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Gradistea og House of Joy

These 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 themselves at our centers, and are living examples of the fact that it's never too late to change the course of your future.
 
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Gina

The girls at the House of Joy met Gina for the first time 6 months ago, on the same day she was released after 4 years in prison. From the time she was little, she was teased, bullied and laughed at in her small country town for being a Gypsy. She said she felt like trash and had a painful childhood. When Gina was 8, her father landed in prison and her mother put her in a state run orphanage. There, she was beaten and abused daily. Her father died 5 years later and not long after, she was raped by a man in her village. The shame and the pain made her run away to Bucharest the day after. Within a few months on the streets, she was addicted to heroin. At 15 she married and in a short time, had 3 children with this man.  Despite having 3 children, she did not change her lifestyle. She continued to steal and use heroin. One day she was caught by the police and sentenced to 4 years in prison. Her husband left her and the children were placed in an orphanage.
In jail, she met a woman who told her about the House of Joy. She prayed to God and saw this as her last chance to change her life and her future.

Today, Gina is a totally different woman than the one we met just 6 months ago. God has changed her life. She is an outstanding woman with a huge heart for the people around her. She loves to cook, write and be a joy to others. With help from the House of Joy, she is able to visit with her children and is now seeking full custody of them. We have faith that Gina will be the worlds best mom for her 3 children when she is finished with the program. She doesn't live in the past but has huge hope and faith in her future.
 

Fakulteta

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PRE-SCHOOLS IN FAKULTETA
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 government.  In...
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Acasa

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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...
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Chiselet

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Each day, over 100 Gypsy children in Chiselet receive help with their homework, transportation to and from school and a warm meal.  It is often the only meal they will have each day.  For the youngest children, there is pre-school where they begin to learn everything.  Fine motor skills, the alphabet, how to count and how to behave at school.  The youth receive guidance and help in regards to their...
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