When the children at Remeti first arrived from Cadea six of them were sent to the village school. Unfortunately this did not last long as some of the local mothers were persuaded that all orphanage children were infected with HIV and at a meeting of the PTA a vote was taken and children were taken out of school.

The White Cross Mission requested a building in the village and renovated and equipped it to create a school for the hospital children. The Romanian staff were appointed and paid for bt the Department for the Handicapped and four classes were created. The White Cross has continued to maintain the building and send supplies but has not liked to interfere with the running of the school, which in 1995 , was taken over by the Education Department. The headmistress of the village school is now in charge and a good rapport has been built up with the White Cross.

At Bratca the children have always been allowed into the village school as soon as they prove themselves ready. In addition morning classes are held in basement rooms. They quality of teaching is good and progress made by the children is obvious.

When the children first move to one of our family homes we employ a teacher to visit them each day until the time comes when they are ready to attend local schools. The children of Casa Fericita and Casa Trandafir, which are situated on top of hills at either side of the valley, attend the village school in Beznea. As they fill a classroom between them we employ the school teacher to stay on at the end of the school day (which finishes at one o'clock) to teach the children . They love to learn. All of them can read and write.

At the other houses the teachers continue to come in for two hours a day. Although we have recently been informed that some of the children from Casa Sfîntul Petru will soon be attending the local kindergarten.

We were able to get Lucian out of the institutions in the nick of time. He is the only one of our children who has started kindergarten at the same age as the other children in the village. He will now have every opportunity that the others did not have. There is no reason why Lucian should not continue his education with his peers.

The Social & Developmental Programme

In October 2004 we introduced a programme to help our young people develop & grow socially. Each youngster has a workbook in which to record their aims and achievements and the excitement when they are given a star for achieving this fills the house for hours! For four stars a reward is given – an orange or yoyo or something equally simple. And then, twice a year they receive certificates of achievement. This programme of rewards is working well.

As the youngsters develop in confidence we hope that they will integrate more into the communities in which they live. One of our young men has already been offered a flat and a job by the local mayor. Ultimately this would be the aim for all of our young people, to live a fully independent life. And so Graham & Liz have started work on the next phase of the programme – supported living.

We recognise that this is not something that will happen over night, nor will it be possible for all of the youngsters in our care. For this reason we are also making plans to ensure that there is sufficient money to enable us to provide the long-term care that will be necessary. (Please see the Guest House Project page.)

If you would like to read more about this programme please see the Summer 2005 newsletter.

Graham & Liz have also devised a training programme for the house staff. This will lead to a recognised qualification.

Both programmes are new and innovative in child care in Romania.

White Cross Mission

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