It will be the home of 12 children coming from the Robin Hood placement centre, which is currently being closed down.
On July 12, Hope and Homes for Children, the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC) in Bucharest Sector 4 and Holcim Romania organised an event to launch the construction work on the Cavalerii small group home in Sector 4. By the end of the year, this will be the new home of 12 children coming from the Robin Hood placement centre, which is currently being closed down.
The event was attended by Gabriela Coman – President of the National Authority for Child Rights Protection and Adoption (ANPDCA), Andrei George Trocan, Sector 4 Deputy Mayor, Mihaela Ungureanu – General Director DGASPC Sector 4, Bianca Stegeran – National Deputy Director, Hope and Homes for Children, Horia Adrian - CEO Holcim România, Dragoș Bucurenci – Development Director, Hope and Homes for Children, PRO TV journalist Amalia Enache - Hope and Homes for Children Ambassador, architect Omid Ghannadi, Gianina Corondan, bloggers Lorena Buhnici, Noemi Meilamn, Cristina Ich, Laura Belecciu, as well as children from the Robin Hood placement centre.
Event participants wanted to mark the beginning of construction works symbolically, so they dug the first holes in the foundation of the future home, which will be named Cavalerii – The Knights; the name was chosen by the very children from the Robin Hood placement centre who will move in. They also wrote their names on bricks that will later on be used for the house walls, contributing in this way to the building that they cannot wait to call home.
The closing down of the Robin Hood placement centre in Bucharest Sector 4 started in early 2017, through a partnership between Hope and Homes for Children and DGASPC Sector 4. The centre then hosted 49 children: each was assessed individually by Foundation and DGASPC Sector 4 specialists in an attempt to identify the most suitable alternative for each individual child after the centre was closed down. Part of them left the centre and were integrated socially and professionally into society, others were placed under the care of a social worker or transferred to other small group homes or flats. By the end of 2018, 12 children aged 9 to 17 will move into the Cavalerii small group home built by Hope and Homes for Children and Holcim Romania, while another 12 will move into a home that will be built by the Foundation in the future.
The funds for the Cavalerii home were raised in the Build a House, Give a Home campaign run by Holcim Romania to the benefit of Hope and Homes for Children in July – September 2017. In this campaign, the cement producer directed towards the foundation the money equivalent of one kilogram of cement for each Duraditiv StructoPlus bag sold. The campaign raised 300,000 EUR which was used to build two small group homes in the process of closing down the Robin Hood placement centre in Bucharest sector 4 and Elena Doamna in Piatra Neamț, in July - September 2017.
A small group home is a type of service that provides children and young people with an environment that is as similar as possible to that in a family home. Such homes accommodate a maximum of 12 children who receive accommodation, care, education, emotional support and counselling for the development of independent life skills. In total, Hope and Homes for Children has so far built 104 small group homes and closed down 56 old type institutions (orphanages) in its 20 years of activity in Romania.
Amalia Enache, Hope and Homes for Children Ambassador — “One of the greatest concerns of any parent is to provide a home for their children. With everything that is involved in the process – love, protection, attention, but also something very concrete, namely a house. There are so many people who are postponing the moment when they become parents precisely out of frustration for not owning a house. There are so many people who are frightened that they will not have the material things that a child needs that they forget that what they do have to offer is their love! And they abandon the children. In makeshift orphanages. Since Hope and Homes for Children has taken on this role of guardian of vulnerable kids, I am sure one of their concerns is to provide these children with a true home, and it brings great joy to my heart to see one such home being built especially for them”.
Gabriela Coman, President, National Authority for Child Rights Protection and Adoption — “In the following years, the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice will address the deinstitutionalisation of children in traditional placement centres and their transition to community services as a top priority. Our objective in closing down these centres is to improve the situation of children and young people living in them. Children will be the main beneficiaries of this process, and they have to participate and be consulted, their opinions need to be heard. NGOs are valuable partners in the process of deinstitutionalisation, they bring flexibility and quality to the process. The partnership between DGASPC Sector 4 and Hope and Homes for Children to close down the Robin Hood placement centre and to build a small-group home is an answer to the needs of the children and the most suitable alternative for those who will soon move in”.
Mihaela Ungureanu, General Director, DGASPC Sector 4 — “Building these homes in partnership with Hope and Homes for Children will enable us to close down the last placement centre in Sector 4, out of the 5 that we had. Thus, we will be able to provide children with quality social services in a new environment, which in turn will enable us to have an individualised approach, centred on needs. What we manage to offer to these children today, together with our partners, is something close to family life – which is the best option for them until they can really be integrated in a family. I am saying this because, from this gesture of marking their names on the first bricks to the final interior decoration chosen by them, according to their taste, they will feel that this is indeed their home. We thank the Hope and Homes for Children team for having chosen to be our partners in this endeavour to close the final placement centre, offering children the joy of having the house they want.”
Bianca Stegeran, Deputy National Director, Hope and Homes for Children — “We thank our partners at DGASPC Sector 4 for the partnership itself and for our collaboration on closing down the Robin Hood placement centre. We thank Holcim Romania for their generosity: today, with their help, we are able to start work on the building of a new small group home. This will be the home of 12 children who will live here in the best conditions, they will be able to learn and grow in an environment that is close to family life, they will be guarded and cared for, as any child should be. With the building of this small home, we are one step closer to fulfilling our dream, to close down all orphanages in Romania up to 2026.”
Horia Adrian, CEO Holcim Romania — “We are proud to have contributed alongside our partners to the implementation of this beautiful project whereby, by the end of the year, 24 children will fulfil their dream of having a place to call home. We congratulate the mission of the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation and we will continue to support their activity, so that more and more young people can have a proper environment to learn, to develop and to become confident and independent adults in the future”.