Ion is building his own home after spending 17 years at the Orhei Orphanage“This is where the kitchen will be, and the corridor; over here I’m going to put a TV, a bed, a wardrobe, a couch where I will rest, and this here will be the bathroom…”, Ion shows us with pride.
After spending almost 17 years at the Home for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities in Orhei, Ion has returned to his home village with the help of his relatives. And now, also with their help as well as that of the “Community for All – Moldova” Program, he is building himself a house.
Ion Botnari is 27 years old and is one of more than 300 boys and young men at the Home for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities in Orhei who, with the support of his family, relatives, and the community, will be able to lead a normal life in a normal community.
“I didn’t want to end up there (in Orhei). They should’ve sent me to a different school, a healthier one, and maybe there I would’ve learned how to read and write…” says Ion, who was placed in the institution after both of his parents passed away. Now that he’s back home, he hopes to finish building his new home as soon as possible, so that he can start a new life. “There are a lot of boys like me at Orhei,” he says, “there’s just no one to take them home – they have no parents.”
“We have decided to bring Ion back to the village, because the conditions at Orhei were not appropriate for his level of intellectual development and he doesn’t deserve to be there. We want to help him lead a normal life, because he is fully capable of taking care of himself,” tells us Rodica Buzila, Ion’s guardian.
Ion’s home is being built on the piece of land that used to belong to his parents. The young man is working on the house along with his relatives, the Buzila family and two other workers, who are helping him. The construction materials were offered by the “Community For All – Moldova” Program.
His parents’ house, too old and run down, cannot be repaired anymore. “It will serve well as a wood deposit,” tell us Ion, who is thinking like a true householder. “Next year I’ll be able to plant some tomatoes, if I make it till then in good health. And that’s not all: I want to dig a well and buy all the necessary instruments to have around the house: an axe, a saw, a sawmill”. He knows that he needs money in order to purchase all those things and he’s prepared to work in order to earn it.
Ion will live alone in his own house and will be solely responsible for his household, although at first he will be supported and guided by his relatives, in whose tutelage he belongs, as well as by the specialists from the “Community for All – Moldova” Program. This will help him adopt new ways of life and be prepared to face new challenges.
“Ion can sew shoes, he knows how to look after animals, and milk goats,” says Rodica Buzila, “and if he will be in a healthy environment, and if he teach him well, I think he will be able to lead an independent life.”
The “Community for All – Moldova” Program, is implemented by Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association (MMPSF), in association with the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child with the financial support of the Open Society Foundations - Mental Health Initiative and the Soros Foundation Moldova.
The scope of the project is to contribute to the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities through the insurance of their access to high quality social community assistance and through the accordance of technical MMPSF assistance in the development of the legislative framework for the regulation of these services.
Up to now, 269 children and teenagers deinstitutionalized from the Home for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities in Orhei or in risk of being placed in this institution benefit from the support of this project. The support offered includes: social assistance, psychotherapeutic counseling, medical assistance, pedagogical support included in the school, assistance regarding access to other community services, family support regarding the improvement of the child’s welfare (arranging the child’s personal belongings in his room, purchasing of clothes and necessary equipment, assistance with work placement, etc.)