Acasa & Deborah
Two homes for children & youth, Romania
The Childrens Home, Acasa, lies on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania. It is a large area with several houses. 3 homes where children ages 3-18 live, a house with 24 rooms, each with its own bath, where 18 years old move to when they are too old to live in the childrens homes and a daycare center for children that live in the neighborhood that need a place to get away from the chaotic, poor, alcoholic and often violent homes they live in.
Deborah lies in a city called Arad, in the north of Romania. 14 children live in this home, and the director of the home is called "mami" by the children. It is not only a nickname, but it is how the children actually think of her.
Bogdan is a 5 year old boy that came to Acasa with his 2 siblings: Catalin (6) and Irina (7), 2 years ago. The childrens father has never accepted them as his and has never met them. Their mother suddenly fell ill and left them with a neighbor so she could seek the medical treatment she needed at the hospital. The neighbor informed the authorities about the situation of the 3 children and not long after, the mother did the same. She had no place to live, no money and was told that she had to stay at the hospital for several months. She wanted her children to have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and someone to care for them. That is why the children were placed at Acasa.
The first thing you notice when you meet Bogdan is his infectious smile, his active and mischivievous personality and his beautiful laughter. It didn't take long for the specialists to see his many challenges when it came to mental health and developement due to the fact that his parents hadn't taken care of his primary needs. Children are often left home alone without food og clean clothes leaving them at a high risk for potential dangers.
Bogdan uses non-verbal communication through play, body language and facial expression. He has difficulty communicating verbally. Because he is so active and lively (and with his brother at his side) he has still been able to create good relationships to those who work at Acasa and with the other children.
Due to the help Bogdan has received at Acasa, he has had very positive developement the last 2 years. He goes to pre-school and is treated by our own psychologist. Their mother visits often and that helps his emotional and psychological balance. Despite all the misery they have been through, he is a boy that quickly claims a place in your heart with his loving and happy disposition.
Gradistea & House of Joy
These Teen Challenge Centers, one for males and one for females
wish to help men, women, boys and girls that are in different situations in their lives be free from life-controlling dependencies. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, prostitution, human trafficking, violence and crime have taken over the lives of the people we meet at these centers. The team that works there have all had a similar past, some have received help...
Pre-schools in Faculteta, Bulgaria
In a little district on the outskirts of Bulgaria's capitol, Sofia, there is a slum area called Fakulteta. There are close to 60 000 Gypsies living here that are severly segregated and discriminated against by their fellow countryman. In many ways, these people are left to fend for themselves and try to build a sustainable and healthy life without much needed financial help from the...
Frantz Johansen and his wife, Berit S.Johansen, started this work after meeting the many children living in the sewage pipes in Bucharest in 1991.
Outreach is about building relationships and trust, before you can start to help. In the beginning most of the work was on the streets, down in the sewage pipes and in the slum. You will also find us there today, with the same goal of...