Casa Fericirii - Home of Happiness
In September 1998, 22 of all the HIV infected children in Cernavoda orphanage, left for the last time for their new home Casa Fericirii – Home of Happiness.
We now have 5 young handicapped HIV positive adults living in the home, with another 9 living in independent units in the town, working and supporting themselves. They have a full programme of activities each day interacting with all the beneficiaries of the charity. These young people are now in their 30’s and continue to need the care that Nightingales provides, to make sure they stay healthy and active members of the charity. They love coming to the charity daily to help out with the cleaning and spend time hanging out there with the other beneficiaries.
Tereza Community Centre
Nightingales cares as much for the community as for the people we look after. In 2017 we opened a coffee shop and play area for local families.
The coffee shop is self sufficient and provides a welcoming space used by the whole community. It is open daily to the public and provides employment for 6 of the girls from the prevention scheme,2 hours a day to go alongside their education. We run arts and crafts activities for the local community, a library for children aged 1-12, play areas for children of all ages.
Human Trafficking Prevention
Human Trafficking Prevention for Girls:
In Cernavoda, as in much of Romania a large number of girls each year are sent into prostitution or trafficked. Together with the ‘Human Trafficking Foundation’, Nightingales is mentoring young girls who are in danger of going into prostitution.
The girls have group and one-on-one mentoring, financial support and academic support so they stay in education and work for a more positive future. They are part of a social enterprise scheme, which produces and sells candles, cards and key rings.
There are 12 young girls, aged 8 to 18, being mentored to stop them going into the sex-industry and from being trafficked. There are many success stories, but it is also hard as there are still men who wish to traffic these young girls, and often these young girls feel as if prostitution is their only way to make a better life.
Human Trafficking Prevention for Young Men:
Whilst our work focused on prevention with girls we found that working with young men was having a positive effect on the problem. It was keeping them in education, getting them into employment and therefore away from the idea of trafficking girls into Western Europe. It started with a five-a-side football team in a local league, alongside which the men worked doing small amounts of DIY at the charity.
We mentor over 100 young men, providing them with the incentive to stay in education and to find jobs after education, so as to not get involved in the trafficking industry. These young men are from Cernavoda and Constanta; many have spent time in orphanages and care. The football continues to be a focal point, we have an 11-a-side team in the Romanian 4th division, where over 30 members of the scheme play in our senior and junior teams. The players also partake in volunteering in local schools and prisons, using football to teach life skills. Some of the boys are involved in a social enterprise scheme that makes wooden pens, which are sold locally in Romania.
Since the spring of 2021, we are working with a group of ten boys, from classes 0-4, to help them to learn to read and write. Without this support they would remain illiterate. This aids them to be able to continue their education and fulfil their potential.