Posts Tagged ‘Greenhouse’

Record Cold In Romania Brings Suffering.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

If you’ve seen recent news reports about the extreme winter weather in Europe you understand that the situation for many people is quite grim. It has recently taken a toll on ICC’s project in Romania as well. The campus greenhouse has been extensively damaged as a result of the heavy snowfall.

We don’t have information yet about the extent of the damage and whether or not the structure can be salvaged and repaired. We’ll pass along those details once they are available.

A photo of ICC Romania's greenhouse which collapsed under heavy snowfall in February 2012

ICC Romania's greenhouse which collapsed under record, heavy snowfall. To date, some areas of Romania have received 15 feet of snow.

A photo of the ICC Romania campus covered in snow

Taken on February 6, this photo shows about a foot of snow covering the ICC Romania campus. At the time this blog was posted the snow accumulation had reached three feet. More than 500 people have died in Eastern Europe during this record cold spell that has extended from Russia to England.

On Monday, February 13, Gabriela Costache sent an e-mail regarding the situation in Romania. Here is an excerpt:

The situation here is not good, it is snowing since yesterday and now the snow in the city of Buzau is about 1 meter… [It is] the same in Odobesti and all over the country. And the sad news is that it is going to snow until Thursday. Please, pray for Romania!

I hope God will protect the project. They have all they need and starting with tomorrow the schools are closed. They [the children] will stay home. They have enough bread and flour and yeast in case they cannot buy stuff, because now, with this situation, the food is very expensive.

All the routes are closed in the country and there are many people who died without food or drink.

Last week they changed the government… and during all this time, they didn’t have time for the people. Only this week-end they started to help…

Please pray for ICC’s project in Romania and especially for the children and staff as the struggle against this cold winter storm system.

Thank you,

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC

ICC Romania Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Twenty years seems like a long time for many things any more. Reaching such a milestone is always a cause for celebration and reflection upon the events that have transpired over those intervening years. For twenty years now ICC has been working in Romania ever since Alcyon Fleck first initiated ICC’s presence in Eastern Europe in 1991.

ICC Romania's staff, children, and attendees of the 20th anniversary celebration pose for a group picture

ICC Romania's staff, children, and attendees of the 20th anniversary celebration gather for a group picture.

Originally ICC’s work involved providing support for a thousand poor and indigent families in the city of Bucharest. In 1998 we were able to establish our children’s village with the acquisition of a former communist cooperative farm where the first renovated building becoming our receiving center.

In 2003 we opened our first children’s home. Since then we’ve added two more children’s homes, administrative offices and housing, a guest house for volunteer groups, greenhouses and we are nearly finished with our on-campus commercial bakery.

Gabriela Necula, [left] ICC Romania's development director, presents three of ICC Romania's original children to those attending the 20th anniversary celebration.

Gabriela Necula, (left) ICC Romania's development director, presents three of ICC Romania's original children to those attending the 20th anniversary celebration.

On October 16, 2011, ICC Romania held a celebration to mark the first twenty years of ICC’s work with the Romanian people. Representatives from ICC’s home and European offices attended the celebration along with all those who are currently serving and many who have served locally with ICC Romania.

Lambro Triantos, ICC’s regional director for Europe, reported to us that the afternoon event went very well despite having to move the celebration indoors due to advancing inclement weather. Lambro also told us that the program included several speakers and presentations and that the best part of the day was when ICC’s children’s choir sang several beautiful songs.

ICC Romania's children's choir sings at ICC Romania's 20th anniversary celebration

ICC Romania's children's choir sings at ICC Romania's 20th anniversary celebration.

Thanks to all of you who are supporting and who have supported ICC and ICC’s Romanian project for these past twenty years. It is because of you that the children and families of ICC Romania have a home where they can live the life they truly deserve.

Thanks for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director ICC

Violent Storm Damages Las Palmas Crops

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

We’ve received some disturbing news from Mario Lora, ICC’s business and farm manager at the Las Palmas Campus in the Dominican Republic. On Friday, May 27 an isolated and violent storm swept through the Las Palmas campus and caused extensive damage to the farm crops which had been growing in such abundance.

Weather forecasts had not predicted the storm, and it hit the campus unexpectedly and with terrific force. According to Mario, “Its radius of action was practically in our locality and towards the mountains. In fact, the nearby city of Bonao had no damage.

“We understand that it affected an area of about 10 square kilometers with us in the center. We haven’t heard anything about it on the news, and everyone who comes here is surprised when they see the destruction.

“In fact, one of the engineers in charge of the greenhouse project, when he came here was stunned because he didn’t know this had happened, and he was investigating a lot to see what happened. It was quick, only lasting about 20 to 25 minutes as a strong storm, and then the rain lasted for a long time afterward. There was no warning to prepare.”

Plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm destroyed by a focused storm.

Some of the destroyed plantain trees from the Las Palmas farm

About 2/3 of the plantain crop was damaged by the heavy winds and rain that accompanied the storm. Many of the trees were laden with plantains and according to Mario, “With a few exceptions, all trees that had stalks (bunches) of plantains fell to the ground. The stalks varied a lot, from ones that were just flowering to those that were ready to harvest.

Of the trees that didn’t have stalks, only a few fell to the ground, but a very small percentage. We think that about 2,500 plantain trees fell over. Each stalk has about 30 to 40 plantains, which at the current market price are worth between 5 and 7 pesos, so each stalk is worth about 150 pesos [$4.05]. When we multiply that by 2,500 trees, it comes out to a loss of about 375,000 pesos [$10,135]. Also, we were left with about 1,250 trees which will start flowering in the next three months.”

The loss of the trees means more than the loss of the crop. A tree can produce several crops, plus they produce other “children” – small trees that grow up to the next generation. Mario, the staff and children at Las Palmas have quickly started the process of rehabilitating trees that can be salvaged and planting new trees.

Mario states that, “when we plant a new crop it takes about 8 or 9 months to start producing.” One piece of good news is that the project already has enough seeds to do the replanting and together with rehabilitating the damaged trees, the project should be able to expand the crop. This will have to wait until the rains allow the workers to prepare the land.

Plantains are a staple crop at the children’s village. This loss will certainly impact the project. Mario continues. “Of the production that we had projected, we consume almost the entire crop. What was happening at this moment was that as the plantains would get ripe we would cut them for use in the homes. They were not all ready to cut at the same time. In fact, many times we have had to cut them before they were really ready because of the needs in the homes.”

One of the other important crops at Las Palmas is Yucca. Mario estimated that perhaps 30% to 40% was affected. Since Yucca are tubers, it’s difficult to say at this time what the effect of the storm may be. However, there was significant damage to the plants themselves and the tubers may rot or not develop normally.

Garden vegetables were also hit hard, and according to Mario, “everything we had was ruined.” The house father and children of house 4 on the Las Palmas campus had put forth dedicated effort to supply the homes with vegetables. Mario estimates that this was valued at the equivalent of $135 per week so over the next 8 weeks as they wait for new crops to mature, they’ll need to spend about $1,080 to replace what was lost.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm.

Two hatchlings sleep in their nest after the storm

There are some bright spots in all this discouraging news. All the children and staff escaped unharmed. Praise God for that! Also, the sweet potato, corn and pineapple crops were not damaged. As well, there is something telling about how Mario describes the attitude of the staff and children on campus. “What has impressed me the most in all this,” he states, “is the good spirit that exists among the employees and the kids. We can see complete unity in order to reestablish, with God’s help and our efforts, what has been damaged. We have courage to continue on as long as the Lord gives us the strength.”

We’re pleased to report that when the Versacare Foundation heard about this tragedy, they immediately provided a donation of $10,000 to help with this food emergency. What a blessing this is! Additional funds are needed, and if you would like to help, please mark your donation “Las Palmas Farm and Food Fund.” It will directly assist with this need.

Thank you for your generous support.

Kent Greve
Director International Development ICC