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International Bill of Human Rights represents the reference basis of the Standard Regulations of the United Nations on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and stipulates that: "The principle of equal rights means that the requirements/the needs of each child are equally important; that these needs should be the basis for planning the society and that all resources must be employed in such way that every child is given the equal opportunity of participation."

In Romania, according to statistics of ANPDC there are 70,647 children with disabilities; of these, approximately 70% are children with severe degree of disability!!! ANPDC official statistics show that 45% of disabled children do not attend any form of education!!

In the north-eastern region, the region where Star of Hope Romania Foundation operates, there are over 10,000 children with disabilities (1st place among regions of the country).

In Iaşi County, according to the statistical bulletin on the second trimesterof 2014, there are 2620 children with disabilities.

In reality, the number of children with disabilities is much higher. "A child is registered as disabled and is granted special rights only ifChild Protection Commission (CPC) issues a certificate of assignment to a category of persons with disabilities. This certificate must be renewed, and many children do not receive assistance in renewal. This may partly explain why the number of children with disabilities can only be estimated. (...) In some counties, children with minor disabilities are included in the reporting system, and in others they are not recorded at all. On the other hand, most children come here (...) only when they reach school age, in order to be sent to special schools. It rarely happens that a child with disabilities under the age of 7 to come (…) and therefore, they are often left out of official statistics."(Children on the edge of hope - An analysis focused on the situationof vulnerable, excluded and discriminated children in Romania, UNICEF Romania, 2006). The same thing is affirmed by Save the Children Romania: "Most probably, the number of children with disabilities is much higher, but for many families, especially in rural areas, having a disabled child is a source of shame, which is why the child is not declared as suffering from a disability. Also, thereduced accessto evaluation services is due to the large distance between home and headquarters of the service or lack of information about the special rights and services available ..."

Dominant types of disabilities are: somatic, associate, mental or physical.

There are no exact statistics on the number of children with ASD or Down syndrome.

NGOs estimate that there are approximately 30,000 children with an autism spectrum disorder. According to international statistics, one child in 150 is affected by an autism spectrum disorder, this condition is more common than cancer, diabetes or Down syndrome.

Regarding Down syndrome, in Romania there are about 30,000 people with trisomy 21, considering that global incidence is approximately 1-800 births.

In Iaşi County,over 300 childrenare diagnosed with autism or autistic features.

In 2014 Star of Hope Romania Foundation initiated, through a project financed by the budget of Iasi County - Iasi County Council, the establishment of the Federation of Organizations of Parents who have children with disabilities; this federation includes organizations of parents from Iaşi, Vaslui, Botosani, Neamt; the number of children, young people with disabilities in these organizations is about 600.

Why the "Give from the heart" Campaign?

Children with disabilities are a vulnerablecategory, at risk of family separation and social marginalization.

Many children with disabilities do not have access to education, culture and play. This situation is found mostly in poor or rural areas; the situation is even more difficult for children with severe degree of disability, namely approximately 50% of children with disabilities. Typically, children are not actively involved in the community, in making decisions that affect them directly; the lack of involvement is the result of the attitude that the membersof the community have.

UNICEF, in partnership with the Chamber of Deputies and along with Ministry of Labor, Family, Social and Old Persons Protection, has launched the Publication called The Status of the World's Children2013- Children with disabilities. According to the report, children with disabilities are the least likely to benefit from early diagnosis and intervention services, recovery / rehabilitationservices, social integration. Children from poor families have fewer opportunities to benefit from these services, but children who live in poverty and have a disability have even lower chances to benefit from these fundamental rights. These identified needs are risk factors for child and family separation, abandonment; also, they emphasizes marginalization, social exclusion of children with disabilities. All these aspects identified are found in IaşiCounty as well.

"The educational system in Romania creates major disadvantages for people with disabilities. Thus, the incidence of non-schooling and early dropout is seven times, respectively two times higher for people with disabilities compared to the general population. The group most disadvantaged in terms of access to education is made up of people with physical, somatic or visual disabilities from rural areas "- these conclusions are given in the initial synthesis of socio-economic analysis projects developed so far to the level of the Advisory Office, written in November 2012.

In most cases, a parent who has a child with disabilities feels they have "lost" the perfect child they wanted. The pain experienced by these parents often goes unnoticed in society because the loss is unclear. The experience of 20 years of Star of Hope Foundation in carrying out projects for disabled children and their families in Iasi County showed that parents of children with disabilities feel guilty for the child's disability, they feel isolated and neglected. Many of them struggle alone with problems arising from the child's disability because they do not know other parents facing the same situations, others give up fighting, are discouraged by rejections or barriers of society in their children's integration. The appearance of a child with special needs in a family can create serious family dynamicsdysfunctions, leading even to a situation where the mother is forced to take care of the disabled child on her own because the father leaves the family.

Studies show that poverty and disability potentiate themselves. Families with disabled children are often poorer than other families. The vulnerability of the families who have children with disabilities can be boosted by the economic aspect. Iasi County is located in the NE region of the country, which is 2nd place among the poorest regions of the European Union, the purchasing power being of 29% of monthly average GDP of the EU. The analyses of the National Commission for Prognosis (NCP) show that the gap between the NE region and national average will continue to stress both in terms of GDP per capita and in terms of wages. The disparity index decreases continuously in the NE region, and hence in Iasi. The 2012 UNICEF study on measuringchild poverty in developed countries indicates that 25.5% of Romanian children are already living in poverty, the highest percentage of all 35 EU and OECD countries surveyed; this situation is also representative for Iasi County. The economic crisis has increased the number of poor children at risk of family separation, risk of institutionalization and at risk of dropping out.

Many parents of children with disabilities addressed to our foundation to be supported: many of them have not received the personal assistant salary for many months; many parents do not have money to pay for transport to the "Star of Hope"Regional Rehabilitation Centre, Iasi, making it impossible for children to participate in recovery and early intervention programs.

According to the Report of the Child NGO Federation - FONPC to the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child - Geneva regarding the Third Periodic Report of the Romanian Government it is specified that "The services preventing child’s separation from the family al a local level continue to be focused mainly on benefits (allowances) (minimum guaranteed income, heating aids, child allowances, single parent and complementary allowances), detrimental to the development and implementation of preventive-counseling social services, life skills development, assistance in finding a job etc."

"The access of parents to an early prenatal and postnatal diagnosis is limited due to high costs of tests, which poor families cannot afford, and due to the low number of necessary equipment for performing these tests, which usually is present only in large cities. The access to prenatal and postnatal counseling is limited also mainly due to the low number of trained psychologists in this regard in the maternities. Informing parents is also insufficient. The number of child neuropsychiatric specialists and pediatric psychiatry is insufficient to cover the needs of children with intellectual disabilities. Communication with the disabled child and his family, including communicating the diagnosis on disability, is not part of the initial and continuous training program for physicians. The costs of medicines (e.g.antiepileptic medicines) and specific therapies (e.g. Cognitive therapy) for children with intellectual disabilities are not covered by health insurances. Also, medical and psychological records necessary to comply with the degree of disability are not for free. The collaboration between the health system and the protection of children's rights is weak in relation to children with disabilities mainly due to legislative gaps. "(Project Inclusion Europe – children’srights for all – National Report Romania, author Izabella Popa, 2011,

If we didn’t intervene, the risk of family separation for children with disabilities and the social exclusion of these childrenwould greatly increase. In the long term, children may not develop, they wouldn’t become as much independent as possible, and so that would hinderthe budget of the social security in Iasi. A negative effect of non-intervention would be violating the rights of children, of children with disabilities; Romanian State assumed respecting these rights. Above all, human beings in their essence would be attacked.

On the other hand, if we did not intervene, parents would have no hope for the future of their own child with disabilities, the marginalization and their exclusion would deepen; Iaşi community would be in decline, it would not make steps towards an inclusive community.

How does Star of Hope Romania Foundationintervene?

Offering recovery and rehabilitation services to children with disabilities: educational therapy, behavioral therapy, art therapy, play therapy, speech therapy and communication, independent life skills training, sensory stimulation, physiotherapy.

Recreational and socialization activities for children / teenagers / young adults with disabilities. Special Kids Club has become a model of social integration through the participation of children and adolescents with disabilities, as well as their friends, colleagues and neighbors who show acceptance and community spirit through their presence. Specific activities of the Children's Club include plays, art classes, games, contests, music and dance.

Support for the integration in kindergartens and schools for children with disabilities.

Support and counseling for parents:

  • Social psychological family evaluation
  • Counseling the parents
  • Informing parents about the laws in the field, services that can be accessed, information on the potential development of their own child, on the basic aspects of different disabilities
  • Organizational development of parents' associations (established and supported by Star of Hope Foundation);
  • Support group for parents, held monthly

Fundraising Campaigns

Information and raising awareness campaigns

Our campaign's objectives are:

  • informing and sensitizing the community on problems faced by families who have children with disabilities
  • raising the necessary funds to support children with disabilities (behavioral therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, play therapy, training on daily life skills)).

Campaign beneficiaries are 308 disabled children from the 6 day centers established by Star of Hope Foundation Romania, in the North-East of Romania (Iaşi, two in Botosani, Barlad, Husi and Dorohoi).

Public interest activities of the campaign are:

  • Launching the Campaign “Give from the heart”, Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11:00 at the "Star of Hope"Regional Rehabilitation Centre 3 Bariera Veche St. Iasi. Local officials, sponsors, partners who interact with children with disabilities, their parents and professionals are invited to the event.
  • The event anticipates the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. On this occasion, Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 11:00 the Thanksgiving Tree decorating will take place in front of City Hall Iasi, Stefan cel Mare St.
  • The action consists in decorating the first Christmas tree in front of Iasi City Hall with little hearts and stars, symbols of generosity and hope in a normal life. They will be hanged in the tree by children from schools from the municipality, by residents and officials. The signal will be given by the writer Dan Lungu. As Ambassador of the “Give from the heart!” Campaign, along with Mayor Gheorghe Nechita and President ofStar of Hope Sweden, Mr. Lennart Eriksson, they will light the first stars of hope for a better life for children with disabilities.
  • In order to raise funds, on Thursday, December 4, 2014, we will organize the Thanksgiving Gala, on which occasion we will award the children who have defeated the limits given by their disability.
  • At the same time, we will honor the partners of the Star of Hope Romania Foundation who have contributed to the improvement of the life of children with disabilities. The guest of honor of the Thanksgiving Gala is Her Excellency Mrs. Ambassador of Sweden Anne Lindahl KENNY.
  • The program of the Gala will also include live music provided by PROCONSUL, dances choreographed by prof. Ligia Grozdan, an auction of art objects.
  • The charity concert held by Proconsul will be held on Friday, December 5th, 2014 at 18:00 at the Luceafarul Theatre in Iasi.
  • The campaign will continue until December 20 with activities within the "Star of Hope" Regional Rehabilitation Center and with the Christmas Celebration.

Misiunea Fundaţiei Star of Hope Romania este de a îmbunătăţi calitatea vieţii copiilor aflaţi în dificultate, în special a copiilor cu dizabilităţi. De-a lungul celor 20 de ani Fundaţia Star of Hope Romania a reuşit să ajute peste 10.000 de copii aflaţi în dificultate, în special copii cu dizabilităţi. Una dintre cele mai mari realizări ale fundaţiei este înfiinţarea Federaţiei Naţionale a Organizaţiilor de Părinţi, care au copii cu dizabilităţi şi oferă sprijin pentru peste 2000 de beneficiari la nivelul Regiunii de Nord-Est.

Aurora Vatamaniuc,
Executive President Star of Hope România


Municipality of Iaşi
Federation of Parents who have children with disabilities

Media partners:

In 2013, Star of Hope Romania Foundation organized the third edition of the "Give! Change a destiny."During the campaign there were 3 events. The first was the release of the book "The new face of destiny". Another event was the one on December 3rd - International Day of Persons with Disabilities when, together with people from Iasi we supported people with disabilities and we decorated the "Star of Hope" tree with messages of encouragement and empathy for all children and people with disabilities. The last event of the campaign was "Star of Hope" Gala where children with disabilities who are a model for how they managed to progress and integrate into the community were rewarded. 9 children with disabilities were awarded at the "Star of Hope" Gala. For the ceremony, with the support of prof. Dr. Doru Tompea and firms like Delphi, Edelweiss, Cetelem, Quartz Matrix, Conest, Media TV Barlad, 2 laptops, 2 tablets, two cameras, two mobile phones were purchased and a scholarship and a wheelchair for a physically disabled young girl in Barlad were obtained.

About 10 000 lei were raised at the"Star of Hope" Gala (out of the auction with donated itemsand sponsorship).

During the 2-month campaign the amount of 40 000 lei was raised. The money was used to buy prizes that were offered to children with disabilities within the Star of Hope Gala and for gifts given to children on December 3 and December 20 in celebration of Christmas. With help from EON - IT Iaşi company's employees, we managed to pay the cost of an operation abroad for a child in Galati.

At The celebration of Christmas packages with fruits and sweets were offered:

  • Kosarom company - 100 packages worth 25 lei/piece
  • employees of Sc Delphi Diesel Systems - 200 packages worth 25 lei/piece;
  • Molie family - 100 packages worth 25 lei/piece.

We thank our sponsors: : SC Agrotur Srl, SC Delphi Diesel Systems, Quartz Matrix, Focality, Floare de Colţ, Ortotech, Elc Iaşi, Conest, Construcţii Hidotehnice, Nissa, UtilDeco, Casa de Vinuri Huşi, Frarom Internaţional, Vel Pitar, Nichi Fashion, Hotel Astoria, Hotel Traian, Arpedia, Sophia, Apavital.

. © 2013-2017 Star of Hope Romania - Declaratia de confidentialitate