registered UK Charity No.1087961
Kingsport, USA charitable non-profit # 86-0957704
Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712
prayer and praise
History of Smiles
to make a Smile -
Developed to make an Impact!
In 1990, just months after the fall of
Ceausescu in Romania, the Smiles Foundation’s founders, Kevin Hoy and
Nia Jones visited State orphanages in several major Romanian cities.
Of the thousands of children seen, one common observation was noted
with them all – a total lack of Smiles.
Kevin and Nia vowed to return to Romania to
make a Smile appear on the faces of children and parents struggling
for life in this impoverished nation.
After several years of regular visits to
Romania, supported by many from the UK and America who were providing
significant aid for distribution and funding for several ongoing
projects, Kevin and Nia decided to establish an official Charity -
The Smiles Foundation. They and an army of like-minded people
began the work to help bring Smiles to the Romanian people.
Established in 1997, first as a ‘charitable
club’, the Smiles Club subsequently became a fully approved Charity in
the United Kingdom, America and Romania itself.
The Charity seeks to relieve poverty,
promote education and provide hope & opportunity for many through a
variety of projects which include Evangelistic Outreach, Food
Distribution, Medical Support, Social Assistance, Education, Elderly
care, Child Care and Housing provision.
2006 was a significant year with several
major project facilities completed. The Cihei offices were
completed and the Cihei Children’s Centre was opened and
operated for three years, followed by an Elderly Care Centre
until 2013. The Emergency Housing Unit in Mierlou was finished
(providing shelter for families suffering domestic abuse). We also
finished building a new Community Centre in Gepiu which
includes a Day Centre providing education, training in life-skills and
outreach to the entire community.
In Tileagd, phase 1 of building the
community complex incorporating a new School for up to 250
children was completed. In 2007, phase 2 began incorporating a
Medical Clinic and a Community Centre/Gymnasium for sports,
social and cultural activities. Along with the Foundation’s first
Church Build – the entire Complex opened in June 2008.
In 2010 Smiles purchased land in Salonta to
build the Joint Facility of Love and in 2013 opened a Care
Home for the Elderly. We immediately began building work on Phase
2 - a Centre for those with Disabilities, including a
specialist wing for residents with Dementia. In 2014, Smiles opened
ECO (Elderly Care Oradea) in partnership with the State and by
2016, JFL Phase 2 was complete and opened. Also, within the Boga
Mountains, land had been purchased with a view to providing a
Mountain Retreat/Camp Centre. The first Camp was in summer 2015.
Now, the newest project is launched with converting part of the
Tileagd Complex to an Adult Assisted Living facility, scheduled to
be opened the second half of 2017.
There is no shortage of ideas for the ever
expanding Smiles. The Smiles Foundation – its Board of Trustees and
thousands of supporters around the world are motivated by a strong
Christian faith and its teachings to help the poor and look after
widows and orphans.
Today the Foundation has a Family Care
project that delivers Food each and every month to 200 families. This
is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s work. The Foundation has built,
equipped and operates several facilities and projects including the
Tileagd Community School, which includes many Gypsy children,
often experiencing education for the first time in their lives.
The Social programme provides
assistance for families to be properly registered with the authorities
and to know the options of support available to them. The Foundation
also seeks to help with employment opportunities for those physically
and mentally capable of working.
The Housing project has met a
desperate need for many families who have seen the economic pressures
of life in Romania get on top of them. Many, having been evicted, find
refuge and security in one of the 25 residential houses owned by the
Foundation, provided free for families otherwise facing life on the
streets. For those still facing Homelessness – Smiles has a
significant project to the Homeless including a Container
Village serving nearly 50 Homeless residents.
The Foundation uses the significant funds
donated to its work as an investment in the people of Romania for whom
the government cannot assist until it builds a strong infrastructure
that can then, from a position of strength and wealth, better support
the weak and poor.
With over £1 million pounds (sterling), $1.5
million US dollars invested each year, the Smiles Foundation is
proving to be a Charity of significance. Operating professionally
under strong leadership with oversight from Europe and America and yet
promoting the growth and responsibility within the Romanian people.
Currently 103 Romanian nationals are employed through the Smiles
The Smiles Foundation may be a comparatively
lesser known Charity on the International stage, but for the 1500+
people among the poorest of North West Romania already benefiting from
its daily work, Smiles is a ‘life-saver’.
Success is seen daily in its work through a
variety of standards and assessments, both externally and within the
Foundation. However, in addition to those discovering God, many people
eating regularly, having a roof over their head, medical provision
when sick, social assistance when in need – poor people through the
Smiles Team in Romania have a friend
they can rely on and that makes them
Smile – that’s our Success.
By: Kevin D. Hoy
The Smiles Foundation
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