In two years, 25 children from Râpa de Jos and surroundings received a bicycle as a gift by Fr Dacian Oprea’s help. He thinks he’s not doing anything special. “That is the purpose of a priest and a man, to help.”
He saw the example of generosity in his family.
“I am very compassionate, and I would give anything, and in this, I give so many things. It also depends on what family you come from. I come from a family of priests, and I saw my family giving all the time; as a child, I was taught to be good, to help,” Fr. Dacian Oprea noted.
For many rural families, cycling is a luxury they can hardly afford.
“It’s an area where children are more modest; they work in agriculture, they wake up in the morning, go to school, do their homework between field works. (…). Here, in Râpa, some children go to school by bike. There was a period when the school minibus was broken, and some went by bike,” Father Dacian told Agerpres.
The idea for the project came to him when he saw several children playing with a single bicycle.
“I could see on the street that a child had a bicycle and about 5-6 children were running after him. That’s how I started it, seeing them eager to have bikes,” recalled the priest who confessed that he could not have continued the project if he had not had support.
“I have a lot of friends, and with their help, I managed to do this through social networks. I always put pictures of what I do, and people call me and invite themselves to do good deeds. One man brings two more, another two bring four more, and that’s how I succeeded.”
‘Father, would you give me a bike too, because I don’t have one?’
He was most impressed by a little girl from a nearby town who asked for his help.
“I became interested in a girl, and I found out that she didn’t have a mother; she only lived with her father. About two years ago, her house burned, and she was even more upset,” said Father Dacian.
The little girl appreciated the priest’s gift like no other.
“She slept for two or three nights with the bike in the room by the bed. She loved it so much. Her father called me to tell me this,” the priest said, expressing his contentment.
The 34-year-old priest intends to continue the project.
“This project started two years ago, and I hope to carry it out as soon as possible. I tried in the village. I will try to develop it in the commune, in the county and even further because many children are destitute and are eager to have a bicycle,” the priest added.
Râpa de Jos is a village in Vătava commune, Mureș county, Transylvania, Romania.
Photography courtesy of Râpa de Jos Parish/Facebook
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