Social assistance offers practical, social help to families or individuals in order to improve their situation.
We analyse the problem and search for a solution.
Social assistance offers practical, social help to families or individuals in order to improve their situation. Families know how to get into contact with us, and they also know we also ask them to do their bit if possible. The assistance is almost always a matter of cooperation and not a one way thing in which we give and the families receive – which has caused a lot of damage to the independency of the Roma in Romania. We have chosen to learn the people to take matters into their own hands. We walk beside them and support them by helping to solve their problems, but the responsibility remains with the families and the individuals. There are situations in which we have to take action without consent and permission of the parents or custodians in order to safeguard the health of the child. In such cases we act on behalf of a child, cooperating with the authorities, such as police, the child protective services or the local administration.
In 2010 we started a survey in Rȃndunelelor Street. We visited many families, and by doing so obtained a social map of the community. In addition there was a lot of contact with the parents of the children attending preschool and the After School-program.
The families of Rȃndunelelor Street appear to be able to cope well. However when invited to look behind the scenes, one finds out many irregularities. Small problems such as missing documents or moments in which illiteracy causes problems are situations in which we can help out. Besides these, there are more severe problems, such as domestic violence, child abuse or other forms of injustice. Unfortunately, these problems are no exceptions.
We try to offer help whenever we can, and we act on moments when we have to. This often results in heart-warming moments and moments to be grateful for, but it also results in sad and very complex situations. Like every program, social assistance is about building God’s Kingdom.
What does the program look like?
Families of the Roma community can appeal to Laleaua Ministry for all social and/or financial questions. We will analyse the problem and try to find a solution. The process which will follow can be just one action, which is undertaken with or without our help, but it can also mean the beginning of a much longer trajectory in which multiple actions are needed. The input and the involvement of the family or individual concerned is decisive: it determines whether a problem will be solved or not. If a family does not live up to the commitments, Laleaua Ministry will not continue to give assistance.
Needless to say, the intensity of the assistance depends on knowledge, skills and (financial) capabilities of the families: in severe cases such as child abuse, domestic violence or kidnapping we inform the authorities and action is undertaken with or without consent and permission of the family members.