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 1998, 24 children moved into the home and over the years 35 children have benefited from the care provided.
– Of these, 11 are now living independently, able to care for their own needs and require only moral and social support from the charity.
– As a result of their illness, 14 children have passed away surrounded by the love and comfort of their friends and surrogate family.
– Presently there are 5 young people with disabilities living in a home in Cernavoda supported by 3 members of staff.
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.
In 2016 the focus of the centre changed, in line with the needs of the community and the charity. It was turned into a coffee shop and play area for young children, which opened in January 2017. That is staffed by the beneficiaries of Nightingales, providing them with work experience, an income and a secure environment in which our disabled adults and girls at risk are able to work.
The coffee shop will has a park, built by our young men in the mentoring scheme, a ballet and dance room, a water play feature, an area for toddlers to play in, a soft play room with trampoline and bouncy castles and a seating area which allows parents to see all these areas, knowing their child is safe whilst they enjoy their coffee quietly!
The coffee shop also offers a place where our young people are able to display the items they make in order to sell them, candles, bags and wooden pens.
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.
The project started with 6 girls and currently has 16 girls.
– This group meet every day for sessions that incorporate individual counselling and discussions groups.
– They receive homework support.
– They are involved in running a social enterprise, ‘Light for Night’ that makes candles, bags and jewellery.
– They have their own football team.
– They coordinate programmes for younger children in Cernavoda.
As well as the opportunities for serious discussion on personal subjects the girls have the chance to develop other skills and enjoy themselves.
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 Nightingales runs an afterschool programme for children in classes one to four, teaching the children basic maths, Romanian and English alongside football coaching. We are also in the process of starting an eleven-a-side team which will play in national league 6 of Romania. The coaches uses the training sessions to teach life skills and build character through football. The young men are involved in the after school project and will help to mentor young men in a local prison through football.