Youth In Transition – A Safe Place For At Risk Youth In Romania
The Women of Vision Colorado chapter has had a long-standing history of supporting projects in Romania. We recently featured work they have done supporting Orphanages. We want to go deeper and look at specific stories of how their work has impacted the lives of individuals.
Women of Vision Colorado began to support The Youth in Transition (YIT) Project in Romania back in 2000. The YIT project works with high-risk teenagers. They train youth to become productive members of their community by offering: vocational training, healthy lifestyle choices, and crisis intervention management. The Colorado chapter loves being part of a program that supports at risk youth. Jill Hansen and other members of the Colorado chapter were recently able to meet some of the youth who participated in the YIT program. Jill reflected on that personal experience with us here.
Jill shared of an encounter with three young men that were rescued from the streets. One of the boys rescued was named Florin. His story is full of trials that no child should have to face. She shared how Florin began to share his story. The boys (Florin and a twin brother) were born premature. They went from abandonment at birth, by their 12 year old mother, to living in an orphanage. At one point the boys had to escape being trafficked and live on the streets as a result. They had no place to go, until one night they happened to find a bed at a local shelter. It is hard to imagine, but that night Florin was brutally beaten. As a result he and his brother fled back to the streets. It was at this point that they heard about World Vision’s work with the YIT program.
Jill brought along a flashlight from America she planned to give Florin. She recalled the moment she handed over the flashlight. Before she was able to pull her hand away, Florin grabbed the flashlight and exclaimed, “I don’t believe this, I don’t believe this!! We had just received a notice that they were going to turn our electricity off for two weeks and I wondered what we would do in the darkness!”
As the women were leaving, Florin tried to hand Jill a picture of Jesus in a glass frame that he had painted. Jill saw a tear roll down his cheek as he attempted to give her the picture. She told him she could not accept such a beautiful gift and turned quickly to hide the tears that started to form in her eyes. Florin saw her tears and hugged her in understanding.
As they were getting ready to depart Jill stopped and turned to Florin and said, “I will remember you, you are in my heart.” Florin threw his arms around her and soon both Jill and Florin were crying. He did not let go of her. They stayed that way, hugging and crying for some time before she finally left. “When I got back to my luggage, I took out my personal flashlight and extra batteries and asked a staff member to make sure that those boys got that to help them through the dark nights. That is the day my heart was properly broken in Romania.” Jill tells us.
Help Women of Vision Colorado continue to support Romanian children and learn more about those programs on their website, or donate directly to their projects directly through the Women Of Vision website.