Victor has spent 23 of his 29 years living in the Orhei Residential Institution for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities. At present, Victor lives in the Community Home from Chirca village, Anenii Noi rayon, a social service developed by the Rayonal Council, with Keystone Moldova’s support. The Community Home is intended for people with severe mental disabilities, who need the support of people around them to live in the community. Here, people with disabilities receive assistance to achieve as much autonomy as possible and to develop their own potential.
Now, Victor has a room; he has neighbors and friends. Mr. Ion, the Community Home Director, makes sure that Victor and his colleagues are able to participate in all celebrations and football matches that take place in the village: “I try to help Victor to participate in the community as well as possible and make everything so that the community also gets to know him.”
Victor gets along best of all with Mrs. Nadejda, the cook of the house. “I do not know what I would do without Victor. He helps me in the kitchen. Together, we peel carrots and potatoes. We set the table for the other young men in the house,” says Mrs. Nadejda. Also, Victor is responsible for shopping. He goes to the store almost every day. Recently, he started to take Efim, another tenant of the house, with him to the store and teaches him how to make purchases.
“I have many friends in the village: Olea, Marius, Robert, Julia, Arthur. Sometimes, we organize barbecues or they invite me to their houses. Now we get ready to go fishing together.”
Victor’s greatest dream is to find a job: “I like working. I want to find a job. Other friends of mine managed to get employed and I think I can also do it.” But as long as he is not officially employed, he works in the household. “Now we cut wood. Next week, we will plant onions and garlic once again, so that we have them up until winter,” says Victor. When he has some free time, he goes to visit acquaintances and friends from the village: “I have many friends in the village: Olea, Marius, Robert, Julia, Arthur. Sometimes, we organize barbecues or they invite me to their houses. Now we get ready to go fishing together.” Sunday mornings are reserved for church. Here Victor made friends with the priest and also with the boys helping at the church.
“As he is very sociable and knows how to express his point of view, the entire house supported him to become a self-advocacy group member,” says Mr. Ion. The self-advocacy group is made up of 15 adults with intellectual disabilities, who have left institutions and are now living in the community. The group meets regularly, where members learn about their rights. Along with the self-advocacy group, Victor visited Romania. “I saw many interesting things there. I saw their residential institution. It is not good in there. Neither is it in our institution. Home is best,” says Victor, smiling.
Recently, with the support of the house staff, Victor has found his family. They live right in the next village. Now his mother and sister come to visit him or talk to him on the phone and, in a few weeks, Victor plans to visit them.
The Community Home social service has been developed within the program “Community for All – Moldova,” implemented by Keystone Moldova, in partnership with second-level LPAs and its beneficiaries are children and young people, who have been deinstitutionalized from the Orhei Residential Institution for Children (boys) with Mental Disabilities.