Date: December 17, 2013

December is the time when people have some pleasant surprises. Last week was a totally special one, in the case of 12 persons with disabilities: they left the Residential Institution from Orhei and started a new life in a Community Home. Six young men went to Falesti and six children - to Nisporeni, where freshly-painted, renovated and fully equipped houses waited for them. Colleagues from the residential institution bid farewell to them sadly, with guidance and advice. "You are very lucky that you're leaving, take care and learn many good things" said Martin to Alexander at parting.

The day of departure to a new home has been one full of new sensations and emotions - the way home seemed endless, and when the minibus finally stopped near the house, a chorus of shouts and exclamations of joy was heard.

"I have been waiting for this moment for a long time and now I have come to live it," said Anton, when he arrived to Nisporeni and entered the house. In spite of their severe disability and difficulties of verbal communication, one can read happiness in Pavel's, Marius' and Veaceslav's eyes. Nicolae keeps walking from room to room, jumping and touching each thing in the house - now they are all a challenge for him...

The first thing Alexandru did when he arrived to the Community Home in Falesti and saw his room was to take out of the few personal things from a plastic bag three icons, which he arranged next to the bed. He mentioned that he wanted to thank the Lord because He had heard his prayer and now he had such a beautiful home. Now, however, he would want to ask Him for only one more thing - for his mother to come to visit him.

After some time spent in the house, Artur has understood that he is not a guest, but a master, and started to do household chores to show everyone that he likes his new home and that he wants to be involved in household chores, as every householder in the community.

The greatest challenge for the staff working in these two services is to treat people with disabilities, regardless of the severity degree, as equal citizens of the community, to provide support for them to have a full life, to be masters of their own life and learn more skills of independent living.

At present, with the support of Keystone Moldova team, 32 people with disabilities, who were deinstitutionalized from the Residential Institution for Children with Mental Disabilities from Orhei, were integrated in Community Home services developed in Anenii Noi, Ialoveni, Nisporeni, Orhei, Soroca and Falesti.

These services were created in partnership with local public authorities, with the financial support of the Open Society Foundations/Mental Health Initiatives and Soros Foundation-Moldova.

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