This page reports on progress at the Fair Play hostel. The most recent report is at the top, with previous ones below.
Three of our teams have been to the Fair Play hostel this summer and a fourth is planned for October.
Of the five floors in the hostel, the girls' and boys' floors have been completely refurbished - new doors, double-glazed windows, new plaster, light fittings and carpets and new loos and showers.
The children have helped, especially with the choice of colours and the painting. We have made good progress on the third floor, again stripping and replacing old plaster, doors and windows.
One of the lads is teaching the others how to use computers and they now have access to the internet.
Fair Play now has a football team. We bought them boots and Manchester United kindly gave them football strips.
The children appreciate time we spend with them. Craft and constructive toys are very popular.
Children from the hostel went to a local equestrian centre where they all were given rides.
We are getting regular progress reports from the hostel and all is going well there. During the winter the two workmen whom we are funding have made some progress on the boys 2nd floor and have virtually finished the girls 3rd floor. The children have been helping.
In more detail, the walls and floors in the second washroom on the 1st floor have been finished. The windows and the four doors for the showers and toilets, and the main bathroom door, have been made and fitted.
The walls have been repaired and painted and sanitary units bought and installed.
The rooms and the hallway on the 2nd floor now have carpets.
In the other bathroom a bath for the younger children has been installed.
At the same time eight broken radiators have been fixed.
Using wood that was bought in January and allowed to dry, a start has been made on wardrobes for the rooms on the 2nd floor.
Work has also now started on the 1st (ground) floor. The outside walls of two rooms, which were suffering from damp, have been sealed.
Now that good progress has been made on the rooms where the young people live, the Fair Play management would like to started building the cantina extension as soon as possible.
The Fair Play management hope to get some local free help with materials and construction but they estimate that the cost of the building will be $30,000. The STEPS management has decided that we would like to support this work but that at present we can only afford to continue our current rate of funding. Detailed plans are being drawn up by a local architect. Once we know the full implications of the plans cost and practicalities STEPS management will set about some serious fund raising!
Members of the STEPS management team visited the Fair Play hostel in Constanta in February. The Romanian people they contacted were very helpful and generous with their time. They were made very welcome and there was a real feeling that we can work well together and make a real difference. This is their report.
Wood has been purchased for doors etc for the 1st floor and for the wardrobes for all of the bedrooms, and it is currently drying out.
Carpet for the 2nd floor rooms and corridor has been purchased and is due to be fitted within two weeks.
Work on the 1st floor including a second washroom is underway.
In the immediate future the plan is to work through the 2nd floor, two rooms at a time (take plaster off, re-plaster and paint walls and ceiling, new electrics, make and fit new window, new radiator, build door frame, make and fit door), and also to renovate the corridor walls and ceiling.
Insulation of the end walls of each floor and ceiling of top floor is necessary.
Sewing Rooms Fair Play hope to get contracts, for example from the army and for restaurant tablecloths. Currently the room is home to a large selection of donated new shoes, which are being distributed. We gave them a knitting machine, which they would like to make to use, but they have no instructions or anyone who can help. We agreed to sort this out.
Computers the IT assistant maintains the machines, replacing parts as required. He would like to buy some new parts (eg video cards, CD Rom drives) and is hoping to network the machines. Fair Play will give him the funds necessary from the STEPS account. Internet access is available only on the computer in the old STEPS office. He teaches and supervises the youngsters to use programs such as Word in their schoolwork.
One girl completing High School was required to do a project she used the computers for the written side and the sewing equipment for practical side.