Our CEO Andrew Campbell reflects on some key lessons he’s learned in 2020 about engaging Lingo24’s…
Nobody really thinks what happens to children with intellectual disabilities when they grow up and become adults. That is why Lingo24 supports a one-of-a-kind initiative in Timisoara, Romania.
Every year, Lingo24’s Timisoara hub has several events for local charities, and one that we particularly support and admire is the Pentru Voi Foundation.
This year, we organised several fairs before traditional holidays, when our colleagues could buy handmade items made by the people from Pentru Voi, like jewelry, beaded paintings, handsewn totes and home décor, as gifts for the special people in their lives (or themselves).
Pentru Voi is a one-of-a-kind initiative in Timisoara, as it caters to the needs of adults with intellectual disability, who would be otherwise overlooked by the state care system. From a safe environment where they can be themselves, to achieving their own measure of independence, this organisation builds on the idea that all people are equal, and should be treated with respect and acceptance.
Because each case is unique, a multidisciplinary team of specialists evaluates each person and creates an action plan that caters to their needs. This includes medical care, case-specific psychotherapy, occupational and physical therapy and social services, as well as financial support for the families of the people in the NGO’s care.
Pentru Voi’s activity is divided into three types of services, depending on the needs and the level of independence of each person.
The day centers offer specialised care, educational programs, activities, socialising and a warm meal to 155 adults between ages 18 and 68.
The Respiro center offers professional support for emergency situations, housing for 5 people, as well as specialised training to sustain independent life.
Protected houses offer housing and assistance for maintaining independent life. This includes helping people manage their day to day activities, budgeting, cooking, career counseling and helping them find and hold onto jobs, family planning, and permanent support from specialists.
According to Miruna Brasoveanu, a teacher at Pentru Voi, “people don’t really think what happens to children with intellectual disabilities when they grow up. The truth is that they need constant support their entire lives, and the state provides no real option for them. They have nothing to turn to when they turn 18.” This is why initiatives like Pentru Voi are so important – they create an option for the overlooked.
To support them, people can donate money and materials, can volunteer, and support them by buying goods and services. They have a copy center manned by persons with intellectual disabilities, as well as a manufacturing center where they hand-make objects like the ones sold at holiday fairs. Romanians have the option to redirect 2% of the annual income tax to a charity of their choice, and many of our colleagues have decided to support them in that way.
We, the team at Lingo24’s Timisoara hub, will continue to support them. One of our core values is People Who Inspire, and they are definitely the kind of people who inspire us.