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The Dumbrava center – a welcoming home for the vulnerable

Published on: 9 Jun 2019

Category: Articles

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Over 13 years of work, over 2000 people sheltered and cared for, 13 houses with more than 230 beds — these are the numbers which briefly sum up Viorel Pașca’s heart and soul effort. His name is tied to the caregiving centers for the eldery, sick and homeless, located at Dumbrava, Tinca and Ineu, in Bihor county.

Viorel Pașca started sheltering homeless elders more than 13 years ago, after having seen a TV news which moved him: two homeless men had died from hypothermia. Mister Pașca had two unoccupied rooms in his home, so he thought that he could shelter two persons — at first. Then another two persons, and he went on finding space for more people.

The first separate home for sheltering those in need was bought by a man from Arad.

Other 12 houses followed suite, bought over the years from the donations that came from good-hearted people. In all 13 houses, the living conditions for those who have been taken in are more than decent: cleanliness, comfortable beds, clean sheets and clothes, bathrooms, heat and three meals per day.

The stories of the people who get to live here are often very painful: elders who have lost their homes and had nowhere to go or who have been abandoned by their families, homeless people suffering from incurable diseases, people with mental illnesses who entirely lack support.

It is also Maria’s case, one of the women living for more than 10 years at the centre, ever since she became paralysed following a stroke. More stories similar to hers are detailed in the “Stories” section — people who have lost everything, as a consequence of the troubles in their lives.

Viorel Pașca tells us that what these people value the most, perhaps even more than fulfilling the basic necessities of life, is care and affection. The volunteering caregivers at the centres restore the residents’ well-being even through the smallest gestures of kindness. The daily schedule of the residents at the centres includes socialising and recreational activities. But everything takes as much involvement as possible, as many good people as they can find.