Colours of Childhood

Partner: SOS Children’s Villages Romania
Location: Cisnădie, Sibiu County, Roșia, Chirpăr and Vurpăr communes

Project at a glance:

Helping families in need in the Roșia, Chirpăr and Vurpăr communes, Sibiu county, in order to prevent family abandonment and school dropout and to identify solutions for 200 children and young people to grow up in a conducive environment for emotional and physical development.

Why this project is needed

Extreme poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, divorce, lack of parental education and insufficient parenting skills are the most common reasons that lead to family breakdown and institutionalization of children.

The situation is worse in rural areas where living conditions are harsh and shortcomings are more pronounced – be it the lack of education and employment, or the lack of preventive services and social protection.

In the Rosia, Chirpăr and Vurpăr localities from the Sibiu county, there are families with children living in dire conditions, in unsuitable, crowded buildings, where several generations live in the same space. For the breadwinners in these families it is hard or even impossible to find a stable job that would bring a decent income, because of the lack of training, and of the distance to potential employers in Sibiu, Agnita or Mediaș.

Due to the low level of education, parents do not value the quality of family relationships, do not realize how devastating can be the separation of the child from the family, what needs (emotional, social) the children have or what role they play as parents in training the children for life.

To meet these challenges, the Cisnădie SOS Counselling and Support Centre for Children and Parents provides support to a significant number of families who are going through a crisis.

The SOS Centre aims to prevent child separation from family, to make parents accountable for the growth and care of children, to increase the autonomy of the families and the solidarity among families in the community.

How we help

The Vodafone Foundation is funding the project ”Colours of Childhood” conducted by the Cisnădie SOS Counselling and Support Centre for Children and Parents, for 200 children and young people (aged 0 to 18) to be helped through various activities and social services, to remain with their families, to continue their schooling, to have access to healthcare services, to improve their living conditions and to prepare themselves for the future.

The centre also helps parents to develop their parenting skills, to practice their social rights, to understand the importance of education of children, to find a job to overcome the crisis and to afterwards help themselves.

Children and parents receive material support in the form of food coupons, school supplies and reimbursed medication and medical services (tests, specialist consultations, eyeglasses, emergency dental care)

The project enjoys the support of local municipalities, which provide the locations needed to conduct the activities of the project.

The activities of the ”Colours of childhood” project include:

• Individual social and vocational counselling for adults;
• Creative, leisure and socialization activities for children and families
• Group meetings with school children and young people, in which non-formal education methods are applied, tackling different issues, depending on the age of the participants: social rights and obligations of children and adolescents, behaviour in family and society, financial education, healthy eating, sex education, boosting self-esteem, verbal and nonverbal communication, respect for others.
• The trip of awarded pupils, activity designed to motivate children to do well in school
• Group meetings with parents in the ”Parents’ Club” – on topics such as financial education, parent-child communication, family communication, emotional growth and development of children.
The Cisnădie SOS Counselling and Support Centre for Children and Parents expects, at the end of this project, for 95% of the children to remain with their family, 80% of pre-schoolers/pupils and young people to attend kindergarten and school, 80% of children in school not to repeat the grade.