Ivan is a young man of 17 years from Cluj County. His life has been pretty tough so far, despite the fact that he lives with his family. His father lost his job and started drinking, his mother followed him on this path, the family income has declined, and Ivan felt overwhelmed by the hardships that the family went through. His mother would no longer feed him, wash his clothes, and his father would no longer pay him any attention and would not help out with the costs to attend high school. Ivan's brother would not help him much either, being busy to develop his own business in construction.

Under these circumstances, Ivan tried to help himself: he worked afternoons at a neighbor’s house to cover the cost of school transport, took care of the household by himself, and when needed he requested the help of a neighbor to assist him with the food. It was the neighbor who advised him to seek the help of Hope and Homes for Children Foundation.

With the support of the organization, Ivan arranged a room in the attic, where he lives alone and can concentrate better on school projects. The project of planning his room has helped improving the relationship with his brother, the two making the necessary work together and spending more time together. Hope and Homes for Children helped Ivan buy the necessary furniture, a computer and a television, as well as food. Now he learns to cook and to better run the household alone. All these are measures that will help him to not go through what happened before, but also an important step towards independence from parents in case problems could resurface.

Also, the young boy and his parents received psychological counseling from the organization's specialists, and the parents began to realize that the young boy is more affected by what happens around him and started help him. The father managed to find a job and slowly their material situation has become more stable and the family managed to overcome financial difficulties.

Ivan's story could have had a sad ending, but with the help of Hope and Homes for Children, he wrote a different ending for himself. We will continue to keep in touch and offer the necessary help so that, as a teenager, he will have a life as beautiful and carefree as possible.


Text by Florina Crețar, social worker