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SOS Social Centres in Romania

In Romania there are currently five Social Centres for children and the local community, including those in Bucharest, Cisnadie and Hemeius.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community.  Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Romania:

SOS Social Centres around Romania: In-Depth

BucharestHappy to be supported by SOS Social Centre FSP at Bucharest, 

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

In 1998 the Association SOS Children’s Villages Romania has initiated the Family Strengthening Project, in order to respond to an obvious social need of permanently diminishing the children’s institutionalisation for „poverty” reasons. The project addresses to the children aged between 0-18, who came from poor families with high risk of being separated from their families, and takes place in the territorial area of district 1, Bucharest.

Work and Achievements:

The year 2009 represented a big development of the project by developing new activities for children and parents, raising the number of children supported, to 307. The beneficiaries of the Centre were in 2009 a total average number of 236 children and their parents, who had access to the following services: social and psychological counselling of the children and parents; informing, guiding and accompanying the families; material and financial support of the families, according to their needs; education for health of children and parents; socialization and leisure activities for children; activities to develop the social-emotional skills for children; activities to development the parental skills; professional and social insertion of the parents


Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre runs two facilities: a holiday camp for up to 30 children from all over Romania and a family strengthening programme. The family strengthening programme offers access to essential services for children’s development (eg. educational, nutritional and health support, social skills) and supports families to protect and care for their children. The programme also aims at linking families with income generating activities and offers help to improve the parents’ parenting skills. Moreover, it provides support to state schools and nurseries: They receive school material, hygienic and cleaning material and breakfast for the children.

Work and Achievements:

In recent years child protection in Romania is increasingly focused on prevention of child and family separation, taking into account the principle that the family of origin is most likely to ensure a harmonious environment and conduct to a child’s development.

Based on these needs the SOS Counselling and Support Centre for Children and Parents Cisnădie has had an important role in assisting and supporting a significant number of families going through a crisis. It avoids the separation of child and family, tries to empower parents and increases community solidarity among families and families supported by the project.

In our centre, during 2009, 243 children and 122 adults coming from 81 families have been helped. The Centre has helped parents learn how to raise children, how to find a job (how to find job ads in newspapers, how to make a resume, how to submit to an interview, how to talk on the phone) and how to take the first steps in the process of overcoming a crisis. The Centre supports children staying with loved ones, to continue school and to develop and prepare for life. They learn to paint on glass, wood or paper, to make objects of different materials, to sew, to work with needles. Children are involved in sports competitions and are rewarded according to their involvement.


Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

SOS Family Strengthening Programme Bacau started in January 2007 in Hemeius commune, Bacau County, for a number of 76 children and 26 families.

Work and Achievements:

In the year 2009 the number of beneficiaries increased and the geographical area was extended in another three communities: Saucesti for 97 children, Girleni and Racova for 104 children and Hemeius for 86 children. This growth is financially sustained by Unicef Romania. Being interested in our expertise in primary social services in the countryside, Unicef invited us to join another six organizations in a national Unicef programme.

According to the annual plan of objectives, the Centre facilitated the personal development and parental skills of the beneficiaries. Social counselling was offered for families to register children to nursery and school, convincing the families about the necessity of getting education and medical treatment. Also, the Centre helped prevent the phenomenon of discrimination of poor children in schools or nurseries, working with teachers and educators and convincing them about our continuous support. According to our services provided to support the beneficiaries, the Centre had good results: 242 children out of 289 are going to school and remain, 76 families obtained their due social rights and all the families are registered to a family doctor.

SOS Playbus- Masina CuChildren having fun with SOS Playbus, Romania Jucarii

Description of SOS Playbus:

Masina cu Jucarii was developed by SOS Children’s Village Romania as an educational alternative that promotes play activities as a means of intellectual, emotional and social development for children and youngsters.

Work and Achievements:

During this year, Masina cu Jucarii continued to show the importance of informal education that every child needs using the most simple way: games. Masina cu Jucarii brought joy and excitement for 7039 children and 2695 adults, highlighting the games as the main form of relaxation and child development.

The concept of education through play was successfully implemented in day and residential centres for children. SOS Masina cu Jucarii offered to the 1179 children in 5 residential and day centres in Bucharest a wide range of activities aimed at stimulating their creativity, improving their social competences, developing their emotional intelligence and increasing their self-esteem.

Besides these regular activities, at the beginning of the year, SOS Masina cu Jucarii organized and developed the third edition of  “Pay Attention to the Traffic!” project for a number of 447 children and 26 teachers from 3 schools of Bucharest. Targeted on second and third grade pupils, this project focused on the main traffic rules as well as on several relevant pieces of information and recommendations the children should follow in order to be safe on the street. Typically for our last school projects, our partner was The School Inspectorate of Bucharest with whose representative we have already built a mutual trust and appreciation relationship.

In April and September Masina cu Jucarii participated at the “Volunteer’s Fair” and at the ONG Fest, two events that promoted the networking between NGOs and social involvement of young adults as volunteers. It was a chance for us to be visible to willing volunteers as a project, but also as organization and we managed to raise some want to-be volunteers that later got involved in our activities.






SOS Children cares for children in our SOS Children’s Villages and SOS Youth Homes until independence.