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Leeds, England registered UK Charity No.1087961
Kingsport, USA charitable non-profit # 86-0957704
Oradea, Romania registered Charity No.14839712

 
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Adi Matis – Smiles Romania Assistant Director   May 2016

When ‘home’ is not ‘your home’ anymore ....

We do not speak very often of the crisis we have in our Emergency Housing Unit, because we want to provide security and a safe, protected environment for the victims of domestic abuse. Keeping a low profile on where, when and who needs help, gives the aggressors little chance to find the victims and to intimidate or harm them anymore. But at the same time, there are cases when ‘abuse’ is not the reason for people coming to our EHU, but rather unfortunate life-situations which prove to be too difficult to deal with in their own strength. In both of these cases, Smiles is offering the support and assistance needed, in order to help people to get-through successfully.

Victims of domestic abuse

A very significant number of women and children, as well as men sometimes, are abused physically, or emotionally, or in any way imaginable, by their own family, by their own relatives, husbands, wives, parents and so on. It is a very wide-spread phenomenon among rural and city families as well. It does not matter if we’re talking of people with no education at all or university degree graduates – the violence and abuse over children and women go beyond that and it hits the most intimate and vulnerable area, the very core of what a family should be, of trust, hope, love, compassion, support and commitment.

When the worst happens, the whole universe for that woman or those children falls apart. Within Smiles, we’ve encountered many cases when the victims were so upset and hurt, they couldn’t see any reason for a tomorrow. They close down, become hopeless, afraid and highly emotional and confused. In such a state of mind they arrive at our EHU, where we try the best to accommodate them and to offer them a shelter and a quiet time to recover. When needed, we also provide medical and legal assistance.

Then, with gentle and loving assistance, they will open up again and some solutions can be discussed or at least considered. But this whole process is very traumatic and more often than not there is little chance for a fast and complete recovery. It takes a lot of time and patience to see progress. This time process requires significant financial underwriting and Smiles needs considerable support to provide the accommodation and professional support required.

Lady M came to our shelter together with her two children, straight from their previous home on a farm. Her husband had thrown them out of the house for several days and they had to sleep with the sheep in the barn. This time she decided to leave, as for many times before she could not take such a major decision. So, she took the train to Oradea and we picked them up from the station, took them to the doctor, as the boy (11 years of age) had been beaten by his father and then onto our EHU shelter. The little girl (7) was so afraid and confused! It took quite a while to convince her that we are friends and we are here to help!

This is only the most recent situation we’ve encountered. But there are so many situations and all are different. But our programme provides the shelter, assistance and advice needed, so in the end these people will have the chance to recover and discover again that life, as God intended, can be good.

Emergency Housing

Another major aspect of our work is the assistance we make available for families that are going through various emergency situations. The most recent one is the Lingurar Family that lost their house in a fire – everything they owned was burnt to ashes. Their story has been mentioned before in some of our updates. They were left with nothing, so they urgently needed a place where the parents and their children could live. We were very happy to offer them such facilities and so now they are in our shelter. Of course, they dream to see a new house built and will make every effort they can to help with that and eventually they will move in their new house, but in the meantime they are not left on the street!

The costs for EHU are not small as we need to keep the facility available at all times, to be whenever the emergency situation arises. In one way, we hope the facility is never used, but there are always emergencies and we have to be ready when they occur.

There are permanent costs with the personnel, with additional services we need to employ in order to achieve the purpose of rehabilitation (specialised medical and psychological services, legal advisors, education therapy, etc.) So, this programme is an expensive one, but also a very important one, for so many people. We are offering something quite special, as there are no other charities or even State provision to such victims for the entire county.

Thank you for reading the articles we post here. And thank you for your feedback. It means a lot and your encouragements are really something very special! Thank you also for the financial support and for being a friend to so many people in need here in Romania. For them ‘home’ is not always ‘at home’!

God bless!

Adrian Matis

Assistant Director Smiles Foundation Romania
adrian.matis@thesmilesfoundation.org

Emergency Housing Unit

 


Previous reports from Adi:
April 2016 - Livia's story

March 2016 - The Boxer Guy
February 2016 - Kati and how Salard can surprise!
January 2016 - Christmas Joy

December 2015 - Hope
November 2015 - Salard Life snapshots
October 2015 - After Summer
September 2015 - The Small Things that go a Long Way
August 2015 - Mission Trips with significance
July 2015 - A great way into knowing God

June 2015 - History with a man that is no more
May 2015 - A Story Worth Sharing

March 2015 - Here in Romania, but not only...
February 2015 - New year, new hope and new plans

January 2015 - Management Team Reports

December 2014 - Preparing for the Celebration
November 2014 - A man's true story... an inspiration to us all

October 2014 - Golden September
September 2014 - A Summer of Experiences
August 2014 - Salard Community Reloaded
July 2014 - Sessions for the Mind

June 2014 - Unknown
May 2014 - Celebrate with us
April 2014 - Beliefs
March 2014 - From being taken care of to taking care...

February 2014 - My dream... to become a pig caretaker

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    Page last updated on 26/04/2016 12:58:09 PM
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