Last time I was in Romania, I delivered a carload of donations that are still being distributed to those in need – and the tools have made everything below possible!
Robert Jacobs has been like the turtle in the Turtle & the Hare – steadily adding each piece one by one to make the Islands 4 Kids Children’s Shelter better. When he purchased the 2 acre property, it was in total disrepair. However, he has never given up, and never stopped. One of the most gentle and humble human beings I have met, this summer brought many blessings.
Over the past year Robert has been working with a man who retired to Romania after a successful life raising bees. Under this incredible man’s guidance, Robert constructed his first “Swarm Trap” that you see in the video above. The Swarm Trap is a temporary structure that attracts bees looking for a good home. As you can see, the entire operation – which took lots of patience – was a stellar success. “We have bees moving in. Hooray!” Robert exclaims as he excitedly ponders the next step of constructing a much more permanent shelter:
And here it is! This is Robert’s new bee hive ready for the bees to nest in and stay for the winter, and much, much longer with lots and lots of honey! Robert sent me these photos and videos recently and immediately told me about his bee hat and smoker. The bee hat has a net around the brim that closes around the neck so bees don’t sting him, and the smoker is a small container with a handle that has burning embers inside. The smoke that comes out of the smoker causes the bees to become calm and docile, and much easier to work with. It’s almost like they’re ready to doze off for a nap, so no stinging!
Tools purchased from https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/
2. LEATHER TOOLS
Last month Robert told me he knows where he can get good leather near his village and that he is able to both produce small items as well as instruct in leather making technique. This is a huge treasure for us because the items can be sold to raise funds for the program, and spread awareness of the mission. We selected an entire basic set of tools and they will soon be on the way to Ostrov and into Robert’s hands and classes!
Check out an instructional video above if you’re interested in what we’ll be doing!
3. WIND ENERGY!!
Robert and Islands 4 Kids has to be as efficient as possible because funds are fully generated by donations (you can donate at this link!). To achieve our goal of becoming fully independent and off the grid, we are already using large solar panels. However, this is not enough, and doesn’t work 24 hours per day, AND certainly not as efficient in the winter.
So, Robert got a wind generator – but as a result of a powerful storm, the blades suffered damage. This was many months ago, and Robert has been inching his way to obtaining replacement parts, making the laborious repairs, and is not ready to assemble it all together again.
“Hi Milo, Stretch and i put up the wind gen mast today. Now i need a longer ladder and someone to set the gen on the mast and then fix the blades. I have someone in mind.“
This is the blades and hub. First we put the gen and tail section on the top of the mast and then attach the blades to the generator.
Connect the wires from the generator to the three black wires at the top of the box on the upper left and we are ready to turn wind into electricity.
This has been realized through the efforts of a number of friends. In 2017 three friends from Munich; Maria, Christian, and Marcus, raised money and purchased our 6 solar panels and also the inverter. I then purchased the pieces for the wind generator. in 2018 we had 12 volunteers from Airbus TOME team and they built the structure under the roof that holds the mast and improvised installing the wind gen.
It took me over a year to buy new blades and the bracket that connects the gen / mast and tail section and some other necessary parts. I fabricated the tail section myself and a friend Daniel found and purchased the 1 1/2 inch diameter galvanized pipe, he cut it to size and drilled the holes to receive the existing mounting bolts. Andreas from Augsburg provided a 600 watt 12 V DC hot water heater element that consumes excess electric produced and will help warm the entry hall. Finally, after 2+ years and much help we are ready to add wind to our solar array.
4. GARDEN HARVEST
Last year we talked about the garden behind the property. Robert and Stretch labored all year and we just wanted to show you the results!
They planted lots of different fruits and vegetables, and in the images here you can see corn, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and other common veggies. In fact, Islands 4 Kids had so much, they were able to share with the neighbors. And, guess what, that created an opportunity to share and in return they have been able to obtain things like fresh milk and other veggies the neighbors grew. It is truly incredible to watch this property go from a place that looks like no one lived in it for 100 years, to a bustling small community of helpful individuals who are changing lives for the most vulnerable population in Romania – orphaned children.
Please take a moment to realize that all of these efforts are a result of people who live in the community and work every single day to make it better. Funds all come from donations just like yours, and without you this program could not exist. Please consider the impact it makes for a young child with nowhere else to turn, to find a bed and food as well as a caring group of people who teach them skills. This is what we are doing, and you can help us out.