Carl von Linde Foundation is the first one that joins the call launched by Hope and Homes for Children this fall, as part of the “Price of Doing Good” campaign, with a 220,000 Euros sponsorship. With support from the new strategic partner, Hope and Homes for Children continues the de-institutionalisation process implemented at national level and will build the first family-type home in Brașov County. The “Price of Doing Good” campaign was launched in the middle of October, with the mesasage: as we are making all efforts to remove from institutions more than 4,800 children who are still institutionalised, it is important that others do not take their place, as extreme poverty gradually separates children from their parents until the separation becomes permanent. The appeal is directed both towards corporations and towards individual donors.
During this stage, Hope and Homes for Children will have built the first family-type home by the end of 2021. At the same time, Hope and Homes for Children will identify solutions to build two more family-type homes needed for the closure of “Speranța” Institution for Children with Severe Disabilities, part of the “Măgura” Complex of Services, Codlea.
10 children and young adults with severe special needs from “Speranța” Institution will move into the first family-type home built with the help from the Carl von Linde Foundation. At the moment, there are 35 children and young adults with severe special needs living in this institution, aged between 0 and 18 years. Currently, there are 8 institutions in Brașov County, housing a total of 235 children. By 2027 Hope and Homes for Children aims to close down all the orphanages in Romania, in partnership with the local authorities.
The land on which the family-type home is to be built will be provided by the Brașov County Council and the Brașov Child Protection Department.
“We decided to respond to the call made by Hope and Homes for Children because it gives us the opportunity to have a significant impact in an area where change has long been overdue – sustainable de-institutionalization. We are glad that we can join the efforts of previous and future partners, as well as those of public institutions that support this approach.” said the representatives of Carl von Linde Foundation.
10-12 children live in family-type homes, in an environment as close as possible to a family, receiving care, education, emotional support and counseling for the development of independent living skills and, where possible, preparation for their social and professional integration.
“Closing an institution is an act of social responsibility towards our children. We always start by getting to know the children in the institution we are going to close and the specialists from Hope and Homes for Children individually assess the needs and housing alternatives of each child who is to move out of the institution. If some children can return to their birth families, for others it is necessary to create family-like conditions in our family-type homes, where each child has their own space, is listened to and stimulated to grow and develop their skills. Thank you to the Carl von Linde Foundation for answering our call! We welcome the beginning of a new strategic partnership, but also the chance to start the efforts to close the institutions in Brașov County.”said Ștefan Dărăbuș, Director of Global Programmes, Hope and Homes for Children
Hope and Homes for Children recently launched a social fundraising campaign – a wake-up call concerning the increasing number of children who are at risk of being separated from their parents and end up in state care, given the pandemic and the extreme poverty in which vulnerable families sink, in the absence of a job. The Foundation aims to support 1,600 children at risk and their families through integrated interventions, to keep children safe at home in the future. The video spot that accompanies the campaign talks about waiting, but also about the risk of institutionalization for children living in poverty. (link HERE). A donation platform – www.pretulbinelui.ro – supports the campaign, where those who want to help can contribute with a monthly donation.
Recently, World Bank announced that extreme poverty is increasing for the first time in the last 22 years and estimated that the effects of the pandemic will push towards extreme poverty between 88 and 115 million people during this year alone, especially in countries facing increase poverty rates, such as Romania. Given that in 2019, Romania already ranked first in the EU, according to EUROSTAT, with 1 in 3 children living at risk of poverty and social exclusion, the situation is becoming increasingly alarming: in the absence of the basics to survive – a roof over their heads, the heat in winter or at least one meal a day – children are separated from their parents and inevitably end up in foster care or in special forms of protection.
In March this year, more than 4,800 children were still institutionalized, nationwide, in 166 institutions (according to NAPCRA). Children arrive in these institutions after being abandoned at birth, because of poverty, because they were removed from abusive environments, because they were sent to special schools and thus placed in the institution for the duration of their studies or because they have severe special needs that the parents cannot cope with.
For over 20 years, Hope and Homes for Children Romania has been contributing to the closure of old-type institutions, in collaboration with local authorities and, at the same time, is implementing a complementary program to the DI program – Preventing the separation of children from the family, which stops the entry of other children in the child protection system and in institutions.