Valea Alunului is 30km away from Drobeta Turnu Severin. Children in Valea Alunui are raised in a traditional lifestyle with rural values. Most families do not have a regular income or employment: they are often labeled as "disorganised", meaning that the children live in single-parent families, with grandparents or other relatives. In 2010, Hands of Hope began an educational programme with a team of only 4 people. This project aims to provide educational and social support for children. All children go to school but are limited in what they could acquire with few resources and help outside the school system: Hands of Hope gives children the opportunity to open horizons and discover their individual potential while receiving help.
Corcova is a village located 35 km from Drobeta Turnu Severin. Our vision for the village is to provide educational and social activities for children attending our kids' club. The children we work with come from different families, many of them poor families and families with social problems. In many cases the children are raised by grandparents while their parents work abroad to send money home or are deceased. Hands of Hope give the children support they cannot receive at home and help develop social skills with a weekly programme: this project promises commitment and has amazing resuts.
Hands of Hope started working in Nicolae Balcescu in 2010 amongst the local village children. Every Sunday a team travels to Nicolae Balcescu and work with children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old who come from broken families prone to alcoholism and other domestic problems. Because many of the parents travel to work during the day, the children often miss school to stay home and look after younger siblings. Hands of Hope intend to support their educational development and try to help the families in many other ways to allow the children to reach their full potential.
The village of Danceu lies 40km from Drobeta Turnu Severin in the township Jiana. This projects intends to develop and deliver series of educational and social programmes to the local Roma children and young people. In 2004 Hands of Hope purchased a building in the village and in 2005 individual discussions were held with over 120 children identifying individual and community needs. Since this project began, many children have developed their competence in listening, concentration and communication and the community as a whole has changed its mentality towards education. Twice weekly volunteers travel to Danceu to work with the children in our project and now have very good relationships with all of the parents and families. Consistency over the years has been very important to the children: Hands of Hope have a proven dedication to changing the lives of these very underpriviliged and beautiful children
Our project in the village of Cerneti, situated 4km outside of Drobeta Turnu Severin, started in 2007. Cerneti, similar to Danceu, is a Roma community with many neglected problems. The purpose of this project is to reduce the risk of children failing in the school system and to improve social and educational skills. It also places great importance on moral values, with the volunteers getting involved in advising the families of these children. Over time the children also receive educational assistance and materials leading to a high level of community trust in Hands of Hope. The project is conducted through weekly meeting with children divided into groups by age, regardless of ability. The majority of these children come from very poor families where the only source of income is from the sale of waste collected from landfills.
Gura Vaii is a socially derprived area located 15km outside of Drobeta Turnu Severin. Gura Vaii families live in government-owned buildings consiting of one room apartments that around 5 people share. Many of the children live with one parent and extended family because of domestic problems. Hands of Hope volunteers first visited this village in 2007 to give children Christmas presents and became aware of the difficult circumstances in which the children live. Hands of Hope decided to start a summer project especially for the children in 2008 to bring joy and love into their tough and painful lives. The team now works with over 70 children weekly and have developed deep and significant relationships built on a foundation of trust and respect. Hands of Hope intend to eventually reach and support all of the families in Gura Vaii.
‘Bebe’ is a project in which we aim to educate young and inexperienced mothers on how to properly care for their children, and to support all mothers with necessities for all children under the age of 2 years old. Bebe intends to be a constant support system for mothers in all our projects: somewhere they can turn for advice on how to cope with motherhood and somewhere they be reassured they will receive help in emergency situations. We have a varying number of babies enrolled in the programme but seem to always have a continuous minimum of around 60 children.
Project Student aims to continue the work of the Children’s educational projects by not only encouraging the young people in our projects to continue into further education, but to aid them in doing so. One of the main ways that that help is needed is financially: progressing onto high school means leaving the villages and moving into the towns where the schools are based – this can be up to an two hours away so school accommodation is often required and this does not come for free! Many of the young people that are in Project Student are the first in their villages to stay in education so, in addition to financial support, Hands of Hope seek to help them adapt to their new roles and responsibilities and provide a caring 24/7 support network.
Many villages in and around Drobeta Turnu Severin comprise of very large and very poor families, suffering in really deprived conditions. As a project, SOS Familia seeks to help the families, especially in emergency situations, with food supplies and also with school supplies, clothes and nappies whenever possible. SOS Familia wants to help families help themselves by providing social support and encouragement. In 2008 the project was started officially following years of reaching out to families in need and today, over 30 families in six different villages are receiving assistance. In the future of the project, Hands of Hope are planning to provide practical help in terms of fixing run-down houses and providing aid for hospital bills.
SOS Familia has a lot of potential to reach families in urgent situations by recognising the signs, especially when they don’t want to speak up for themselves.