*Geani was only five years old when his mother was so severely beaten by his father that she ended up hospitalized, with an ax wound in her leg. Both parents were alcoholic, and at a young age Geani, and his older brother Cristi, already had to fend for themselves. This is when the Child Protection Services intervened, eventually bringing the brothers to live at AMURTEL Family, where they would find a warm, healing environment to recover their childhood. Now Geani is a bright and inquisitive little boy, who loves bicycling, playing with trucks in the sandbox, reading, and caring for rabbits!
* Please note that names are changed to protect the child’s identity
Poverty and alcoholism leading to neglect
Despite the great strides of progress that Romania has made since the fall of communism, there are still 46% of all children living in poverty, especially in rural areas. Although Romania entered the EU in 2006, rural areas lag behind, even in offering basic modern infrastructures, such as running water and flush toilets. There are few local job opportunities and high rates of alcoholism and domestic violence. Child abuse and neglect are, unfortunately, far too common.
Transforming a child’s future
At AMURTEL Family Children’s Home or the Fountain of Health After School Center, we can transform the life of a child, offering new opportunities, support, and hope to those like Geani, whose early years were spent in poverty, insecurity, hunger, and violence.
- AMURTEL Family Children’s Home
- Fountain of Health After School Center
- Vistara House
- Amurtel’s Organic Farm
AMURTEL Family Children’s Home
The AMURTEL Family children’s home opened in 1995 and has since served 20 children that are now adults, many with families of their own. There is currently a new group of twelve children between 5-17 years old growing up in AMURTEL. We provide them a warm safe family-style home, nutritious food, and most importantly, loving, attentive, and experienced caregivers.
Fountain of Hope After School Center
In the same rural village, AMURTEL Romania also runs the Fountain of Hope After School Center. Here 30 schoolchildren, who are facing neglect, hunger, and early drop-out, can get the support they need to stay in school and stay in their families. At the Fountain of Hope, children receive hot meals, psycho-social counseling, educational support, and lots of fun childhood activities such as sports, arts, and music. Here we are breaking the cycle of poverty by helping children to succeed and dream higher!
Some of the children that grew up in AMURTEL Family had intellectual disabilities that make it unrealistic for them to live completely independently. As there is a lack of semi-independent residential projects for young adults with special needs and without families, AMURTEL opened a house for them next to the children’s home. Presently there are two adults with a dignified home, and the support they need to live as independently and fully as possible.
Amurtel’s Organic Farm
AMURTEL also runs an organic farm nearby, which provides fresh vegetables and fruits to the children in the two social projects, as well as for a group of consumers in Bucharest. The farm is run according to the community-supported agriculture model. We welcome volunteers to work on the farm, alongside the local women that run the project.