As of March 11 all schools in Romania closed down and gatherings of groups of more than 50 were no longer permitted. This caused Foundation Charis to put all programs on hold since March 12. Starting 16 March we thought we would work from home as much as possible and to wait and see what would happen here in Romania.
On March 24 the Romanian government announced the country would go in complete lockdown starting March 25. This meant that you can only leave your home with a declaration for doing the necessities such as groceries and walking the dog. Supermarkets and pharmacies are the only shops that remain open. If it was not necessary to come to your work please it was advised to work from home. Both police and army did checks; if you are on the streets without valid reason or you don’t obey the 1,5m distance rule you will be fined 2000 Lei (Est. €415.-).
The people living in our work area spend most of their time being outside and on the streets. It is very hard for them to stay inside. The first 2 weeks of the lock down the police and army have tried to maintain order, this has not worked out as the people just won’t stay inside. Giving out fines is useless because they are unable to afford paying it. As far as we know, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the area. Many people do not currently have employment. If they recently had a legal job, they are entitled to government aid, unless they were fired previously. This would assure them of not losing their whole income.
Unfortunately we got the news that one of our church member who currently was living in the UK got infected with COVID-19 and was on the ICU. Due to complications she passed away. Last week we brought her to her last resting place here in Floreşti.
During the lockdown we started a live stream through Facebook for our church service on Sunday and the women’s program on Wednesday. As of May 15 we were allowed to have church service and women’s program outside with 1,5m distance. So this meant that we could start to come together again on the Sunday for a church service and on Wednesday for the women’s program. Since half of June we are allowed to have church service and women’s program inside again as long as we still keep 1,5m distance. So we could come together again inside.
Lastly we want to tell you that from June 22 we were allowed to start our education project again as long as we keep some rules to protect the kids and the teachers. We are happy with a big multifunctional building what we can use.