The small town of Hemeiusi is located in Bacau County, within the Moldavian region of north-eastern Romania. Though the wider region was home to multiple industries during the 1960s and '70s, today it is one of the country's poorest areas.
Bacau is a largely agricultural county, and infrastructure is lacking. A lot of families live in poverty and more and more children are losing the care of their parents.
Stagnation sets in
Hemeiusi's poor sanitation system and lack of clean drinking water presents health risks for much of the population. A bad transport network makes the town an unappealing prospect for business. Consequently, joblessness is high, and many people have left the area to find work elsewhere.
Children left behind
A lack of working-age people has contributed to Hemeiusi's stagnation. This is particularly damaging to children, who are often left with behind in the care of elderly relatives. Often, these people are poor, and, coupled with their age, this financial hardship means they are not always able to provide the best care.
What are we doing to help?
SOS Children's Villages began working in Hemeiusi in 2006. Our focus is on ensuring families are able to take proper care of their children.
Making the community stronger
If children are to grow up healthy and happy, they need decent medical care throughout their childhood and they need a good education. Our community work brings essential services to children who would otherwise go without.
We equip families to earn and succeed by providing parents with skills training, financial help, and the means of generating their own income. This way, they can live sustainably in the long-term and achieve the dignity and stability of self-sufficiency.
Our SOS Playbus brings many of the benefits of our community work to the wider region. Visiting parks, orphanages, hospitals and tower blocks, we introduce children to novel and exciting ways to learn. Dance, handicrafts and drama are a great way for children to build up their confidence and learn about the world.
Caring for those with nothing and no one
Some children simply cannot grow up with their parents.. For many of these children, we are able to provide a loving home in our Children's Village. Here, children grow and thrive in an SOS family under the care of an SOS mother. We are there for them throughout their childhood, providing the best education and the best healthcare.
As they near independence, a place awaits them on our youth programme. This is the perfect bridge from childhood to adult life, helping young people learn about new situations and new challenges. Here, they learn to cook, manage a budget, and maintain a household - while learning new skills on vocational training or expanding their academic horizons through higher education.
Hemeiusi is not an easy place to grow up. But with our help, families can provide the best opportunities to help children flourish and succeed in later life.