Board members and ambassadors visit Romania, join us for a virtual visit.
Board member Kay Metsger on right, visiting Botosani project, Romania Director Vatamaniuc Aurora in middle
In Romania, we work with two different types of projects.
One is to improve the situation for children with disabilities. We do this for example by providing support for various day care activities, partly for socially disadvantaged children, but also for children with disabilities. We also run habilitation, integration work and work with parenting associations. This work started in 1989, on the same day the borders opened after "The Romanian Revolution" a period of violent civil unrest in Romania in December 1989 and part of the Revolutions of 1989 that occurred in several countries. Not so long ago really.
The Children learn about Noah's ArkThe second project is "Whole Heart for Roma". In this project, Star of Hope and our parent organization Tent Mission make a joint effort to support Romania's Roma people. The focus is on villages in northeastern Romania, helping people where they are and we hire Romans to lead the work in place in the villages. The investment started in 2014 and is a big success.
Children and young people with disabilities
The overall goal is to facilitate social integration of children and young people with disabilities.
This happens in several ways. We are working hard to raise the level of development among the functionally impaired. We educate parents and inform society about the rights of people with disabilities in different ways. We want to bring out several disabled people in schools. We have a number of member organizations where we try to strengthen cooperation between them for increased understanding of the vulnerability of people with disabilities.
Hundreds of children and youth with disabilities visit our five centers in the country. Many children are integrated into schools and preschools. A young woman graduated from university.
A number of specialists examine the young people and discuss with the parents an appropriate training programs to develop them.
We have introduced several group activities.
In Iasi, we have a dance group and a drawing group that meets every week.
In Dorohoi, a friends club has been started together with a local student association. Children with functional impairments take part in a variety of activities such as painting, computer literacy, and everyday knowledge.
In Barlad, we have started a small craft club for the smaller children and their parents.
Children and young people from three of our centers participated in the Special Olympics activities.
During the year we arranged further training for teachers and other staff in Iasi, Dorohoi, and Chisinau.
Whole Heart for Roma
Just like kids you might know, Romas children at a Star of Hope center.
In five selected villages we have started a resource center where children receive food, health checks, homework and extra education, and the whole family can borrow showers and wash clothes. We have also renovated the homes where the needs were greatest.
The first center opened in Valea Seaca in autumn 2015 and four more have opened since then. To the five centers we operate today, a total of 193 children arrive daily. However, the families of children are also affected and developed positively. The work thus reaches almost 1,000 people.
At the centers, all school supplies, books, shoes, and clothes are available. The children have access to not only teachers but also showers and toilets, something that many do not have in their homes.
Many of the children could not speak Romanian when they came to the centers for the first time but only Romanian is offered for several reasons. It makes it difficult for later integration. With newly acquired language skills, it is easier for the children to go to school and take advantage of the teaching.
- 100% of the children passed their grades and moved to the next level.
- All children go to school with the homework done and ready for new tasks.
- 17 children who were illiterate, despite being in middle class, have now learned to read and write.
- The children are better integrated with other school children.
- Teachers have learned to accept and respect the Roma children.
- All children have raised their level of hygiene thanks to the nice facilities and amenities at the centers and through training.
"The children have learned more about working in groups at different levels in school and also in sports.
In addition, there were regularly organized activities for the children's parents how to act in society.
In Dimacheni, we have had nursery training for mothers in the village so that they can learn a profession.
Kay, Cheryl, and US Board member Rodica Mallos in blue, visiting training center for sewing.
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