Hope and Homes for Children and PEPCO Romania announce the start of a strategic partnership by means of which the company supports the programme preventing child-family separation ran by the Foundation in Maramureș, Bistrița, Botoșani,
Suceava, Iași, Neamț, Sibiu, Bihor, Hunedoara counties and in sectors 3 and 4 in Bucharest, with an educational approach.
The partnership will run until the end of 2019 and has a value of 60.000 euro. The funds will cover the neccesary expenses allowing 110 children from the programme preventing child-family separation to have access to education, stay in school and continue their studies. By means of the funds directed towards this component in the Foundation’s programmes, these 110 children will be able to go to the schools they are enrolled at - the transport costs, the accommodation and, where applicable, the tuition fees will be covered, they will receive school supplies, computers, school books and other materials necessary for their studies, as well as clothing, shoes and personal hygiene products.
According to the National Strategy on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction, 39% of children in Romania live in poverty. They have no food and clothing, they do not go to school or kindergarden and there are days when they don’t have what to eat. This often determines the parents to put them in foster care, in orphanages, where they have food but lack affection.
Hope and Homes for Children believes that it’s in the child’s best interest to keep the family together and tries to achieve this by having a diverse approach in the assistance provided. The intervention plan is personalised and the decision is taken by specialists based on a range of particular criteria and indicators. One of the main features of the programme preventing child-family separation carried out by Hope and Homes for Children is the definition of the family as the most important agent in prevention. The Foundation organises interventions and long-term solutions tailored to the family’s needs, which help avoid the situation in which the family becomes dependent on the support received.
Whether we are talking about counseling or material support, the intervention is centred around the individual needs of each family and the decision to support its members is taken by a team of specialists (social workers, psychologists, educators) who decides which interventions are necessary in order to prevent the separation of children from their families. Among these measures there also initiatives to support children at risk of early school leaving.
The funds offered by PEPCO Romania will be directed so as to support 110 children included in the programme preventing child-family separation initiated by Hope and Homes for Children. Due to these funds and the interventions carried out throughout 2019 by specialists from Hope and Homes for Children, the children will be able to stay with their families and will start or continue their education.
The families included in the programme receive material support and counseling so as to:
gain access to different forms of education (kindergarden, school, high-school, university, vocational, courses, art courses, sports workshops etc.)
cover the transport-related costs incurred when attending such classes/courses
cover the accomodation costs and the meals when going to high-school or university
equipping the household to ensure the necessary space and conditions for learning (household articles, cleaning products, personal hygiene products)
have proper clothing at school: clothes, footwear and sports equipment
buy school supplies, computers, school books and dictionaries, instruments
“We would like to thank our partners from PEPCO Romania for deciding to join us. Because of them and other generous people who support the Hope and Homes for Children programmes, hundreds of vulnerable children will have the chance to stay with their parents, where they belong, surrounded by love and encouraged to follow their dreams. Their access to education will be eased and they will be able to pursue a career and, subsequently, to have an easier integration into society.
The investments in social protection are special because you get to work with people who, by virtue of their caracter, have a volatile behaviour. Our intentions for the families we help must be compatible with the objectives they set for themselves, and the satisfaction is much greater when you realise that the programmes initiated by our fundation are successful and that children’s lives are actually changed for the better.”– Robert Ion, Fundraising Director, Hope and Homes for Children
Between 2001 and 2018, the Foundation has worked with 3.688 families from 19 counties and Bucharest in the programme preventing child-family separation. 10.308 children were directly helped to stay with their families. During this period, the Foundation has managed, either directly or indirectly, through technical and financial assistance, to prevent the separation from the family of 31.580 children.
The programme preventing child-family separation is complementary to the process of closing down foster care centres because it is very important to avoid placing other children into institutional care and to reduce or even stop the overall placement of children in special protection facilities.
Overall, 31.580 children were helped to stay wth their families through the interventions carried out by Hope and Homes for Children and their partners.