The German retailer supports the programme for closing down the old-type institutions (orphanages) carried out by the Foundation in Iasi county
Kaufland Romania is the first company to respond to the call made by the Master Victor Rebengiuc and joins the efforts of the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation to close down all the old-type institutions through a financing of over 400,000 euros covering the construction of two family-type houses in the process of closing down “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre in Iasi.
Because “Time alone cannot solve everything, only people can do it.”
Hope and Homes for Children and Kaufland Romania announces the continuation of the strategic partnership through which the company supports the programme of closing down the old-type institutions (orphanages) carried out by the Foundation in Iasi county. The partnership will take place between 2020-2022 and amounts to 440,000 euros, funds that cover the construction of two family-type houses in the process of closing down the “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre in Iasi.
In the “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre, 65 children and young people live currently, some of them with special needs. Due to the financing from Kaufland Romania, two family-type houses will be built in Iasi for 24 of them.
Kaufland Romania joins the efforts of Hope and Homes for Children and takes over the message of Master Victor Rebengiuc of bringing change in the lives of the institutionalized children. The donation of over 400,000 euros will go towards the construction of two family-type houses needed to close down the “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre in Iasi, in partnership with the Hope and Homes for Children Foundation.
At country level, over 5,500 children are still institutionalized in 181 child care centres. The children get to these centres after being abandoned at birth, due to poverty, after they were removed from abusive environments, because they were sent to special schools and thus were placed in centres during their studies or because they have special severe needs that parents cannot manage.
Hope and Homes for Children started the process of closing the orphanages in Iasi county in 2014, based on the partnership concluded with DGASPC Iasi. At that time, „Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre was the largest foster care centre in the country. Since starting to operate in Iasi county, the Foundation, in partnership with DGASPC Iasi, shut down the Institutional Care Centre within “Sfantul Spiridon” Social Services Complex in Targu Frumos (2019) and “Veniamin Costache” Institutional Care Centre (in 2018).
Iasi is the county where there are most of the old-type institutions and most children in the child care system in Romania today. In 1997, there were 35 institutional care centres in the county, where more than 5,000 children were institutionalized. In 2017, the number of children in institutions and family apartments reached 950, while 1,450 children were in foster care. After the shutdown of the “Veniamin Costache” Institutional Care Centre and the institutional care centre within “Sfantul Spiridon” Social Services Complex in Targu Frumos, there are now 9 orphanages in the county with over 450 children.
Hope and Homes for Children Foundation is in an advanced process of closing down of “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre din Iasi, intending to complete it by the end of 2022.
The funds provided by Kaufland Romania will be channelled to the development of two of the houses necessary for closing down “Ion Holban” Institutional Care Centre and moving 24 children and young people in the new homes by the end of 2022.
The family homes accommodate 10-12 children, who receive care, education, emotional support and counselling for developing independent living skills and, where possible, training for social and professional integration. Above all, children live in an environment as close to that of a family as possible.
“A house is more than four walls and a roof; a house accommodates the hopes, dreams, good times, but also difficult times of those who live in it. All the elements that make a house a home. We, at Kaufland Romania, believe in the mission of Hope and Homes for Children to provide children in orphanages with a home, and we continue the strategic partnership started 3 years ago with the belief that involvement makes the difference, ” said Anna Katharina Scheidereiter, CSR Manager Kaufland Romania.
Hope and Homes for Children aims to close down all old-type institutions in Romania and eliminate institutionalization as a form of child protection. So far, Hope and Homes for Children has invested over 35 million euros in the reform of the child protection system, closing down old-type institutions, reintegrating children into the natural or extended family, placing them in the care of professional specialist carers or moving them into family homes. Another important, complementary programme to the deinstitutionalization programme is the prevention of the separation of the child from the family, through which the entry of other children into the protection system and orphanages is stopped.
“We are glad every time our message reaches the hearts of generous people who decide to join us and support our work to close down the orphanages in Romania. Because, as the message sent by Master Victor Rebengiuc says, time alone cannot change anything. The people have the power to act and to make the change that is needed for things to change for the better. Thank you, Kaufland Romania, because, through the contribution offered, more children will have the chance to replace living in an impersonal and soulless institution, where they lack the care and the attention they deserve, with life in a family-type home. There, they will feel surrounded by love and live in an environment as close to that of a family as possible. For 21 years, our work has changed for the better the lives of more than 61,000 children – and that is no small thing. We want to eliminate the institutionalization of children in our country by 2027 and for this we are grateful to our partners who give us their confidence, but also the resources to turn this dream into reality,” said Stefan Darabus, Regional Manager, Central and Southern Europe, Hope and Homes for Children