Volunteers in Valea Plopului

 

 

On the eve of Saint Nicholas, 2013, a group of students from Spiru Haret National College, under the guidance of deputy headteacher Mrs Petronia Dumitrescu and the teachers of Religion Cristiana Achim and Cornel Comanescu took an unusual trip to a remote place, Valea Plopului, a tiny village blessed by the people there. This small settlement near Valenii de Munte has gained renown as a place of safety for abandoned children who by fault of law and bureaucracy could not be admitted into a state home. The story began 20 years ago when Father Nicolae Tanase, an Orthodox priest, set out to change mentalities and save the souls of infants and even of unborn children by giving shelter to their mothers. By turning his noble ideas into fact, he built a housing complex and the destinies of 300 human beings changed course. Apart from children, adults and elderly people who cannot provide for themselves found a home here.

 

The priest’s daughter welcomed us and her stories made meeting the people run smoothly, like meeting new cousins for the first time. However, it was Father Tanase’s heart-melting words which got all of us together: parentless children, students and teachers. His genuine kindness and deep wisdom filled our minds and hearts. We went there loaded with bags full of goodies. Yet, we were the ones to carry back home something more precious and that is a life lesson. This life lesson etched in our memory candour, kindness, simplicity and humanity. If only all our students would take the journey to this place, Valea Plopului, to rediscover themselves in the innocence of those vibrating young souls. It is a once in a life-time experience!