The Pavel family consists of a mother and eight children and entered the program to prevent child separation performed by Hope and Homes for Children in Sibiu after asking for help from the organization. Although the family lived in very straitened circumstances, local authorities refused to provide the necessary support, trying to make them move out of the village. Basically, the authorities knew about them and their difficult situation, but didn’t interfere with anything (guaranteed minimum income, heating assistance etc.). In these circumstances, some of the children left school and went working in the village or raised sheep in order to receive some money and help their family to survive.
At the first visit of the social worker from Hope and Homes for Children, children were waiting to eat a nettles broth, cooked on a blackboard in front of the house. The mother said they were left without electricity because they don’t have money to pay old bills. In winter, children studied using flashlights or candles. They had no clothes, no food, no wood, so the children were about to get into the special protection.
After the Pavel family joined the program to prevent child separation from family and the intervention of Hope and Homes for Children began, five children started going to school, they got a stove for cooking and heating, food, footwear, clothing, school supplies, toys, hygiene products. Children have now identity papers and receive grant support and the mother has guaranteed minimum income. Also, the house was again connected to the electricity system and there have been made some works inside to improve living conditions. The local authorities’ attitude has also changed with the election of a new mayor and a local council. Family needs further help, but sees an improvement in their situation. Children’s life is more beautiful and easier now and they can dedicate themselves to school and kindergarten.
The Bota family consists of the two parents and the nine children, aged between one and eight. The mother stays at home with the children and the father is a blacksmith. People in the village say that the two parents are diligent and do not back off when it comes to working. Nevertheless, the parents could not cover the basic needs of their children and provide for them.
In 2015, the local authorities referred the Biro family to the Child Protection Directorate (CPD) in Sibiu, asking for the children to be institutionalized, as they were “malnourished, with body weight and motor development that did not correspond to their age”, according to the family doctor who monitored the family.
The first visit of the Hope and Homes for Children social worker revealed a family which could not handle the current situation, with no support from the extended family: nine malnourished children with almost no clothes, a father who worked as a blacksmith or did anything he was asked to do, a mother who cooked and washed clothes all day long and was over her head in house chores and taking care of children.
The intervention of Hope and Homes for Children started with the basic needs: food, clothing and footwear. The mother received basic food and a fridge to keep the food for a longer period of time, as well as a washing machine (which she learned how to use). The children received footwear and clothes, as well as a bike which brought lots of smiles on their faces. The family also received seeds to plant in the backyard (vegetables) and a cow, which would provide milk for the family. The father worked and prepared the stable for the cow, while the mother prepared the garden. Slowly, the family improved their living conditions and the children started to eat well and to gain weight. They also started to attend school or kindergarten, according to their age. The Hope and Homes for Children social worker in charge of the family says that when children received toys and school supplies, they each chose some things and put them aside. Some of the boys chose foot balls and said they wanted to become football players, another started to cry when receiving pencils, saying that he loved to draw and did not have pencils up to now. For them, those pencils were a symbol of richness, that they did not have access up to that point and that they wanted so much.
The 11 members of the Bota family live in a home they built themselves, but the house also needed improvement in order to be called home. Hope and Homes for Children donated the construction materials and the father started to do the plastering work, to install the hardwood floors and other renovation works. The door and window frames were also replaced with the help of Hope and Homes for Children and the father was helped in some of the construction works by the family members (extended family), thus the relation within the family got better.
There are still renovation works to be done for the home, especially for the interior finishing and the support of Hope and Homes for Children for this family will continue. The professionals of the organization monitor the family on a permanent basis, alongside the case manager of the CPD and it is clear that the parents would like to keep their children with them.The children are also very happy about being with their parents.