About us: Heart of a Child Foundation

The Heart of a Child Foundation is built around the multiplying power of kindness. Whether an action, a word, or a thought, kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, kindness is contagious.

The “Heart of a Child” Foundation was established in December 1996, at the initiative of a small group of friends, in whose dictionary the word “indifference” did not exist. First to benefit from their outlook in life were four homeless children and, at the same time, other 25 HIV positive children forgotten in a hospital. While the four were condemned to live under the open sky, the other 25 were abandoned and imprisoned behind the walls of a cold salon by the people supposed to raise them, to love them and to protect them. With hard work and having at hand only the scarce resources of the 90’s, the “Heart of a Child” founders made everything in their power for those children to live in real homes. And that was only the beginning.
With them, the adventure started. These children were the foundation of the Foundation. Since 1996, the Heart of a Child team has changed destinies and mentalities. We didn’t succeed by ourselves, though, as we always had devoted partners beside us, people with whom we share the same vision. All of us believe in responsibility, cooperation, fortification, inclusion, harmony, equilibrium, equal chances, implication and development.

And we believe in all of these from the bottom of a child’s heart!

Anna Cristina Burtea

Our Mission

Heart of a Child helps children, parents, and their communities in difficult and at-risk situations with medical, educational, emotional, and economic support. We believe that poverty should not be a barrier to success, and that every child, including those from underprivileged backgrounds, deserve to have hope for a happy childhood and a successful future.

Our Vision

Heart of a Child envisions a Romania where the barriers to education, health, emotional well-being, and participation in society have been overcome, allowing all people to pursue their dreams with equal courage, hope, and possibility. When all families thrive, communities flourish.

Inclusiveness

Love for children and all people

Responsibility

Cooperation

Empowerement

The ”Heart of a Child” Story

Humble beginings

^

1996

Our first try

The story of Heart of a Child began with four homeless children we took into our care in a rented apartment. It was a small beginning but was huge for the four children we took off the street, and it foreshadowed a very big future.
^

1997 - 1999

SOS for Abandoned HIV positive Children

During this time, the “SOS for abandoned seropositive children” project started off, through which we improved the life circumstances of 25 HIV positive children abandoned in a hospital in Galati.
^

1997 - 1998

They are also ours

We started to get involved in the issue concerning children from underdeveloped foster homes. The “They are ours too” project reached over 300 children from 4 foster homes in Galati from that time.
^

1997

The “Forget Me Not” House

In 1997 we had rented three buildings in the village of Cudalbi, Galati county, that we soon started renovating. This group of buildings was used as to offer shelter to a number of children either homeless or coming from broken families, as well as to give these children the chance of being reintegrated into a normal, balanced life. The “Forget me not” house became home for over 50 children until the summer of 2004.
^

1999 - 2001

“The Manifested Word”
Along with “The Manifested Word” Foundation, we managed a Day Center for homeless children. 10-15 children were passing our threshold on a daily basis, with many of them having totally changed their life since then. We offered as much support for this project as we could, both logistically and materially.

The ”Heart of a Child” Story

Humanitarian Aid Programs

^

1998

The Counseling Center

Am deschis Centrul de Resurse și Îndrumare pentru Copii și Familii. Aici am avut primul asistent social angajat.

^

1999 - Prezent

The Counseling Center

This was the year when we opened the gates of a day center dedicated to offering resources and guidance for children and their families. It was also here where we had our first hired foster parent.

The project was continued through the Day Center For Counseling And Support For Children And Families in Difficulty. Since then, the main activity of the center has been offering support, information, counseling, material aid and informative materials for parents, children and families coming both from the urban area as well as rural areas.

^

2002 - 2004

Home, together
These 2 years were marked by the implementation of the “Home, together” project. We put the lock on the doors of a foster house from Galati, having reintegrated 57 children in natural families and under the protection of foster parents. Moreover, we developed a network of foster parents and a network of caseworkers at the level of our city Galati. The social services, having been prepared by us, were taken over by DGASPC Galati (the local authority regarding child protection and social services).

The ”Heart of a Child” Story

HIV positive children

Integration

^

1997 - 1999

SOS for HIV positive abandoned children

Through our project “SOS for HIV positive abandoned children”, we got involved in the situation of a local hospital in Galati, where HIV positive children were fostered in inhumane conditions. During this period of time, we managed to find three foster families for a number of them – these were the very first families for HIV positive children in Romania.

^

1997 - 2000

Mihai & Ana-Maria Homes
We kept on pursuing the reintegration of the abandoned children from the hospital within foster families and we opened two family-type houses, the Mihai Home and the Ana-Maria Home, these being among the first such foster houses in Romania.
^

2000

Saying goodbye to the HIV/SIDA Hospital Ward
We ensured the permanent closure of the HIV/ AIDS County Hospital Pavilion for abandoned children by integrating the each of the ones there, into families. We marched forward with the advocacy campaign for the establishment of a day ward for HIV-positive children in Galati. This Ward is still active today.
^

2004

2 Wards

We have renovated and modernized 2 additional wards in the local hospital for the periodic treatment of HIV-positive children, making them as friendly and welcoming as possible.

^

2007 - 2011

Jobs & Workplaces
We offered material support, led educational activities and provided internships. This was meant not only for sustaining HIV positive children onward, but also for providing jobs to 80 young adults.
^

2011

Celebrating 15 years
After 15 years of activating in the area of the seropositive community, we finished our journey in this one department of humanitarian aid.

The ”Heart of a Child” Story

Children and young disabled adults

Integration

^

1999 - 2002

The first program of it’s kind in Romania

We started off the very first program in the country dedicated to the integration of institutionalized children with disabilities within communities and families. 42 out of 90 children with severe disabilities originally from 3 distinct local foster houses were integrated into foster families.
^

2000 - 2001

2 apartments for 10 disabled young adults
The opening and provision of 2 protected apartments for the care in a family-like environment of 10 young people with severe disabilities from the Nicorești hospital dormitory. This was a first, both Foundation-wide as well as Romania-wide.
^

2004

Home Together
This time a first only for the Galati county (as the concept was embraced before in other cities across Romania), 2004 brought us the establishment of a psychomotor recovery group for 10 children with severe handicaps. The group meetings took place at the “Iovan Iorgovan” Community Center and in collaboration with “Bethany” Social Services Foundation through the project named “Home Together”. Afterwards, the project was entrusted to the local authorities as to ensure continuity.
^

2005- 2006

We are all equal, yet everyone is different
In the Heart of a Child world, 2005-2006 was the time of establishing the “We are all equal, yet everyone is different” Day Center, a pilot social services project. Here, professional integration was heavily promoted and the beneficiaries received occupational therapy and were trained on how to get and keep a job. The project was entrusted to local authorities for continuity.
^

2007 - 2008

A partnership between Romania and Moldavia
The collaboration between Romania and the Republic of Moldavia that took place between 2007-2008 evolved around the socio-professional integration of young adults with special needs and it involved experience exchanges and sharing good practices.
^

2008

The Heart of a Child Workshop is born
As to provide a workplace for past beneficiaries of the foundation, we opened the Heart of a Child Workshop, a place where handmade decorative products are crafted with love and then sold on the local market.
^

2010 - Prezent

The “Heart of a Child” Early Intervention Center

It was in 2010 when the Heart of a Child Foundation inaugurated the Center for Early Intervention, Rehabilitation and Recovery  for children with disabilities. Since then, between 60-80 disabled children, yearly, benefit from the recovery services it provides (and we’re talking about children both from Galati and also beyond it).

The ”Heart of a Child” Story

Education and Personal Development

^

2002 - 2004

School dropout prevention Program
A two year program pursuing the prevention of school drop-out for children coming from 8 areas in Galati and Tulcea. After the initial financing came to an end, we kept on supporting the children in their education. And there were over 300 of them.
^

2005 - Prezent

The Day Center from Galati

In 2005 the Day Center in Galati first opened its doors and it continues to operate up to this very day.

^

2006 - Prezent

The Day Center’s expansion: Galati, Tecuci, the village of Pechea
Soon after the opening of the Day Center in Galati, we pursued similar actions in the city of Tecuci and the village of Pechea.
^

2014 - Prezent

One Village, One Child
2014 was the year we successfully piloted one of our core projects, “One Village, One Child”. This program was meant, as it still is, to support children throughout middle school and highschool and to enable them to have access to (and also finish) upper education. Beside grants, we also offer them constant assistance in all matters of life (family-wise, personal development etc.) and we tailor individual experiences for them, as to sustain their continuous and harmonious growth.
^

2018 - Prezent

Future Acceleration Program

The launch of an integrated package of measures that facilitate the access of children from within the program to 21st century education. The measures include the development of digital skills, scholarships, educational materials, medical services, clothing, food and tutoring in languages and mathematics. Strategic partnership with UiPath Foundation

Saving lives and strengthening families since 1996

Years of activity

Volunteers

Rescued souls

Skip to content