Word Made Flesh Moldova is called to love and serve Jesus in community among vulnerable children and their families.
Nestled between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is one of the smallest of the former Soviet Union’s republics. Dancing sunflower fields and rolling vineyards cover much of this beautiful country, a country whose people are seeking to understand who they are and where they stand in the world after being tossed unrelentingly among the hands of multiple powers in recent history until gaining independence in 1991. Fifteen percent of Moldova’s children have at least one parent living abroad while two percent live without both parents. And more than 8,100 children live in residential institutions today (unicef.org). Although stories of trafficking, exploitation and abandonment of these children abound, WMF staff are committed to living as people of hope in Moldova in the midst of what often seems to be an impenetrable darkness.
As a sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God, WMF Moldova seeks to love and serve Jesus in community among the most vulnerable of the poor: children at-risk and their families.
Word Made Flesh partners with Moldovan non-profit La VIA. La VIA‘s vision is “a transformed world in which each person is loved, valued and empowered and in which each person has equal opportunities to integrate into and to actively function in society, thus achieving his or her full potential.” La VIA is a nongovernmental organization that builds community among the vulnerable and the marginalized: children and their families. We create a space of respect and hope, offering equal chances of holistic healing and recovery through practical activities such as art, music, moral-spiritual education, homework help and counseling that all contribute to the children’s and families’ rehabilitation and integration into society. Since March 2010, we have been carrying out our activity in partnership with a school in Chisinau through a special program of extracurricular activities for approximately 60 socially-vulnerable children that includes art, music and play therapy, activities that promote the socialization of the children (life skills, moral-spiritual education, outings in the city, positive discipline, nature discovery), development and encouragement of creativity, supplementary homework help and individual assistance for children who have difficulty reading and writing. The words La VIA, when translated from Romanian into English, mean “to the vineyard” and represent our movement together with the children and families among whom we serve to a place of fecundity, communion and celebration. The letters of the word “VIA” stand for the first letters of our values (in Romanian): vindecare, integritate andacţiune. In English, these are:
Healing: We consider spiritual healing to be at the foundation of the healthy functioning of each person, providing trust and courage to integrate into society. We prize holistic healing, meaning full recovery in all aspects of the human being (physical, social, mental, emotional, spiritual) that produces a sense of fulfillment and hope.
Integrity: By integrity we mean “whole character; the sense of dignity, justice and conscientiousness that serves as a guide in human behavior” (DEX, http://dexonline.ro, translated from Romanian).
Action: In a world of indifference, we declare through our action that injustice is not right and that each person matters and has equal chances of a transformed life.
La VIA‘s commitments:
Solidarity with the poor: We don’t choose to integrate vulnerable people into our community but instead strive to build a community together.
Multiculturalism: Through our multicultural community, we challenge traditional “donor-receptor” roles and affirm the beauty of each culture. At the same time we intend to show respect for and submission to Moldovan culture and traditions and to learn from them.
Gender Equality: In a world in which the potential and gifts of women are often stifled, we affirm gender equality towards unity in community.
Ecumenism: We affirm and celebrate all three branches of Christianity: Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. We place Jesus in the center, the one who unifies us all. We especially try to learn from and to show respect for Moldovan religious beliefs.