Hope and Homes for Children publishes the 2019 Annual Report, which offers the public an overview of the organization’s interventions carried out last year in 15 counties in Romania and in Bucharest.
In 2019, the Foundation closed “Sfântul Spiridon” Institution in Târgu Frumos, Iași County, opened 5 family-type homes in 3 counties, prevented the separation of 1,902 children from their family, supported 504 young adults to take their first steps towards independent living after they exited institutions and brought back home 328 children who had previously been in state care. During the year, the Foundation worked on the closure of 15 other institutions in 8 counties and Bucharest. Adding the results of 2019 to those recorded in 22 years of activity in Romania, the Foundation has improved, so far, the lives of 57,000 children from vulnerable backgrounds.
Hope and Homes for Children closed “Sfântul Spiridon” Institution in Târgu Frumos, Iași County, where, when the intervention began in 2014, there were 178 children institutionalized. By the time the institution closed in 2019, Hope and Homes for Children had moved 48 children into 4 family-type homes it had built, with the rest of the children being reintegrated into birth or extended families, cared for by foster carers or supported to begin independent life (those who were of age).
In Bucharest and in Iași and Neamț counties, Hope and Homes for Children opened in 2019 five family-type homes in which 60 children have already moved. The homes “Spartans” and “Puss in Boots” from Iași County, “Felicia” and “Felix” from Neamț County and “Knights” from Bucharest recreate the atmosphere of a family with several children and offer children the chance to grow up in a permanent environment, where the voice of each of them can be heard. In an orphanage more than 50-60 children live together, while in a family-type home there are 12 children who are cared for so that their specific needs are met. Last year, another 6 family-type homes and transit apartments were under construction.
The Foundation’s Programme to prevent the separation of children from their parents supported 1,902 children to remain with their families in 2019. The foundation’s interventions included measures to improve living conditions, provide basic food and basic items, and counselling. In addition, 328 children were brought back home, being taken out of the institutions that were closed down by the Foundation.
The social and professional integration programme run by Hope and Homes for Children helped 504 young people who left state care last year, either at the age of 18 or at the age of 26, when they completed their studies. These young people were supported to take their first steps towards an independent life, through counselling in order to find a job and by finding a sustainable solution for living independently.
In 2019, Hope and Homes for Children worked on the closure of 15 orphanages or old-type institutions in Bucharest and 8 counties – Iași, Neamț, Botoșani, Suceava, Bihor, Sibiu, Bistrița-Năsăud and Brașov. The closure of these orphanages becomes possible only after the Foundation finds the best alternative solution for each child, which is in families, in foster care or in family-type homes. A part of this process is also the training and education of the staff working in institutions, through specialized professional training programs. In 2019, 274 specialists from these institutions participated in the training programs carried out by Hope and Homes for Children.
Ștefan Dărăbuș, Regional Director, Central and Southern Europe, Hope and Homes for Children:
“It is awful to see children confused, abused, it is terribly difficult to abandon them in places that favour these traumas, such as orphanages, or in places saturated with poverty, hunger and cold. It is not easy to see the hope that both they and their parents see in you, waiting for you to help them somehow so that they can stay together. It is not at all easy to see young people coming out of a special “protection” system, without any form of real support, confused, depressed and more vulnerable than ever. And above them all, above all this, there are prejudices and obstacles almost impossible to overcome, almost impossible to obliterate. And they know that, and we know that. And yet: it is not time that solves everything, it is people. Only we, the people, can do a little, just a little, for the good of those around us. I believe that this is the essence of humanity: our power, of each and every one of us, to do good, more or less – as much as we can, for those around us.”
In its campaigns, Hope and Homes for Children was joined by ambassadors Amalia Enache, Marius Manole and Alexandru Tomescu, and Master Victor Rebengiuc was the central figure of the campaign “Rebengiuc’s Testament. It is not time that solves everything, it is people”.
In 2019, the #TeamHOPE team became the second community of urban athletes participating in events that have a charitable component. Over 1,100 fans of urban running, of cycling, private individuals, but also employees of partner companies participated in the 4 major sporting events of last year. The total value of the funds raised by the #TeamHOPE sports community in 2019 was over 120,000 Euros.
During 2019, Hope and Homes for Children enjoyed the support of numerous partners and donors who contributed through their involvement in fundraising and advocacy efforts.
The activity of the Foundation was made possible by the contributions of over 10,000 individual donors and companies such as:
Main supporter – City Insurance
Strategic partners – Kaufland, JYSK, NN, Bershka, Stradivarius, MaxBet, Bertus Distribution, PEPCO, Alliance Healthcare, Association of Real Estate Investors, Arval, Fondation Solidarité Société Générale, Holcim, Digi24.
Donations structure and income sources for the foundation in 2019:
International funds: 7.835.159 lei
In-country funds: 7.716.167 lei
Sponsorships from companies, foundations organisations: 6.680.873 lei
Donations in kind: 261.500 lei
Events / campaigns / donations from individuals: 753.527 lei
Diferent donations: 20.267 lei
EU funds: 2.577.597 lei