Every day, countless children are subject to dangerous and inhumane living conditions in orphanages. Today over eight million children live in orphanages worldwide, 80% who have a living parent but were abandoned due to poverty, disability, or discrimination.
Hope and Homes for Children has worked to support orphaned children since the launch of its deinstitutionalization strategy in 2013, transforming the lives of one million children by closing 105 institutions across nine countries.
The History of Hope & Homes for Children
In 1994 retired British Army officer Mark Cook read about a group of children struggling in an orphanage based in Sarajevo during the height of the Bosnian War. Within just a few weeks, Mark and his wife, Caroline, were on their way to the city to help the children.
When they first arrived at the Bjelave orphanage, the building was in a terrible state, and the children had to fend for themselves in a city reduced to rubble. Mark and Caroline’s original plan was to rebuild the orphanages but could see the children were in dire need of food, a roof over their heads, a safe place to sleep, and schooling.
Hope & Homes for Children
Hope and Homes for Children’s mission is to deinstitutionalize the orphanage system and provide children with a roof to live under and the love of a family to help them flourish. The organization aims to reform the child protection systems by closing down traditional institutes and transition the children into new family homes.
The NGO provides parents with customized support for their unique situation and avoids separating children and parents at all costs.
The organization aims to transition children and young adults from leaving traditional institutes by welcoming them with open arms into family homes. These facilities provide education and training to empower the children with confidence and hope for the future.
Think Human Foundation and Hope and Homes for Children Romania
Hope & Homes for Children opened in Romania in 1998, when over 100,000 children lived in orphanages.
Today, over 90,000 children are safe in family homes. Together with the Romanian government, Hope and Homes’ goal is to rescue 7,200 children and close the remaining 163 institutions by 2026.
Raluca Leonte, former CEO of Webhelp Romania, was actively involved in a social integration program for children departing from the association. In 2018, she introduced the Hope & Homes for Children project to Webhelp’s foundation, SHARED.
Since then, around twenty young adults have received support through this program, and Webhelpers have launched many new initiatives.
In December 2020, Think Human Foundation teamed up with SHARED to support Hope and Homes for Children.
The program has evolved to offer help to families who do not have access to a computer or internet, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2022, Think Human Foundation decided to extend its support to a new 3-year project. The aim is to improve the quality of life for 15 vulnerable youngsters that grew up in orphanages.
We want to help them by cultivating their existing skills, increasing educational opportunities and facilitating access to formal and non-formal education programs.