Monday, April 1, 2013

Podul Dragostei: Education

How does Bridge of Love actually help the children of Romania if the organization is based in Utah? Well, the answer is Podul Dragostei. Podul Dragostei is the "sister" organization for Bridge of Love. As I understand it they are the "base" for Bridge of Love in Romania. Podul Dragostei actually means "Bridge of Love, in Romanian. They have their own website you can check out here. The site is in Romanian but you can GoogleTranslate it. Romanian is such a beautiful language anyway so by virtue of that face alone you should check it out.

Podul Dragostei releases a newsletter every month or so and in February's newsletter they featured an interview with a young man named Adrian P. He is one of the abandoned children. Adrian just graduated college and was giving some advice to the other children in the foundation. I wanted to share it with you. Be kind, because someone else translated it from Romanian and I tried to better translate parts of it myself.

The reason I wanted to share this interview is because Adrian has just graduated college. He is looking forward to his profession of a teacher. I love his enthusiasm and positive hope. He really treasures his education, and see's the benefit it will be in his life and the lives of others. I'm very happy for him, and I like this because it is what Longboard For Love is trying to help with. Many of these abandoned children are behind in life and therefore struggle with school. Without education, as Adrian says in the interview, they have little hope for a better life than the streets. That is why Longboard For Love is trying to get a teacher for these kids. We're trying to raise just $6,000 which is a years salary for a teacher or tutor in Romania. This will start the teaching program and we can continue on for further years. Thank you for your help, which allows kids like Adrian to succeed in life.


Q: When did you find out about the foundation and how?

AP: I got to know the foundation through Danut B, a friend of mine who was already a part of the foundation then. In fact, Irina who was working for the foundation helped me sign up.This was between 2007 or 2008.

Q: Tell me a bit about how the foundation has helped you in your life?

AP: Well, I have no words for it. It helped me emotionally, physically, and even financially, and it helped especially when I was going through rough times in my life. We all go through rough times, and it is good to be able to help each other.
Q: Who is your Social Worker?

AP: Andreea.

Q: Has Andreea been a help for you, has she been there when you needed her?

AP: Of course, very much!

Q: Tell me a little about your life, what did you wanted to be when you were little, and what are you now that you have a diploma in your hands.

AP: Well ever since I was a little child I wanted to be an educator. I wanted to go to Negresti because lots of my classmates and friends had moved there or been transferred there, and the idea was to go there and to be an educator of children. But instead I become a professor. (He says this with a big smile on his face.)

Q: What kind of professor are you?

AP: Religion professor, and I can also teach history.

Q: Recently you finished work for your diploma, isn't that so?

AP: Yes, in middle of February I had my big exam, and finished my thesis.

Q: And what was your thesis about?

AP: It was an interdisciplinary work. Lots of domains entered in. Science. Biology. Religion, because this was the first choice, that was the base, religion.

Q: And what grade did you get on your thesis and your test?

AP: 10 (equivalent of an A in the US)

Q: And how do you think you succeeded ? Why did you want a diploma?

AP: Well it is obvious, without a diploma I would be a nobody. In my life usually the negative things helped me be motivated, not really positive things but negative things.

Q: What do you mean, can you tell me an example?

AP: The lack of a family.

Q: How did not having a family help you?

AP: Well my family lives in very poor conditions, and I promised myself that I wouldn't end up like them. I want to progress, I want to get somewhere in my life. I don't want to end up like them on the street or in any other circumstances.

Q: Do you think the future depends on you, or on the fact that you are abandoned and bad things happened in your life?

AP: No, no, no! The future depends only on you and nothing else, you and God. There is a saying I often use, "you make the bed you lay in." So if you can graduate from college it is obvious that you will have a good future.

Q: Do you have any advice for our children at the foundation who don't want to study, or who are sad because they feel abandoned?

AP: Yes! Don't give up. Don't let yourself down, don't feel sorry for yourselves and victimize yourself. Embrace what you have and remember that you have the capacity overcome difficult things. We all do! And second, be more open with your families, your friends, and anyone around you, because if you close up you won't succeed at anything. People are here to help. And never ever ever ever give up!!

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