Casa Fericirii – Home of Happiness
The earliest project that Nightingales initiated and was designed to provide a home for the HIV and AIDs affected children who were residing in the town’s state-run orphanage. The ‘Home of Happiness’ was built to ensure that these children not only received the necessary medical support but the love and care that they had never previously experienced.
In September 1998, 22; all the HIV infected children in Cernavoda orphanage, left for the last time for their new home.
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 30 years old 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
In 2002, a London based volunteer, Miki Jablkowska, founder of the charity 2 Wheel Appeal, raised the money to complete construction on a community centre for both the charity and the town of Cernavoda. In 2004, the Tereza Community Centre was opened.
From 2004 till 2015 the focus of the community centre was sports and fitness. It helped to provide the young people in the town a place to spend their free time in a productive manner.
Nightingales cares as much for the people we look after as the community in which they are from. In 2017 we opened a coffee shop and play area for local families.
The coffee shop is self sufficient and provides a place 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
This project has been set up to try to combat the critical levels of young men and women getting involved in prostitution and trafficking, with the intention of providing them with viable alternatives to earning money and engaging in society.
For the girls
Nightingales works with these young girls to give them opportunities and experiences that will hopefully lead to them maintaining their education and pursuing career options that will provide them with a healthy and stable future.
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.
Currently: 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.
For the boys
The programme with the girls deemed to be at risk has led us to recognise the need to provide a similar programme for the young men involved in trafficking the girls. The majority of these young men have dropped out of school without gaining their High School Certificate and consequently have been drawn into the cycle of trafficking.
In September 2012, Nightingales Children’s Project started a football team for those young men that lacked direction, those who had dropped out of school, were drug users or were potentially getting drawn into the sex trade. The only stipulation to being allowed to train and play was a commitment to attending and behaving at school in the hope that they would re-engage in education and get the opportunity to gain their High School certificate.
Currently: We mentor to 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.