Transforming lives for good
Young people leaving state care in Romania often end up living on the streets. Growing up, they receive very little education or training in life skills and struggle to find work and somewhere to live.
The Daniel Centre offers a safe and welcoming home to these abandoned young men. With your help, they are offered hope for a better future.
Offering hope for a better future
Supporters, like you, have helped a young Romanian, through Blythswood Care’s Daniel Centre, to establish an independent lifestyle in his native country.
Learning to budget and handle money is one of the life skills taught at the Daniel Centre, and one that chimes with Cipri’s desire to improve his own situation.
He has found a job in the city of Cluj in a well-known fast food outlet. After just three days of on-the-job training, he is working for 48 hours per week, cooking and serving.
Like many of the other boys who have passed through the Daniel Centre, Cipri was brought up in Romania’s care system. He was just two when his stepfather left him at an orphanage.
At three he was placed with a foster family who gave him a stable upbringing and who continue to play an important role in his life, welcoming him back for Christmas.
“The Daniel Centre caters for the individual needs of the current generation,” says Balazs Csiszer, executive director of Blythswood Romania. “These have changed. Some kids still need intensive intervention.
Cipri already had a broad range of life skills when he joined us. We are training him to be more assertive. “He also benefits from our low-rent accommodation. This is enabling him to save money.”
Cipri’s ambition is to go to college to study computer programming. There are job opportunities in information technology in Cluj, Romania’s second city. Already he has proven himself to be a fast learner as he acquired a working knowledge of English in just six months. With your care and support, young men, like Cipri, can have the life chances that many of us take for granted.
The kitchen – that’s what Marian remembers about his first week at the Daniel Centre. Not that there was anything special about it, but it is memorable to Marian because for the first time in his life he was actually allowed to enter a kitchen.
Marian grew up in a children’s home, and for him this liberty was something new. “Now I had a lot more freedom,” said Marian “I am expected to organise my free time.” Learning how to manage new freedoms is a big part of the training offered by Blythswood Care’s Daniel Centre to young people who have been deprived of normal family relationships.
Marian identifies learning to budget and to save money as one of the most important lessons he has learned in his time at the centre. He also appreciates learning to cook. And, he acknowledges the important role played by his mentor at the Daniel Centre in encouraging him to persevere at the same job. Even after working as a tyre fitter for over three years, he still values the opportunity to meet with social worker Daniel Ciupe once a week.
“Marian is an independent kind of guy who works long hours,” says Blazs Csiszer, executive director of Blythswood Romania. “He has a positive attitude and good self-discipline. He is on a waiting list for social housing and as soon as he is offered a flat he will move on. But he knows he will always be welcome to keep in touch with us. Our door is open and we have an after-care meeting on a Friday night.”
During the summer of 2018 the accommodation at the Daniel Centre was converted to provide self-contained studio flats, giving young men, who lack family support, the opportunity to learn essential life skills in a safe environment. The renovation carried out by Go Relief, a team of volunteers from Northern Ireland, equips Blythswood’s project in Cluj, Romania, to adjust its programme to meet the needs of young people today.
With your help, we're bringing a better future to young people like Marian, all over the world. Thank you for continuing to believe in a world where every young person deserves hope and a future.
A young man who dropped out of Blythswood Care’s Daniel Centre programme after just six months decided to come back in January. And now he is learning to hold down his first proper job.
“I came back because I wanted to work,” Istvan says. To do that, he recognised that he needed the support which the Daniel Centre offers to young people leaving Romania’s care system. Daniel Centre social worker Dani Ciupe had kept in touch with Istvan through Facebook after he left. “I accepted him as a friend,” Dani says. “I told him he could come back.”
Dani explains how young people in the care of the state have money put aside for them, to which they are given access after they turn 18. “Istvan thought that because he had €2,000 he didn’t need to work. It happens with everyone in his situation. They don’t realise how hard it is to make money.”
When Istvan returned in January, Dani helped him to get a job in a supermarket. “I went with him to the interview,” he says. “It was hard because the manager had previous experience of young men in his position not staying.” Now Dani takes time each day to talk with Istvan before he goes to work and when he comes back. “He is quite shy,” he says. “I encourage him to ask questions and to learn.” In his new role, Istvan serves customers face to face, slicing meat to their requirements. He has received training from his new employer and says he likes his job.
The Daniel Centre programme encourages the young people to maintain contact with family. Istvan never knew his father and his mother died two years ago, but he does keep in touch with his step brothers in his home village, 100km from Cluj. The Daniel Centre is currently home to seven young men who lack the support that people at their stage of life normally receive from birth families. A further seven who have achieved independence are helped with low-rent tenancies and know they are welcome to drop in for encouragement and advice.
Thank you for your gifts which provide vital support and encouragement to young men who have no foundation and assistance which family relationships offer.
Showcasing some of the work we do
Shoe Box Appeal
Receiving the gift of a small box packed with presents brings such joy; we thank you for the 110,926 shoeboxes you so generously donated in 2019.
With many of the recipients living in dire poverty, this gift, not only brings a smile, but hugely impacts on their lives.
When schools close at midday, many young children have to fend for themselves. We provide a six-hour programme for children from some of the poorest households in Romania.
The children receive clothing and a weekly shower as well as nourishing meals.
Over 70,000 people in Highland have been fed through our foodbanks. Everyday people are struggling to put food on the table.
Blythswood Care provides food, care and support to people in crisis.
Providing stability and structure through wholesome, nurturing and fun activities. Many of the children attending camps come from backgrounds of extreme poverty.
A week at a summer camp is an unimaginable dream for many that you can make possible.