Mario is 12 years old. He has never been to school --similar to 1/3 of Romanian disabled children. Kids like Mario are denied a public school education and opportunities to learn. Mario is curious about the world and our teachers encourage him to learn through asking questions and interactive activities.. Our day center offers life skills, education and nutritional/wellness support, especially to orphans at risk of becoming institutionalized adults or turned out to the streets at age 18.
In rural Vaslui County, where Delia's Friends Learning Center is located, 2,489 kids are registered as disabled. Only 171 receive educational support. Most are denied an education. Teachers don't have the experience or time for individualized instruction.Children growing up in foster care or in an orphanage without gaining life skills/education become adults who are institutionalized or turned to the streets. At age 18, special needs kids often end up in institutions with psychiatric patients.
Each of the 25 children attending Delia's Friends Learning Center benefits from individualized teaching and a safe environment to thrive in while socializing with other kids. Through education and learning to interact with others, we will prevent children from growing up and being placed in an institution because they have no life skills/education. Our focus on nutrition and wellness provides additional support to children living at the poverty line where food insecurity is a concern.
Wherever possible, our goal is to integrate children into mainstream schooling. We estimate growing to 50 children in 2020. In 5 years, we will impact 145 children who are denied an education due to disabilities including medical, autism, intellectual, and developmental. Many also have emotional trauma. Long-term impact includes overall health and well-being.
Delia's Friends Learning Center