Family Homes

Fundatia Crucea Alba has helped White Cross Mission with the legalities of purchasing small farms, employing assistants and moving children from the mental institutions in order to live a normal family village life. We intend that these farms will be the children's homes for as long as they need. All their lives if necessary.

Buying the farms is only the beginning of a lifetime commitment to those children we take out of State care. Without a regular financial safety net we would be irresponsible if we established too many homes. We do, however, believe that this is the only way forward and are desperate for substantial funding.

The annual expenditure on these homes in 2006 was £53,861.

Casa Fericita

In September 1996 we opened our first farm. Florica is the housemother ably assisted by three assistants. Six children, Bela, Attila, Andrei, Macoy, Claudia and Ana were released from the institutions to make the farm their home.

In July 2000 Macoy's parents came looking for him and after many visits with each other and confirmation that they could provide a good home for him, we were pleased when he decided that he wanted to return to his family.

His place has been taken by Lucian, the youngest of the children in our homes. Lucian goes to the local kindergarten with the neighbours' children and Florica is consulting with the primary school to see how soon after his seventh birthday he can start there. He will have every chance of a full, normal education.

With Florica's and the assistant's and with part-time handyman, Miti's, help the children have learned how to till the ground, plant and harvest crops. They have a cow, pigs, sheep, chickens and even a flock of geese.

The farmhouse is situated on a hill overlooking the Bratca valley with the mountains beyond it. It is in a beautiful location and the children are exceptionally happy.

The money to buy this house was given to us by a lady in Penryn, Cornwall and it is truly well named 'Casa Fericita' - House of Happiness.

Casa Trandafir

With money raised by the people of the Roseland Peninsular, Cornwall and a very generous anonymous donation our second house has become home to Cristi, Georgie, Florin, Andrea, Kristina and Ramona. Trandafir is on the top of a mountain in the village of Beznea and has two and a half acres of fruit trees.

Florin, in particular, likes to look after the cow. Georgie has charge of the pigs.The girls are learning traditional Romanian needlework and delight in showing off their latest achievement to all who visit.

Cristi is a real big brother to the others (even attempting to teach them English!) and you should see the way he shepherds them down the mountain to join the children from Casa Fericita at school every afternoon!

Casa David

Casa David is named in memory of the son of the couple from Maryland, USA who donated the money for its purchase. The money for the renovation also came from America, mainly from North Woods Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, which is now home to the White Cross Mission, USA.

In January 2000 it became home to Silviu, Attila, Bobi and Craciun from the children's hospital at Remeti, as well as Lucian from Bratca (Lucian has now moved to Casa Fericita where he has an easier journey to kindergarten each day).

In June of that year Gusti and Cosmin were allowed to leave the young person's institution at Cadea and have now made their home in the small apartment above the barn.

Casa Anoushka

The fund-raising efforts of Truro School in Cornwall, together with an anonymous donation, helped us to purchase Casa Anoushka, named after one of their most gifted pupils, who, sadly, died of meningitis. The house, at Suncuius, was opened in March 1999 and, because of the problems we have had attempting to obtain the land here (see The Future), the children have now moved to:

Casa Sfîntul Nicolae

In June 2000 we were allowed to bring Cornelia from Cadea to join Elemer, Gabor, Adam, Ramona, Eva and Claudia to make the family complete. She is proving to be a wonderful, calming influence on the younger children. They all look up to her and try to copy her behaviour. The housemothers have nothing but good things to say about her.

The house is in Suncuius so the children still play with the same village children but now have land of their own to grow crops, keep animals and run in freedom.

This house was purchased with money raised by the family and friends of a former volunteer and is named after their church - St Nicholas. This is particularly meaningful as the children finally moved to this house at Christmas 2000.

Casa Sfîntul Petru

Viorel, Ana-Marie, Petru, Ramona, Domnica and Erzbet moved from the children's hospital at Bratca in October 2000. At the time most of them could not talk and had no self-esteem. Within a matter of weeks they were busily exploring their new surroundings and learning to ask questions. They are now all talking and we have been told that some of them will now be allowed to go to the village school.

The money for the purchase and renovation of this, St Peter's, house was raised by a group of former volunteers. They have pledged the funds to keep this house open for as long as the children need it. They donate the money for the entire running costs (salaries, housekeeping, utility bills etc) to the White Cross Mission.

Cenalos

For many years we were concerned that we seemed to be unable to help Iosif Silyagi at Remeti. Iosif is blind, and for this reason the village school were unable to take him, although he is obviously intelligent. It seemed an unfair burden on children going into our homes, who had enough to contend with, with their own deprived backgrounds, to expect them to be able to help Iosif as well. We had approached the local authorities to request that they find him a place at a specialist school for the blind, but with all the time that was wasted - they had classified him as 'handicapped', therefore he must be so - it soon became apparent that time was running out for Iosif and he was in danger of being moved, at the age of 18, to an adult mental institution.

It was then that we came up with what was, in effect, a very simple solution. Why not find a small house, in a village not too far from the main town, where there was plenty going on, on a main road and, most importantly, flat terrain?

We found such a house in the village of Cenalos a few miles north west of Oradea.

Also at Remeti was a young lady, Rodica, who, in her late twenties, again, was in danger of being sent to an adult mental institution, her only 'handicap' being deformed legs, although up till now she had been safe enough as she seemed to have the protection of the former Director of Health for the area.

We thought that it would be beneficial to both if Rodica could train as Iosif's housekeeper and, in fact that is what is happening! Although they are not particularly good friends they do seem to be developing a symbiotic relationship where Rodica is becoming Iosif's eyes and he her legs!

White Cross Mission


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