An overgrown piece of land becomes an oasis

Helping people to help themselves

At the beginning of the Masloc Oasis project, which was an initiative of pupils, parents and teachers at the Waldorf School in Ulm, was the idea of a meaningful class trip. Young people should learn that they could instigate and create something in the world, thereby helping people and making significant changes to the world. The construction of the medical and therapeutic centre in Masloc (Romania) began in 1991. With this project, Masloc Oase e.V. funds not only local medical care as well as the quality of nutrition and quality of life, but also intercultural understanding. German and Romanian youths and adults work together on the construction and design of the site of the clinic. Moreover, the resulting medical and therapeutic centre has already been responsible for the creation of more than 30 new jobs.

In a country which was torn apart over a period of 40 years by a dictatorship, in which poverty and unemployment increased drastically, a small oasis has been created by the high level of voluntary commitment displayed by the pupils: the Masloc oasis. The site, which in 1991 was still completely overgrown and covered in waste, with abandoned and dilapidated buildings that were ready for demolition, is unrecognisable today. In the meantime a new three-storey clinic has been constructed there with its own park, while the renovated former cooperative houses accommodate a kindergarten, a long-term nursing home, a meeting place for young people, a production facility for medicines and a residential building for employees. Today the site also includes a vegetable and medicinal herb garden and the only biological sewage plant in the whole of Banat.

The current subproject, the construction of a biodynamic farm and a bakery, began in late 2011. Pupils in the 10th year of the Free Waldorf School in Ulm at the time helped with the construction and were able to finish a small stable building within just a few months. the autumn of 2012 the construction of the farmhouse was then started, and a year later the renovation of the building for the bakery. The site's own farm with a biodynamic cultivation system should greatly improve the nutritional status of the patients. The products of the bakery also benefit the villagers of Masloc, who have not had a bakery for several years. In 2015 the pupils will continue the internal work of the farmhouse and carry out the necessary renovations before their successors subsequently take over the completion of the building.

So far the village has received relief supplies 37 times by means of large trucks (22 t) which transported the donated items to Masloc. Through the help provided by the pupils in Ulm, the centre has now received almost €4 million in donated articles, money and medications. In addition to the annually conducted donation mailing campaigns sent to companies and foundations, numerous buffet and theatre campaigns as well as theatre tours have been carried out, the proceeds of which benefited the centre.

More than 300 pupils of the Ulm Waldorf School have already taken part in the construction of the Masloc oasis. Since 1996, young people from the Waldorf School in Solothurn (Switzerland) have also been involved in the construction measures. The project is therefore considered to be an important part of the current youth work. Many young people have already been encouraged to work for six months or a year after leaving school at social institutions abroad, such as in a school for the children of Sinti and Roma, a kindergarten and a school in Bucharest or a disabled facility in Simeria. in Bucharest or a disabled facility in Simeria. The pupils, teachers and parents of the Waldorf School in Ulm received the 4th Prize of the Robert Bosch Foundation in 1998 for "Humanitarian aid in Central and Eastern Europe".



The oasis in Masloc

The medical and therapeutic centre in Masloc, which is supported by the "Assotiata de Medicina Integrala" has developed over the years into a self-sustaining medical and therapeutic centre based on anthroposophy, with a retirement home, kindergarten and production facility for medications. The approximately 200 different types of medications produced benefit not only the clinic and surgery, but are also dispatched to various doctors within the country. Until today there has been a continuous partnership with the drug companies Weleda and Wala from Germany and Switzerland, which support the centre through donations of medicines and train laboratory and pharmacy staff. Every year two to three conferences for doctors and pharmacists are held at the clinic, to which renowned lecturers from Germany and Switzerland are invited. Furthermore, literature explaining the underlying anthroposophic principles and medicine is being translated into Romanian. From time to time, eurythmy and music events are presented in the hall of the clinic for the patients and employees. Because of the good reputation and successful cure rates of the medical and therapeutic centre, patients come here today not only from the rural area between Arad and Timişoara, but from all over the country.

The Masloc Oasis registered association

The Masloc Oasis association survives on the exclusively voluntary work of pupils, parents and teachers of the Free Waldorf School in Ulm. The main tasks consist above all of the implementation of construction camps for young people in Masloc/Romania, the organisation of medicines, building materials and cash donations, organisation of the transport of relief supplies and the production of information materials on the aid project.

What are the funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION specifically used for?

The funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION have so far been used to support the construction camp, to cover the costs of materials, for the implementation of the transport of relief supplies and the personnel costs of the skilled workers on site.

Funding period and outlook

The MAHLE FOUNDATION has already been supporting the "Oasis Masloc" project for over 10 years. In addition to the objectives which have already been achieved, the farm and bakery should be completed and put into operation in the future. Furthermore, land should be purchased for the management of the farm. In addition to the renovation and maintenance of the other buildings of the medical and therapeutic centre, the anthroposophic education and training of young Romanian doctors with the help of the Mahle Foundation is planned.