Linked with Fundatia ProHomini.
She is She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “Peace is not merely a word. It is a time for kids to grow up in harmony with society; the joy young mothers feel when they see their children growing up in peace”.
She says also: “Peace is sleeping without worry and looking forward to the joys of a new day. It is the rainbow that guards the Earth, without damage from bullets, fire or death. Peace is the desire for people to live in harmony with their compatriots and with nature. But, it seems to me that the more we wish for peace, the more it eludes us. We live in an uncertain world. Because we are confronted with an uncertain existence, people want to live in the moment. People want to live like kids at any cost. We want to ‘have our cake’, and eat it, too”.
Negoita Cornelia – Romania
She works for Pro Homini.
Negoita Cornelia works in Braila, a town located in southeast Romania. She has dedicated her life to children in orphanages and psychiatric hospitals. In 1997, she founded Pro Homini, a
charitable foundation helping orphans, large families, and senior citizens. Why did she choose this challenging path, rather than developing a profitable business after 1989 and the fall of the Ceausescu regime and the transition to a market economy.
The answer is that, for her, people are more important than money. She derives enormous satisfaction knowing her contributions have changed people’s lives.
Negoita Cornelia’s interest in charitable work began 15 years ago on her first visit to an orphanage, where she personally witnessed the children’s suffering. She was convinced that with her presence she would be able to bring happiness and compassion to the kids.
She first worked at an orphanage hospital with physically disabled children in the village of Baraganu, located 70 kilometers outside Braila. Initially, she visited the children during holidays and Easter; they would play and talk, eat lunch and attend church services together. It was important for the children to regularly see a kind, friendly face.
Negoita organized visits to a nearby resort with children who were able to walk. She would also accompany them to the dentist and delivered gifts on Christmas and other holidays. She followed the children’s progress as they grew, encouraging them as they learned a trade and worked to help find them jobs.
After learning the fundamentals of charitable work, Negoita founded Pro Homini in 1997 with a group of like-minded women. They started by identifying poor families with many children and found orphans and single mothers responsible for caring for their large families. They started by helping them with food donations. They also paid for medicine and awarded scholarships for children in need. In one case, a young girl was awarded a scholarship to study in France.
Every Saturday, students from 10 to 14 years of age come to the Pro Homini house for courses in computer science, cooking, sewing and arts and crafts. The center provides them with practical skills they can use in their daily lives, since they rarely receive this type of education at home.
In addition to her work with children and young adults, Negoita has always been moved by the loneliness felt by the elderly. With donations she secured from a Dutch foundation, she built a day center, as a way to alleviate their sense of solitude. Working with seniors requires a considerable amount of patience, calm and kindness.
Senior citizens can come to talk, participate in different activities, eat a hot meal, receive medical check-ups and take part in organized excursions around the country. They never miss an opportunity to celebrate a birthday or special occasion. The organizers are consistently worried about having the money to run the center and they spend a considerable amount of time securing donations and grants.
In 1996, Negoita Cornelia started organizing charity parties. Twice a year, local business leaders take part in the parties, sponsoring them financially, and raising money for Pro Homini. Because of the organization’s transparency, it has won the trust of government authorities and other sponsors who are generous with their time and donations. It has been awarded the Diploma of Excellence for its achievements.
With the pressures of her job, it is not always easy to meet the demands of the foundation. However, Negoita is fulfilled by her work of improving the lives of others. She is one of the first people in her town to have created the conditions for building confidence, regaining hope and improving one’s destiny.
Negoita has always been involved with women’s issues, particularly those related to their role in society and contributions to their communities. To promote these issues, she organized a series of lectures and debates to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March. For the past ten years, she has also taken part in a series of seminars organized by the Swiss Catholic Women’s Organization (SKF) Switzerland.
The seminars promote the well-being of women around the world. Negoita has strived to attract the interest of good-hearted, kind, helpful women, to volunteer with charities. Through her own example, perseverance and hard work, she has successfully developed a network of women who share her values.
She wrote:’Peace is not merely a word. It is a reality desired by good-hearted people. It is time for kids to grow up in harmony with society. It is the joy felt by young mothers when they see their children growing up in peace. It is the development and progress of humankind. It is the moment when clear waters unite countries and nations. It is the moment when an old man reflects peacefully on his life’s achievements as he prepares to pass into eternity.
The most disappointing aspect of the modern world is watching the atrophy of the ’sixth sense’, that sacred feeling of perfection and harmony, in a world chasing luxury and endless consumerism.
However, the dramatic crisis on our planet today can be healed in time. People’s eternal values will overcome their spiritual opaqueness and, with intuition and effort, we can rebuild harmony and understanding of the world.
- Leaders of the world, please let the Earth rest and breathe freely without bombs!
- Let our children grow up!
- Let our trees and flowers blossom!
- Do not destroy the world!
- It is all we have and it is definitely worth saving.