With the support of NN, 80 children and young people benefited from medical services and treatment and another 160 received counselling on a healthy lifestyle.

Hope and Homes for Children and NN have published the results of the Health for a Better Life programme, providing medical treatment and interventions to 80 children and young people in the Foundation’s programme and healthy lifestyle counselling to another 160 children. The programme is part of the NN and Hope and Homes for Children partnership and was implemented in the course of a year, focusing on covering the medical needs of vulnerable children: access to basic and specialised medical care and education and counselling campaign towards a better lifestyle.

The direct beneficiaries of the funds donated by NN were the institutionalised children and young people, those living in small group homes, those going to day-care centres, as well as children and mothers in the emergency reception centres and young people who have already left the system.

In 2017, the programme covered the costs for several medical needs and specialised interventions for 40 children and young people, dental treatment for 40 children and young people and counselling campaigns for 160 children and their families, from the Foundation’s abandonment prevention programme in five counties: Maramureș, Suceava, Bistrița-Năsăud, Botoșani and Iași. The programme covered the care and essential treatment for children suffering from chronic illnesses and medical interventions for deinstitutionalised young people. The programme also included trips and other leisure and social activities for special needs children in the Iași and Suceava counties. The children in Suceava travelled to Maramureș, they took a ride on the traditional steam train, participated in environmental activities and the children in Iași visited various monasteries, museums and fairs and participated in environmental activities too. All these activities were organised with support from the local authorities.

“All children must be permanently encouraged and supported to have a healthy life both physically and emotionally, as health is a key condition in their harmonious development. That is why, as part of the NN engagement in society, we aim to help vulnerable children and families and facilitate their access to basic medical care that they currently lack. We are happy that, together with Hope and Homes for Children, we can contribute to improving these children’s health and welfare, so that they might stand a chance to fulfil their potential in the future”, said Anna Grzelonska, NN Life Insurance CEO.

In most cases, families living in difficult conditions lack access to primary or specialised medical care for children, mostly due to lack of information or simply because in some areas these services to not exist. In addition, most of these families do not have the money to cover the cost of certain medical tests, treatment and interventions.

Thus, in the first six months of implementation, the Health for a Better Life programme allocated financial resources for children in families with a risk of child abandonment. With the allocated funds, 10 children in 3 families in the Bacău county, 23 children in 7 families in the Iași county and 5 children in 5 families in Maramureș were included in the Hope and Homes for Children child-family separation prevention programme.

“For one out of three Romanian children, poverty does not simply mean fewer toys, poverty means first of all poor health, which will mar his entire life. Without a dedicated programme to teach these kids to care for their health and to provide access to basic medical care, the poor children of today will be the young people who do not stand a chance in life tomorrow. The partnership with NN enables 80 young people to regain access to a better future and hope for a better life”, said Dragoș Bucurenci, Hope and Homes for Children development director.

The partnership between NN and Hope and Homes for Children started from the belief that love can heal and that affection is an important ingredient for harmonious and healthy development. In the summer of 2016, in the life insurance launch campaign, NN had a kiss donation photo booth installed in the Băneasa Shopping Mall, to raise funds for Hope and Homes for Children programmes for vulnerable children. The campaign raised the funds for the Health for a Better Life programme, which will continue in 2018.