Stubenberg Castle is one of the most remarkable places in Sacueni. As we told you in the Facebook page Touristic Sacueni it is an important historical monument. It was constructed between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Too many people have lived in the castle; at the beginning it was owned by the Habsburg Royal House, later they offered the castle to the counselor to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, J. Dietrichstein. In 1830 the castle became property of Earls Gusztav Stubenberg. Nowadays, the castle belongs to Romanian State. It has been for a long time a Highschool, the Petõfi Sandor Highschool, until 2008, when the new High School was rebuilt.
Can you imagine to live in a place like this, full of History and stories. Well, since not long ago has become the home of several children who need a home where they are loved and protected.
In the summer of 2010, the Sacueni City Council signed a contract with the San Francis of Deva Foundation, which provided for the lease of the castle to the Foundation for a period of 49 years, with one condition: The Foundation should renovate and maintain the building in which the orphanage would work.
That was just in time, as the state of the castle has deteriorated greatly. Neither the city administration nor the county governors found a solution to save the building that had embarked on the path of mining. But the Saint Francis of Deva Foundation, branded with the name of the Franciscan monk Csaba Bötje, proposed not only to save the children of the place, but also renovated the building.
My coleague and I had the wonderful opportunuty to interview Andrea Toth, the current leader of the home. To be honest, I’m pretty impress with her job and dedication to the kids. Andrea arrived to Sacueni last July and she is a full time worker in the orphanage and I think I can say that she is living her true vocation. She met us early in the morning when the kids already left for school. Offering us a tea with cookies, and while preparing a cake she answered all our questions with a smile on her face.
The Jesus Child’s Home in Sacueni is one of the 84 orphanages of the Saint Francis of Deva Foundation established by Csaba Böjte. In a few years, the Jesus Child’s Home, which is operated by the Father Böjte Foundation, could have as many as a hundred inhabitants. The facility, which has been in operation just for a few years, currently has sixteen children from 4 to 17 years old. All the kids are from Sacueni, they are not orphans, but come from poor parents or they are children of ruined families.
The children who live in the Jesus Child’s Home have surprising life stories. Several of them fled here from extreme poverty, and others were excavated from the ruins of broken families.
Andrea told us that Saint Francis of Deva Foundation acts as a parent to the kids, when they turn 18 years old, the Foundation is still there for them to offer support. They can even live in the home until 24 years old.
Another beautiful thing is that the priority of the Foundation is to educate the children, but educate them in a Christian way, how to be consequent, how to fight for what they want and how to be resilient. In other words, how to be good human beings. Every night, after dinner, the kids and Andrea get together and have a small talk in which each one says why they are grateful that day. I think it is something we all should do, to remind ourselves how lucky we are.
The home is open to local volunteers, which I think is great. In the past I have had the chance to work in orphanages and homes for children with disabilities, so for me it has been a surprise that here in Sacueni there is an orphanage that offers this opportunity to those who need it. As a person who has been involved and commited to the rights of chidren at risk of exclusión I think that it is very beatiful that the city of Sacueni has an institution like this.
I would love to come back to this place and spend some time, maybe I would have the chance in these few months. I think it is also a huge opportunity for Sacueni’s people to get involved with the community and do some voluteering. Isn’t it?