For many years, HILFE und HOFFNUNG has been supporting the Romanian children’s charity people2people (www.people2people.ro) in Oradea (formerly Großwardein, also called the “Gateway to Transylvania” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oradea). This city is 500 km from Vienna and 250 km from Budapest, on the Romanian border with Hungary.
The head of people2people Nicu Gal recently picked up the relief supplies himself in Vienna. Because of the war in Ukraine, however, he is now constantly driving to the Ukrainian border to pick up children who have fled the war zone (especially handicapped children) and to bring them to his care facilities in Oradea. He urgently asked us for relief supplies, which he could not collect himself in Vienna under the circumstances.
After having collected children’s clothing, toys, but also foldable wheelchairs for the handicapped children and after finally having packed them into the HILFE und HOFFNUNG bus, I set off for Oradea together with my helpful friend Alexandra.
After handing over the relief goods to the employees of poeple2people, we went to the hotel and wanted to relax in the pool at the end of the day – exhausted from the long drive,. To our great surprise, there was 30 degrees warm, alkaline thermal water in the pool, which helps with its healing properties against rheumatic and post-traumatic complaints. The hotel drilled a hole a few years ago and now has its own hot spring. Due to time constraints, we knew that it was impossible to detour to the world-famous spa town of Bad Felix (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Băile_Felix), which is only 7 km from Oradea. All the more we felt blessed by the thermal water in the hotel pool.
The next day, before our return journey, we took our time for a short walk through the city and admired e.g. the Neolog Synagogue “Zion” on the picturesque river Crișul Repede (Fast Kreisch), which flows through the middle of Oradea. This beautiful synagogue still dominates the cityscape today and is a reminder of Oradea’s great Jewish past. Today only a few Jewish citizens live in Oradea. The founder of HILFE und HOFFNUNG, Eeva Huber-Huber, supported the Jewish community of Oradea e.g. by equipping the children’s lounge of the Jewish center with toys and furniture. And finally it was the Jewish community of Oradea who asked for HILFE und HOFFNUNG to support the people2people ministry as it cares for the most vulnerable. We are always happy to comply with this request from the Jewish community in Oradea.
(Elisabeth Baumegger, April 2022)