The Farm of Hope is based in Iasi, Romania and is one of the longest running projects that we support.
The original concept was to have a property outside of the main town where boys that had left the orphanages and were sleeping rough in railway stations and living underground could come and find a home. When a young person becomes 18 they have to leave the place where they have lived all their lives and stand on their own two feet. Very few have any relations and if they do they are generally of little support. The Farm of Hope is a place that boys hear about and are encouraged to come to and seek help, sanctuary, food, warmth, love and a place to belong. In return they work on the Farm and learn valuable skills in agriculture and building to enable them to have a trade for when they eventually move on from the Farm.
As boys leave, new ones arrive and there is generally a core of around 6-8 boys and young men at any one time. The Farm of Hope regularly sends us a report of what is happening on the Farm and below is the latest one. We do seek sponsorship for boys who come and live on the Farm of £25 a month to help with their daily living and support. If you are interested in learning more about this then please contact us.
August 2015 – March 2016
FARM of HOPE IASI ROMANIA
Psychologist: Adi Petraru Social worker: Samuel Ghica
For additional information and pictures follow
General objective of the project:
- To provide accommodation and food for young people with difficult background and to help them prepare for independent life
Specific objectives of the project:
- To increase daily living conditions for young people that have no opportunities
- To help them gain abilities for living an independent life
- To educate and train young people for finding jobs
At the farm, now live six young men. Rudi, the seventh one, comes time to time. He lives and works in town. He wants to live on his own and decided to face life. Now he works and pays rent. He says his life is difficult, but wants to try living it on his own. His dream is to settle down and to have a family. He was in charge with most of the construction activities at the farm. He has many skills and has great chances to live independent life.
The other boys are:
1. Trofin Ion
2. Baicu Ionut
3. Tache Marin
4. Rosu Ionut-Ciprian
5. Petrica Anton (new entry)
6. Costel Ciuculet (new entry)
He is very obedient and disciplined. We are very glad for his progresses during last seven years when he lived in the farm. His desire is to work hard in the animals care. His eyes condition is stable now. He feels much better. He had serious problems. He is one of the boys that could start to live independent life, sometime in the future.
Ionut Baicu is 25 and has been living at Farm of Hope for five years. He has been diagnosed with medium mental retardation. When he came he could not even know how to eat. He talked with difficulties and did not want anybody near him.
Even if it was very hard for him at the beginning, he managed to learn how to work and to be responsible with what was given to him to do. He started to read and to gain self esteem. His passions are music and cars. He loves to sing and learns how to do it. Now he can play an English song. He made progresses in communication. We were gladly surprised to notice that he started a discussion with some friends that were in visit. This was entirely his choice. We are encouraged with his progress and evolution, but we have to continue with molding his personality and behavior.
Tache is 36 and has been at Farm of Hope for 10 years. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia several years ago. Before coming to our foundation he spent 2 years in the streets. He slept in railway station and starved a lot of times. The only way for providing food was begging, but for some days this was not providing the food. Because of that time he has now ulcer and needs strict diet. The physical pain prevents him many times from working in the farm. He takes daily treatment.
He has changed a lot during these years, despite his past and medical problems. He is very careful with his work. Every task he fulfils till the end. He is also the one that is doing the shopping many times because the staff trusts him very much. He is very involved with watering the plants and caring for vegetables.
Even if he is an introvert, he learnt how to communicate with others and now even has good friend. When he is upset he goes by himself and does not want to talk to nobody. This used to last for days or even for weeks. Now he learnt how to solve these conflicts in shorter periods of time.
Even if many things have been accomplished, this man is not yet capable of living an independent life. Even if many steps have been made, the damage that he acquired in childhood was at very high level.
Rosu Ionut Ciprian
Ionut is 34 and has been with us for 15 years. The Farm is for him a dream come true – a place where to work and to live a quiet life. He wanted to have a life without abuses and far away from material and emotional problems that he was use to, when he was a child. He wanted to forget the street and to be close to people that respect him and encourage him for who he is.
Intellectually he has the most severe problems at the farm. He has a low IQ and behavior disorder. Even this is the diagnosis; Ionut is one of the hardest working young people. He always fulfils his tasks and many times works without being told. He loves agriculture and is very happy anytime someone praises him for his work.
He has back problems and leg pains. This medical situation was provoked in childhood. He was operated for saving the leg. The fact that he always limps with one leg made him the target of the other children mocking. He suffers very much because of this.
His greatest wish is to continue this wonderful life he found at the farm. He wants to work and to enjoy the results of his activities in agriculture.
Petrica Anton is 26. He was found sleeping in the streets. He is very sick, being diabetic. He cannot see with the left eye and can use only 30% of the right one. He walks with difficulty. He needs to live in the town for being very close to emergency hospital, in case his condition gets worse. We try now to find a solution for paying rent for him in Iasi.
We received a new young man, Costel Ciuculet who is 31. He performed daily labor for having what to eat. He slept where he could. His situation is desperate. He came and asked for help. His physical condition is very severe. He has teeth problems, which must be resolved. So far he did a good job and integrated well. He is hard working and obedient.
Florin Durai, after one year of staying with us, decided to move to Iasi for being close to his family. Last time when he called he said that he found accommodation and now was looking for a job. Even if he is aware that it will be very difficult for him away from the farm, he said that family is very important for him and he prefers to stay with his own.
The life at the farm is very important now for all the beneficiaries. We had so far over 50 boys that have been in our farm. Some of the boys that have been at the farm now live good independent life. We want to provide good services for each one, instead of having high number of beneficiaries with superficial services. Living an independent life is very difficult. Even children that lived in regular families find this task overwhelming.
None of these boys had a family on their side. They did not have a father figure that will encourage them to become good members of society. They lived in orphanages, where the rules are totally different from the family and the behavior acquired is not always one to be proud of.
Here, at Farm of Hope they found a place where the desperation ended. They did not have where to sleep or eat. They had nothing and nobody to care for them. Letting them out on the streets, without serious services provided, is like putting them in the same position as when they came in the first day. Most of their class-mates from the orphanages ended up as people that have no future, or even worse, as people that are regularly clients of jails.
We try to help them at all levels:
- Psychological, self confidence gaining
- Abilities, skills for independent life, training in fields of agriculture,
- Socialization (most of them do not know what close friend means. All close ones in their life were people that took advantage of them),
- Spiritual help,
Real integration is the result we want for all of them. Starting up a new life, independent life is what can be the best for these boys. Unfortunately there are some of them for which this is just a dream, almost impossible to achieve. If the farm would close, they would go back to street, or to jail.
The life at the farm is for them the closest thing to family they experienced. All the friends they found here and all daily activities are important to them. Cognitive and emotional development is increasing for all of them. Even if the results seam small, for some of them they are huge changes.
i. Psychological therapy sessions – a psychologist is available for all difficult situations of the beneficiaries. They are helped to overcome all problems.
ii. Occupational therapy – It is an activity for all seasons. All beneficiaries are involved. All the boy form small groups that are involved in specific activities.
iii. Socialization – The winter holidays represent one of the moments when the boys relate to people outside the farm. Any special day of birth day is carefully prepared and celebrated.
iv. Education – in this period this is the most developed activity. The boys have a lot of time to study reading, writing, calculating … These represent daily life tools. The ongoing development in these fields helps them become more confident and happy.
v. Moral education – the daily behavior is an important aspect of every man life. Guiding them to moral values - goodness, respect, and mercy – is one of the most important goals. Every small conflict is approached in such a manner that every one will understand t hat having good relations with everyone is very important. Some of the boys had violent behavior at beginning, but now are integrated in the group.
All beneficiaries were equally involved in all activities.