We are pleased to share with you the story of Jims house, a house where three young adults now call a home. Share worked with these three young adults when they lived in a childrens home as part of the Bianca Project. As the time came for them to move to an adult centre, we joined forces with Love Light Romania and came up with a plan for them to move into their own home and leave behind the institutionalisation of living in a centre.
Romania is one of the poorest countries per capita in Europe. After the revolution the numbers of abandoned children remained about the same until after the financial crash in 2008 not long after Romania entered the EU. In 2011 the number of abandoned babies increased again largely, it would appear, for the same reasons as in previous decades – poverty. It is impossible for Roma families to take care of such children, for in Romania there is little or no support, particularly for children with complex needs. Many of these children live in state-ran centres, such as where the Bianca Project takes place.
Once children turn 18, they move to adult centres with many other residents. Of the three young adults now living at Jims house, Share has known and worked with the boys for ten years.
Their new home (Jim’s House) would offer them an independent lifestyle in sheltered accommodation, with care staff, in the village of Igishi Nou where the Sanctuary would be nearby. The village is about 3 miles from Medias. The residents will be helped with skills to take care of themselves and their home, which includes a garden area and chickens. They will help with shopping, cleaning and the daily care of the house. Jim’s House will be managed by Robert Rowe who is Jo’s son. It will be part of the Sanctuary programme and the young people will be able to join that community for meals and for social activities.
During summer 2019 we were able to take the young people over to see the house, they were able to meet some of the residents of the Sanctuary and get to know Robert. It is a lovely little house and we knew it would be just perfect.
Love Light Romania has been established in Transylvania since 2000. Initially working with and supporting abandoned children infected with HIV. The children lived in a unit at the hospital in Medias (known to SHARE as the Emma House). The charity also provided community services for all those infected with and affected by the virus in the locality, including towns like Medias, Targu Mures and Sighisoara.
In 2003 the Sanctuary was established as a placement centre providing a home for the existing abandoned children from the hospital, because the Emma House was closing. In 2005 a large extension was built at the Sanctuary in Igishi Nou and this allowed an increase in the number of residents, providing respite, end of life care and day care. The Sanctuary has now become a residential home for adults living with HIV and special needs. Love Light Romania also runs a community project in a small Roma Village called Jacodu.
Find out more here.
The Rev Jim Tysoe was a probation officer and then a priest, who for a time worked at Coventry Cathedral and supported the community. He took an interest in the work of Share from the early days and gave regular donations for many years. He often helped us out when the coffees were running low. Jim sadly passed away in 2017 and he had made provision in his will for Share. With this legacy we were able to think a little ‘out of the box’ as to how we could best use this amount of money wisely.
Thank you, Jim.
So, where are we now?
In October 2019 three young people were safely transferred into the care of Love Light Romania. It is worth every penny we have spent already and every penny we will have to raise in the future. To see these young people start to live a normal life for the first time in their lives is just the best!
The Trustees of Share are grateful for the support of our donors without which Share would not exist and for the amazing enthusiasm of the volunteers who make such a difference each year.
But our work is not done yet, we need supporters to ensure they live here forever.
Please consider donating here.