If you are having difficulties seeing the images below, please click on the link in the top right hand corner to view.
Dear <<First Name>>
September 2015 sees the 21st anniversary of the founding of our charity!
Some of the first founding volunteers had worked inside the children’s neuropsychiatric hospital in Siret since 1991. This is where our beneficiaries grew up. In September 1994, a group of volunteers got together and agreed to found our charity, School for Life Romania.
For 21 years we have honoured our commitment to our beneficiaries and you, guaranteeing that 99% of your donations go directly to our projects in Romania. This still continues today.
Looking back on all that we have achieved with your help back to the days when our students were young children.
In the early 1990’s our work begun in the neuropsychiatric hospital for children, Siret which housed approximately 510. Here children lived in salons (wards) of 20 to 30 children per room with one carer to look after them. With such sparse resources the children inevitably experienced neglect, privation and abuse and had little opportunity to get out of their cots or rooms and play. The responsive and empathetic relationship they needed from a main care giver, that other children found in their parents, impacted their healthy emotional, psychological, social and physical growth. Our work consisted of taking individual and small groups of children to a playroom in the hospital basement. Here opportunities were provided for safe exploration, play and activities to develop their self esteem, confidence and to build friendships with their peers.
Many could not walk as they had not had the opportunity to develop their muscles due to being in cots all day. Step by step we slowly walked them up and down the four flights of stairs to the playroom to help build up their strength. The majority of children needed support from another to learn how to explore, play and learn to talk such was the deprivation they had experienced through the lack of resources and adult human contact.
Several years later in September 1994 when this core group of volunteers returned to the UK, the decision was made to raise funds to employ Romanian teachers to continue the work they had started. This was the founding of the charity School for Life Romania and our Romanian partner organisation, Scoala Pentru Viata. That year the hospital director offered us the use of rooms in a portacabin on the hospital grounds for our school. We therefore moved our playrooms from the children’s hospital basement to here and our Romanian teachers started their work with them.
By 1997 we formally registered as a charity in the UK. By year 2000 we had raised enough funds to buy an old house and some land next to the children’s hospital. This was to be renovated into a dedicated school for those with special needs and to support the development of the children's life skills to counteract the impact of institutionalisation. This supported integration into the local community, growing vegetables and preparing food were some of the activities offered, as well as walks in the countryside and visits to the local shops and cafes. Many within the local community supported our work and encouraged these children.
Our growing students were regularly brought out of the hospital building to our school and for trips in the town and surrounding countryside. Later we also developed a supported housing project on the site next to the school when the UK National Lottery funded a grant to extend the premises with a gymnasium, teaching rooms and bathrooms.
These buildings have become a warm, open and homely environment for students and residents alike. As well as a central hub for ex residents of the old, now demolished children’s hospital, who continue to live in the surrounding community in social and supported housing.
The young women who live in the supported housing are now almost fully independent, have found employment and started businesses as well as helping out and guiding our students at the school. They have learnt the essential life skills they need to live outside of institution life. Learning to cook, grow vegetables, wash and interact with the local community such as going shopping and entertaining. One has since married and had her own child, living independently in the town.
With your help we have maintained and developed these projects for over 21years! Thank you so much to everyone that has tirelessly supported us, we could not have done it without you!
Thank you so much to everyone that has tirelessly supported us over the years, we could not have done it without you!
All are welcome to the next School for Life Romania AGM:
Saturday 19th September 2015 starting at 2pm
Dave and Anna Emptage, 77 Windermere Rd, Lancaster LA1 3EZ
Thank you for your support, every donation however small goes a long way!
Try www.justgiving.com/schoolforliferomania to set up your own personalised fundraising page to support the charity. You can use Easy Fundraising when buying online, for funds to be donated to School for Life. Please forward this newsletter on to anyone interested