Little John’s House was purchased in 1993 to provide a secure home for Ionut Balan (Little John), a Romanian child who had earlier been invited to Devon to receive expert surgical/medical treatment, intensive physiotherapy, professional nursing and a great deal of loving care. His only other home in Romania would have been a State “Home for Irrecuperables”, where the residents received the minimum of food and clothing and where medicine was almost non-existent.
Ionut was an inspiration to everyone who met him.
Ionut died of a heart attack in 1997 but the memory of him lives on to provide loving care for Adi, Costica, Iulia, Andrada, Laur and Anamaria, who live as a Special Needs ‘family’ in the care of employed Romanian helpers, supervised by Mags and Liviu Zaharia. Dr. Daniela Mutiu is sponsored to act as the home’s medical advisor.
Another important aspect of the work of Little John’s House is that of Respite and Day Care. This runs in the form of a Summer School and a Day Care Centre.
The Summer School…….
With the help of many priceless volunteers, the Summer School gives children with special needs from in and around Sibiu the chance for fun and a change of scenery, since the education system does not always cater for their needs.
In the words of one volunteer: “Many children from the hospital have been abandoned by their parents, due to lack of support for families and the stigma attached to having a handicapped child. Those living at home are often locked away from the rest of the world, in high rise apartment blocks. Whilst there are, of course, those lucky ones who have loving families, the majority of handicapped children in Romania do not have the opportunity to go to school even if they are of normal intelligence, so to provide a fun learning environment even for just one week is an education in itself.”
The Day Care Centre……….
A recent development at Little John’s House has been that of the Day Care Centre. Run by Bianca, one of our many volunteer students from Sibiu University, we aim to provide a service to respond to the needs of some of our Summer School families on a more regular basis.
We expect great things!
Volunteers are always welcome and are invited to apply through our U.K. address.