Who is getting them
back on their feet?

An Annual Report of Hope and Homes for Children
with and about the children who have no support in 2020.

Dear reader, we especially chose the expression “getting someone back on their feet” because its meanings – “to make one stronger”, “to be independent and self-reliant”, “to have stability” (financially, emotionally), “to manage on one’s own in life” – they all talk about what we do.

For more than 4000 children and teenagers who still lived in orphanages in Romania at the end of 2020 and for another hundreds of thousands who live in extreme poverty and are on the verge of being separated from their parents, any form of stability, independence or identity does not exist.

”Many of these children talk about lack of affection and about having no sense of identity. As a result, they become disoriented adults. This is why it is essential to work on encouraging the feeling of self-worth and increasing their self-confidence.”

Ștefan Dărăbuș,
Director of Global Programmes
Hope and Homes for Children

It seems that there are less of them, but there are still a lot. Romania has made significant progress: from 100,000 children in old-type institutions (1990), to over 4000, in 2020. Nevertheless, the reform of the child protection system needs to end as soon as possible, so that no child can be ”cast adrift” by the trauma of institutionalisation.

Dear reader, for 22 years we have been working on closing down orphanages in Romania. Since 1998, we are doing our best to get vulnerable children and families back on their feet:

we increase financial stability and medical safety in marginalised families while trying to prevent the separation of children from their families;;
we increase the feelings of identity, independence, intimacy – by closing down orphanages and opening family-type homes;;
we increase the level of independence and confidence among young adults leaving state care through actions meant to integrate them socially and professionally..

Moreover, we are trying to reach as many as possible by: encouraging different ways of making a donation, through Team Hope projects, with the help of our Ambassadors and supporting companies.

Until today we managed to: maintain more than 36,000 children with their families; to close down 60 orphanages; to open 112 family-type homes; to support 2176 young adults who left the child protection system at the age of 18; to increase the competencies of more than 10,000 staff members in the child protection system by offering them professional training programmes.

2020. An unstable year unbalances families that are already tottering.

In most cases, marginalised families work as day labourers or with temporary contracts. When jobs are massively lost, they are the first ones that remain without the basic funds they need for rent, medicine, food, running water.

What needs to be done when too many children live on too little?

@Petrut Calinescu

The families’ financial stability

We offer them an anchor, providing them with the basic elements that enable them to live in a safe environment. Through Programme to prevent the separation of children from their family we make sure they have:

3 warm meals a day, medicine, clothing and footwear
a safe home – we pay the bills for a period of time
electricity, heat, running water
access to education: school supplies, internet connection etc.
ongoing psychological and vocational counselling

265 families remained together

Marin doesn’t even think of being separated from his children. They live together – parents and children – in two small, rented rooms on the outskirts of Bucharest. They have managed the best they could so far, but in 2020 it became harder and harder for Marin to find a job on a construction site.

265 families remained together

Marin doesn’t even think of being separated from his children. They live together – parents and children – in two small, rented rooms on the outskirts of Bucharest. They have managed the best they could so far, but in 2020 it became harder and harder for Marin to find a job on a construction site.

767 children remained with their families in 2020 through our Programme to prevent the separation of children from their family, thanks to our donors.

767 children remained with their families in 2020 through our Programme to prevent the separation of children from their family, thanks to our donors.

The children’s stability and emotional health.

In order to be functional adults later, children need to stay within functional families, to receive affection and have the feeling that they belong to someone, to have the security of “mine” and “a place of my own”.

If they have no family, their self-confidence and identity are seriously affected:

“The children don’t have a history of their own and often they have no photos: they don’t know what they looked like when they were little. They lack the mental landmarks based on which they can create their own personal path, as people.”

Anamaria Vid-Pop
Psychologist, Manager of the Education and Therapy Department
Hope and Homes for Children Romania

When we build the Family-Type Homes, we think about building those feelings of confidence, affection, identity.

A way of life in which you receive food only at fixed times during the day, your cupboard has a lock on it, you share a bathroom with lots and lots of other children is a type of regimen that depersonalises you.

Without any control on their own lives, without being able to make choices or to enjoy privacy, thousands of children in orphanages do not gain the social and professional skills to lead an independent life and adjust to it and from “alienated” they become “misfits”.

Together with the state we are working on closing down, one by one, old-type institutions. Then, together with the local teams, we are trying to reintegrate the children into their birth or extended families.

In 2020, the last two institutions in Suceava County were closed down. 64 children were placed back home, with their parents or grandparents.

Because those who cannot return home need a place of their own, which is much closer to the idea of home, we build family-type homes.

“I don’t say I’m going to the institution anymore, I say that I am going home.”

In 2020, we opened the door of two family-type homes and began to build another seven family-type homes in Botoșani, Bistrița-Năsăud, Bihor, Sibiu, Iași, Neamț and Bucharest.

“I don’t say I’m going to the institution anymore, I say that I am going home.”

In 2020, we opened the door of two family-type homes and began to build another seven family-type homes in Botoșani, Bistrița-Năsăud, Bihor, Sibiu, Iași, Neamț and Bucharest.

The children have a place of their own. They have desks and quietness to do their homework, they play, learn to manage household activities, to cook, they take care of the home, they talk and listen to each other and in this way they develop the feeling of belonging, of care, of having a family.

“I love it when we cook together, today we made brownies. I even got to mix the nuts into the batter. There is a sweet smell in the house, it’s really nice and quiet here, we feel really good.”

“I love it when we cook together, today we made brownies. I even got to mix the nuts into the batter. There is a sweet smell in the house, it’s really nice and quiet here, we feel really good.”

Were you independent at 18?

For the “orphans” who reached the age of 18, the path from “alienated” to “misfit” is a sure one. Without having properly developed social, professional and other skills, as well as their self-confidence, even they become convinced that they will fail and that their failure it’s only a matter of time.

Youngsters who turn 18 and need to leave the orphanages suddenly find themselves without anyone to count on, without any help, without self-confidence, without a strong identity, without the power to adapt to a society. All these “withouts” make them incapable of “managing on their own”, of having an independent life.

“There are many instances when, having exited state care, they sleep under bridges or on park benches. They are haunted by hunger, broken by the cold, it is almost impossible for them to get it together and mobilise on their own. Moreover, their live their despair alone and helpless.”


Radu Tohătan
Manager of the Social Work Department
Hope and Homes for Children Romania

Family separation later leads to separation from society. We try to avoid this through our Supported Independent Living Programme, which includes professional training sessions; psychological support and specialized counselling, accommodation between 6 months and 2 years in our transit centres; covering the necessary expenses: food, clothes, shoes, consultations and medical interventions.

In 2020 we supported 131 young adults who left the child protection system, as part of our Supported Independent Living Programme.

In 2020 we supported 131 young adults who left the child protection system, as part of our Supported Independent Living Programme.

Cristina is 22 years old and she lived most of her life in an institution. It was boxing that saved her, that gave her a meaning and the discipline she needed during adolescence, when many of the institutionalised teenagers are lost.

Cristina is now a mother and Ana is now her meaning. And boxing. Cristina says that she would never abandon her child, but for her to be able to do that she needs help.

Cristina is 22 years old and she lived most of her life in an institution. It was boxing that saved her, that gave her a meaning and the discipline she needed during adolescence, when many of the institutionalised teenagers are lost.

Cristina is now a mother and Ana is now her meaning. And boxing. Cristina says that she would never abandon her child, but for her to be able to do that she needs help.

To be SOMEONE for NOBODY’S CHILDREN

Although we have managed to help more than 60,000 children so far and the good we did returns to us tenfold in the shape of joy, there are still too many children in Romania that are at risk of being taken away from their parents, who live in orphanages or who need to leave the child protection system and integrate into society.

We need your help to reach a higher number of families and children:

SEND A SMS WITH THE WORD “HOPE” TO 8844 (2 Euros, monthly)
SEND A SMS WITH THE WORD “HOPE” TO 8864 (4 Euros, monthly)
In this way you know that every month your money goes straight to our programmes.
DONATE DIRECTLY FROM THE CARD
Access doneaza.hopeandhomes.ro and choose the amount you want to donate.
REDIRECT 3,5% OF YOUR INCOME TAX
Click or tap here and fill the form.
REDIRECT 20% OF YOUR COMPANY’S INCOME TAX OR PROFITS TAX
Click or tap here and generate the sponsorship agreement.
DONATE YOUR BIRTHDAY
Send us an email to bucuresti@hopeandhomes.ro and you will quickly receive all the details.
BE AN ATHLETE IN TEAM HOPE
Learnhere here more about Team Hope and why you should join us. You can also contribute with donations via Pago (link here) or via bank transfer, Lei account:
RO49 BRDE 250S V187 7897 2500.

Over 20 million lei invested by Hope and Homes for Children in 2020 for Romania’s most vulnerable children.

Learn about their stories here and about how we managed to keep them together, with your help, our individual and corporate donors, in a year of social and physical distancing.

Thank you, fine people, from a less than fine year!

Find out how we helped together more than 1,000 vulnerable children and young adults.

continue