After a lot of advice, ups and downs, and deep thinking, here is the new plan. I feel disappointed that we changed the plan so dramatically, but on the other hand, this plan feels “right”:
Goal #1. Health, safety, and nutrition (survival):
a. Improve the health, safety, and nutrition of the family asap.
b. Teach them good habits and knowledge, so that they can sustain this forever (eating, birth control, money, etc.).
Goal #2. Education (future):
a. Raise school attendance, interest, and achievement to acceptable standards.
b. Raise the parent’s awareness and interest in school.
c. Graduate the children through high school and possibly university.
Goal #3. Employment (financial independence)
a. Help the women in this family train and get jobs to sustain themselves.
Short-term Plan (immediate!)
1. Dana and Catalin assess the family living conditions and develops programs to assist and teach the family healthy/smart living styles.
-> Meeting at Bunea house on Tuesday with a followup with me on Wednesday.
2. Catalin assess the children’s academic needs and develop a program to ensure attendance and encourage interest and achievement. Also, assess Elvis for post-school remediation or occupational training.
-> see above.
3. Bi-monthly shopping trips / woman-2-woman education sessions with Gina and the other adult women: I need to find someone who is willing, capable, and interested to work with the adult women of this family to: a) shop every two weeks for essential supplies, b) teach good nutrition and health, c) teach smart money practices (e.g. pay bills, save, etc.), d) discuss women issues (e.g. birth control), and e) raise their ability to work (training?). We may want to tie the bi-monthly financial support to school attendance and achievement — we need a detailed proposal here. This person needs to be an advisor and a friend imo.
-> I need advice on this. Mariana has offered to do it. I would love to hear your ideas or advice.
4. Improve the existing house. I am looking for builder/designers to help me to make the necessary improvements to their home: a) toilet, b) running hot and cold water, 3) fix building (roof?), 4) clean up, 5) buy smart furniture to increase living situation, 6) improve kitchen, etc.
-> I need advice here too. I have heard that most Romanian builders will not work in Sector 5 and will cheat me. This is not what I am used to and could use some help. If you know anyone that you trust, please refer me to them.
-> update (4/14/07): Found a good architect (Gheorghetta) and Engineer (Marius), did a site visit and assessment, and they are working on a proposal (to replace the house).
5. Find a nearby, clean, and acceptable apartment to house at least two of the adult women and their children. These women need more space, privacy, and sleep. There are too many people living in this house. I recognize that Gina does a lot of child care and therefore it’s important to find something close. I will provide the necessary financial support for this until they can take care of it on their own (1 year?).
-> Dana or Catalin: any advice or ideas on this? I want something clean and reasonable, and close by.
-> update (4/14/07): Looks like this will be a lot more expensive than anticipated, ~100-300 euros per month.
Medium-term Plan (these mostly depend on successful results in the previous steps)
1. If possible, get the house into Gina’s name or re-consider buying a house for Gina to move to. This has proven to be very complicated and messy, mainly because I cannot assess what and where to move to. And, of course, it is a large amount of money.
2. Consider a major rebuild of the house probably requires #1.
-> update (4/14/07): Architect and engineer said it was a clear “tear down.” So, looks like there is no easy remodelling available to us.
3. Get Corina to either: a) complete high school (my preference), or b) attend an occupational school (e.g. hair design). [I am worried about this young lady.]
4. Florin must graduate through high school. I am determined to get him into university. We should reward him every year with something special for passing grade.
5. Same for the smaller children (Ruxandra, Gilbert, Patricia. Florenchica). [note: It appears that Marius is in good hands with husband’s parents (grandparents).]
Long-term Plan (these mostly depend on successful results in the previous steps)
1. Create a “trust” for the family, possibly a real estate investment in Romania.