1. The TB Rehab Centre for Children, Tirnova (Centrul ftiziopneumologic de reabilitare pentru copii “Tirnova”) is a state-run medical facility for children aged 4 to 16 who are either recovering from tuberculosis, or who are at risk of contracting the disease. At any one time there are around 200 children at the centre from different social backgrounds including disadvantaged families and children’s homes throughout Moldova. A typical stay is 4-8 months, although some children have to stay much longer – sometimes more than a year – and others are returners. IWCM found the TB Rehab Centre in an appalling state with dilapidated, damp and dangerous conditions: buildings falling apart, inadequate heating & lighting, blocked water pipes, dire sanitation and an urgent need for everything from major renovation to basic, everyday items. IWCM brought the centre to the attention of other generous donors and together we are funding a programme of building works to renovate the facilities and bring about a huge improvement in living conditions at the centre. In 2010 IWCM also bought towels, sports equipment and an electronic keyboard so that the children could get fit and have fun by playing sports, games and music.
2. Special Olympics Moldova is part of the official international Special Olympics movement and organises year round competitions and training in different sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities from the age of 8 upwards. Participating athletes have the opportunity to realise their potential, improve physical fitness and motor skills and develop greater self confidence by demonstrating courage and taking pride in their achievements. Special Olympics Moldova promotes the understanding, acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities so that they become members of society with full rights. The activities they organise give this often neglected group a precious chance to grow mentally, socially and spiritually as they discover new talents, share friendship and have great fun! As well as local and regional programmes, Special Olympics Moldova competes in the International and European Special Olympics. In 2010 the IWCM supported the national mini-football tournament for children organised as part of European Football Week and the European Summer Games in Warsaw by buying essential sports clothes for the young athletes.
For more information about the Special Olympics visit www.specialolympics.org
3. The Placement Centre for Children “Regina Pacis”offers an opportunity for social reintegration for “street children” – disadvantaged teenagers aged 12 to 18 – who have nowhere else to turn. The centre offers 24 hour shelter, usually for up to 12 months, or longer if necessary, in an environment which mimics a family home. A team of social workers, doctors, psychologists and teachers work together to give the teenagers essential life skills, a sense of security and confidence, responsibility, improved self esteem and self awareness to help them face their challenges. In 2010 the IWCM supported the work of the centre by buying essential clothes and shoes. With help from staff and IWCM members, the teenagers chose what they needed most themselves and learned to make responsible choices within a limited budget. The Placement Centre for Children “Regina Pacis” is part of the Regina Pacis Foundation, which has been active in Moldova for many years. It seeks to provide material help, moral support and social assistance to those facing difficult conditions, especially vulnerable children, victims of human trafficking and other socially “at risk” groups.
IWCM will continue to collect unwanted plastic bottle caps, which the Regina Pacis Foundation sells to a local factory where they are recycled into closures for pipes. With the money raised, the Regina Pacis Foundation provides hot lunches for 200 elderly people. 60 bottle caps = 1 loaf of bread! For more information about the Regina Pacis Foundation, including how you too can help by collecting bottle caps visit www.reginapacis.org
4. Viitoarea Generatie was set up and run by a small group of dedicated local residents and works with children and teenagers to combat human trafficking and other social problems in Cornesti and the surrounding area. They provide mentoring support and free lunches to children from disadvantaged backgrounds; teach vocational sewing skills to teenagers; teach lessons in schools to prevent social problems and to encourage social responsibility; and run small, family-style shelters for vulnerable teenagers “graduating” from local children’s homes with nowhere else to go. The teenagers benefit from a safe and secure living environment, as well as moral and practical support to help them find their own path to a better future. They grow some of their own fruit and vegetables and in July 2010, IWCM bought cows and chickens so they could learn how to care for the animals and enjoy fresh milk and eggs. As well as learning agricultural skills to help them fend for themselves in the future, they learn important life skills such as responsibility, compassion and working with others. They also learn commercial skills by selling their surplus produce at the local market to help out with their living costs.
5. Liceul Teoretic Ion Voda about 40% of the 775 children at this school in Cahul have just one, or no parents at home. Staff noticed how some children went without food for the whole day, while others snacked on unhealthy junk food. In August 2010, IWCM bought materials and equipment to renovate the ruinous school kitchen to create sanitary and efficient conditions in which to give more school children a tastier, better quality and healthier lunch. A new menu was introduced with a greater emphasis on nutritious, fresh seasonal produce. Efficiency savings will ensure that meals are more affordable and with support from local authorities, staff hope to provide more free, or subsidised lunches for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. They are also teaching the children about healthy eating as part of the curriculum and have provided information about nutrition to parents and guardians.
6. Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) is a Christian charity which runs three programmes in Moldova. The Family Placements Programme gives an opportunity for foster care and support for orphaned children; the Transitional Care Programme helps vulnerable teenagers “graduating” from children’s homes to cope with the challenges of adult life in the wider world and the Quality of Life Fund addresses pressing material, educational, social and spiritual needs in Moldova’s children’s homes. In 2010 IWCM supported CERI’s annual “Boot Drive” to provide winter boots and socks to disadvantaged children throughout Moldova. For more information about CERI, please visit www.cerikids.org