The Star of Hope Romania Foundation is a Romania nongovernmental organization, apolitical, established in 1998, having the headquarters in Iasi.
The mission of the foundation is to improve the quality of the life of children in need, especially those with disabilities. Since 2011, the foundation has opened 5 Day Centers for children with disabilities and 3 Day Centers for children in need.
In Romania and Moldova Star of Hope is improving the lives of children with special needs. We are also working to keep children off the streets. We do this, for example, by providing support for various daytime activities for socially excluded children as well as children with special needs. We also run fitness activities, integration of work and working with the development of parent associations. Our Christian conferences encourage mothers and fathers of special needs children in their faith while providing knowledge and skills in caring for their children. Through visiting occupational therapists, physical therapists, specialist teachers, and others, we provide transfer of knowledge to the Romanian health professionals and authorities which in many areas changed their way of working. Star of Hope continues to actively work to affect public opinion and attitudes about children with special needs.
Star of Hope is also working actively to change the attitudes of health professionals and political leaders. The sight of these children with special needs has long been characterized by the notion that people with special needs cannot contribute to society and that therefore they are inferior. Instead, they have been placed in institutions, where they had to endure both physical and psychological abuse. They never get out of bed, do not learn to walk, talk, feed themselves, dress or do without a diaper. There was simply no time to give every child adequate care. The children were under-stimulated and forced to a life without the possibility to develop as human beings and live full lives.
Today, 30 years after we began our work in Romania, we can see that a conscious effort on the rights of the child has paid off, for example, many children with special needs now attend regular Romanian preschool and elementary school. Many children have also been rescued from a life on the street and integrated into society. Today caregivers understand their role in the lives of these precious children and have access to tools and help.
In 2007, Star of Hope Romania began projects in neighboring Moldova, with the goal to improve the lives of children with special needs and socially excluded children.