or the other hard realities that poverty brings about in life. To fully celebrate their first Children’s Day at the Ruth School, 40 kindergarten and first grade students went to the Zoo with a group of volunteers from England. Even the hour trip across Bucharest to the zoo was thrilling as they travelled in a private bus through scream inducing tunnels, by the airport where they saw a plane land and by a beautiful park with a huge lake. The excitement of the journey to the zoo was overwhelmed when the youngsters entered the zoo and saw the flamingos. For the next two hours, these 40 children from Ferentari were children. They ran. They squealed. They enjoyed their childhood. Project Ruth continues to be grateful to all of our supporters who help to provide a quality education alongside a joyful childhood to children enduring the hardships of growing up in poverty. Happy Children’s Day!  
The Hope of a Mother
“I have heard from my friends and relatives that this is a place that works miracles.”

Lilana, a mother of six, has no formal education and was desperate for a chance of the life for her children that the Ruth School had helped provide to her nephew and others. With the help of Project Ruth social worker, Lilana and her husband obtained all their legal documentation to be eligible for social services from the government, to work and to enroll their children in school. The two eldest children were enrolled in the Second Chance program for teenagers and adults without eight years of primary education that will begin in the fall at the Ruth School. Two of the girls are the perfect age for kindergarten and first grade and are now registered for the fall. During their enrollment evaluation, several Ruth School teachers noticed that the children are going to have difficult time transitioning into school because of the lack of education at home. To give them a jump-start in their education these two girls have begun attending classes a few days a week now. While the mother is happy that her children are already getting the education and hope of a better future that she so desired for them, the little girls are simply thrilled that school includes a hot lunch!

Kicking Off Our 25th Year!
Celebrating 25th Years of Project Ruth Nurturing Hope in the Ferentari Community!

Join us at First Baptist Greensboro on Thursday, June 23rd at 5:45 – 7:00 p.m. for a gathering with friends who have been apart of this ministry in varied ways over the years.

Our Menu
Chicken Portofino
Seasoned Green Beans
Au Gratin
Tossed Salad with Dressing
Dinner Roll
Iced Tea & Lemonade

Oti Bunaciu, Founder of Project Ruth, along with Mihai Ciopasiu, Executive Director, will share remarks on the history, current impacts and future endeavors of this vital ministry to the Roma people of Romania especially amongst those living in the Ferentari community.

Reserve your plate for $15.00 per person to using PayPal ( ) by June 18th.

For last-minute registrations and questions please contact Tammy Stocks at 336-937-9229.

First Baptist Greensboro, 1000 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27401

GSS Goes on the Road
GSS-Mobile recently visited three churches in southwestern Romania to lead one-day seminars. CBF-Heartland sent two pastors, Tim Schultz and Travis Adams, along with coordinator Harold Phillips to share scripture teaching on the Prodigal Son and Encouragement on the Christian Journey. The team was well-received in Strejara, Voloiac and Rast communities in the area of Craiova. These are churches where among the leaders are graduates and current students of GSS. Tim Schultz, an accomplished musician, shared several songs known in both traditions and languages!
TC Visits Neighboring Foundation
On February 23rd, ten select students from the Transitional Care program at the Ruth School visited Anchor of Hope, a foundation that provides pre-school and placing services for fifteen children currently living in orphanage apartments near Bucharest. The scope of this visit was to help our transitional care students to learn to give back to their community and help other children in need. During their visit, the Ruth School students read stories using interactive story telling techniques complete with thrilling coloring sheets with new bright colored pencils. During free playtime, the transitional care students enjoyed playing with the children and one student even repaired a few broken toys, which the children were very grateful. Each transitional student picked a child to be their special buddy for the day and even clean and cut apples for their morning snack time. In addition to a few small toys as a donation to the foundation, the Ruth School students gave a plastic sliding board to them that they had received as part of a Christmas donation for the school but is too small for any of their schoolmates.
Improving Student Health
It is a well-known fact amongst educators that physical activity improves overall classroom behavior and often-academic results. The younger students at that Ruth School have been benefiting from the newly installed playground in the backyard of the school for the past two years as they enjoy recess time and free playtime during after-school. Yet the older students were still limited in their sports activity that is until the 50 Improvements in 50 weeks program was implemented in the first week of December in partnership with the United Way of Romania. This program seeks to encourage and improve the overall health of 50 students in the Ruth School from 3rd and 7th grade over the course of 50 weeks of programming. The students were selected for this program based on their attendance, health status, teacher & social worker recommendation along with parental agreement. This weekly programming includes a nutritional snack bag each day afterschool and professional trainings in handball and volleyball. These trainings take place at the Steaua sports club that is not only located fairly close to the Ruth School but is also the training facility of the Ferentari favorite soccer team. Various athletes who the students have begun to see as role models as they begin to improve their volleyball skills and finally understand the rules of handball lead the trainings. Ruth School sports teacher is also taking an active role in this program and has remarked that he is astonished how the students are understanding the concept of fair play and now defaulting to working as a team instead of just as an individual. This program will continue to provide nutritional snacks and sport opportunities for these students throughout the summer and into the fall semester of the 2016-2017 school year.
Sewing Baby!
Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time in any woman’s life but can often be overwhelming. For Luica finding out that she was expecting her third child in January of 2016 was more overwhelming than anything. Luica has been a part of the Project Ruth community for many years as one of her sons is a former Ruth School student who is now excelling in high school and her other son is in 5th grade now. Luica is an experienced mother that knows exactly what a new little mouth means in her household: increased joy and increased expenses. During her pregnancy, Luica became even more dedicated of a seamstress and produced many products for sale during this time. In January, Luica was surprised by her friends at the Naomi Center with a baby shower party complete with a diaper cake to get her through the first few weeks of motherhood. Luica gave birth to her beautiful baby girl during the last week of January and is already looking forward to crafting cute little girl headbands at the Naomi Center for her little princess while also continuing to be able to provide financially for her family with these skills.
Ruth School Christmas
The Christmas holidays for Project Ruth are always one of the busiest and most joyful times at the year. This Christmas the after-school students presented the Christmas story through a theatrical production directed by our fall intern, Fiona Waddell. On the last day of school, all of the students enjoyed presenting various Christmas poems, songs and Scriptures to the student body and dozens of beaming parents. After this celebration, each student received a Christmas parcel packed and wrapped especially from them from dear friends in Germany. The Ruth School students have been enjoying a three-week Christmas holiday break and will return to school on January 11th.
Sewing Joy!
There is just something about hot-spiced tea and cinnamon bread with walnuts that screams Christmas in Romania and just about anywhere else that wants to feel warm and joyful. The week before the Christmas holidays the Naomi Sewing Club came to the Ruth School to bring holiday joy to the Ruth School mothers. All mothers were invited to a Christmas tea, which included a small sewing project for Christmas. Many mothers were thrilled at this invitation and were excited to see what decorative item they would be creating with the help of the Naomi Center sewing instructor. The women were served hot tea and Christmas bread before diving into sewing beautiful Christmas ornaments with decorative ribbons and beads. For several of the mothers this was their first time sewing and they were intrigued to hear that the Naomi Center is open daily for them to improve their sewing skills. It was a great afternoon of laughter, relationship building between the mothers and Naomi staff along with lots of Christmas cheer!
Project RUTH Presentation