Dima is an outgoing 14-year-old who takes an interest in other people and the world around him. For most of his childhood though, no one took any interest in him.
Dima has multiple disabilities and spent nine years confined to a bed in an orphanage in Chisinau, Moldova. He was kept alive and fed liquidised food through a tube but he was denied any of the individual care and attention – let alone love – that all children need to thrive. Dima had no chance to learn or develop, no one ever visited him and he almost never went outside.
In March 2017, Dima’s life was transformed when he moved to a Small Group Home, established by Hope and Homes for Children in collaboration with our partners, CCF Moldova. The project is part of our programme to close the institution where Dima used to live. Now he has a bright and colourful bedroom and dedicated carers who see him as an individual and will help him to become as independent as possible. And his new home has a garden so that Dima and the other children can enjoy spending time in the fresh air.
Liliana Rotaru, Director of CCF Moldova, was with the children on the day they moved into their new home. “Dima was wearing a big smile”, she told us. “In the afternoon we took some of the children out for a walk in their wheel chairs. Being outside and feeling the breeze and the sun on their skin brought pure joy to their faces.”
Dima and the other children who now live in the Small Group Home are among the very last children to leave the orphanage in Chisinau and soon it will be closed. In its place, Hope and Homes for Children is helping to establish family support services to make it possible for all children to stay with their parents and end the cycle of institutionalisation for good.