Promising new year for foster children in Koická Nová Ves
The children and staff at the Children’s house foster home in Košická Nová Ves, Slovakia, have had a memorable holiday season. Next Christmas, several of the children will have moved out from their dormitories and into family-style residential houses, thanks to €400 000 from the EEA and Norway Grants.
With support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, an old kindergarten in Košická Nová Ves in eastern Slovakia is being renovated and turned into a family-style residential house which will be home to 12 children. This will enable the children to live in small bedrooms instead of dormitories, and provide them with more privacy.
The new children's house will have a much less institutional character, and the smaller and more intimate setting will enable staff to foster children in smaller groups resembling families. The children take part in house chores such as ironing clothes and cleaning, and have been actively involved in designing the new rooms.
Finding adoptive parents and new homes for the children is difficult, especially for the children with Roma backgrounds. It is hoped that the new and more intimate family-like setting of the new Children's house will facilitate the children’s integration into society as young adults.
Iveta Lumtzerová, manager of the children's house, explains that Christmas preparations started already in November, when the children started making handmade Christmas decorations. These decorations are sold at the annual Christmas market on the main street of Košice, and the children spend the money earned on hobbies and pastime activities during the year.
Both children and staff participated in the pre-Christmas house cleaning, and the children decorated their rooms and the common areas. The children also baked decorated Christmas honey cakes.
During the advent season, the children met with members of other institutions and interest groups, including an old age pensioners association. Intergenerational contact is very important for foster children who grow up without a family of their own – some of the old age pensioners effectively become substitute grandparents for the children.
When next Christmas comes, the preparations and celebrations will take place in their new home.
Photo credit: Detský domov Košická Nová Ves