Duration: the program has been continuously evolving since 2002.
In Romania there are about 7,500 children and young people with HIV. HIV is still a stigma that generates isolation for those affected and a large part of the population still fears the consequences of social contact with infected persons.
The programme started in 2002, solely for groups of HIV positive young people with disabilities who were institutionalised. In 2010, the programme was expanded to include young people with disabilities who are not HIV positive, both from institutions and in families.
The programme offers these young people the opportunity to have a natural development. Chance for Life works with them every day, with specialists and volunteers from the Foundation deploying a wide range of projects and activities to meet their needs.
Hope for Today programme consists of six projects:
- Workshop of the Future
- Training and development project for independent living skills
- Senses, Stories and Creative Knowledge
- Special Needs Children
- Special Scholarship
- I want my chance!
1. WORKSHOP OF THE FUTURE
This is a sheltered workshop, where young people come daily and make by hand decorative objects and jewelry under the guidance of a specialist.
For the young people, this activity is more than occupational therapy. In this context, they are learning a trade, learning to take responsibility for the work to be done and to comply with the rules of the job, also learning to work as part of a team. Working in the workshop is intended to provide a job or an internship adapted to their cognitive capacities and manual skills. They also receive support from the project team in the their education and professional integration.
The Future workshop operates on the principles of a social enterprise, developing income generating activities to support a social cause. Thus, the Chance for Life Foundation participates in a number of fairs and exhibitions on different occasions, showing objects made by beneficiaries. The funds collected are used to provide further opportunities for these young people to complete their studies, to own a craft and develop a set of skills that enable them to live independently and possibly to have a job in the workshop.
We invite you to view objects in the Future Workshop here.
2. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SKILLS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING the content is designed to meet the recipients’ capabilities and needs.
Thus, they are involved in activities that teach them how to maintain their personal hygiene and living space, to buy necessary goods, to cook, to wash or to use means of transport; at the same time, benefiting from guidance training and professional development of communication skills, and networking with others.
3. SENSES, KNOWLEDGE AND CREATIVE STORIES – Creative activities through play and drama therapy techniques
Working with therapy techniques through play and drama, to know their own emotions and learn to respond. Beneficiaries are encouraged to take part in various activities for conscious sensory stimulation, to regain their senses in order to be prepared to know the world around them; to release their tensions and to express their emotions. The project creative activities (drawing, painting, collage) aim to encourage creativity and self-expression, but also to improve the ability to communicate and relate to others. Stories and role play helps them to explore, from a safe distance, different behaviors, emotions and attitudes, helping to find ways of adapting frustration and anxiety, and the development of positive self-image.
4. SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
This project is aimed at young people in the orphanage we work, who are living with HIV and very severe disabilities. Therefore they cannot travel to our office to participate in activities with other young people. Experts and volunteers visit them to build the foundation and organise activities to stimulate their senses and skills development.
5. SPECIAL TUITION tailored to individual needs
Since 2004, a team of Chance for Life Foundation professors began a school programme tailored to the needs of young people, at that time children.
Now they have graduated from the School of Arts and Crafts.
Next, we support young people who need to receive tuition adapted to their needs.
6. I WANT MY CHANCE!
The services offered within this project are guidance, counselling, training and labor market integration.
Thus, the young people participate in several activities:
1. Skills development courses for computer work – as a prerequisite for adaptation to current conditions in the labour market; young people improve their skills working on computer
2. Training courses – the young people can choose to follow training courses in various fields, according to their interests and abilities
3. Financial education – young people benefit from financial education sessions related to the professional status of their planning and budget management, also information about saving and the use of banking products (cards, bank deposits, etc)
Along with the counselling process and finalising their career and professional plans, the young people are further assisted in the identification of a job according to their interests, training and previous experience. In parallel, the young people take part in preparing for employment sessions (CV, letter of intent, recommendations, thank you letters as well as preparing for an interview). After gaining employment, they benefit from support services in pre-employment to help them with fitting into their new job.
7. OTHER SERVICES
Help for medical interventions
Getting identification for young people
Tours and national and international youth exchanges
Birthday parties and for other special occasions in their life
Material support for school supplies, necessary books for study, clothes and other necessary items for young people
The programme is sustained by United Way România Foundation.
If you wish to donate any amount from 5 RON , this can be done directly, irrespective of the bank where you have a bank card. You can do it now by pressing down!
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The Testimony of Volunteer – Ana Maria Tasica- Volunteer since September 2011
„I think that, the HIV positive persons and other categories of beneficiaries don’t have to be neglected, from this comes the desire to work with these people, teaching them to have an independent life without being reliant on any institution. I wish to invest time in these young people for them to not feel discriminated against and to have an independet life. I wish, through this project, to value them and for them to be aware that they can be capable of having an independent life. I strongly believe that these young people need a chance from us. I can count myself fortunate to be amongst the first who has had the opportunity to provide them with a chance to develop and integrate in society, the chance to have a normal life appropriate to their age.”