Background and Program Description
Moldova is one of Europe’s poorest countries. In 2006, it had one of the highest numbers of orphanages in Europe. However, most of the children living in the orphanages were not orphans but were separated from their parents by poverty.
Despite experiencing political instability and financial crisis, the country has made a major change, transforming the lives of thousands of children. CRS and Maestral’s founding partner Lumos was a key partner with the Moldovan government, along with other donors and civil society organizations, in passing the Action Plan for 2016-2020 and for implementing the Child Protection Strategy for 2014-2020.
Lumos’ work in Moldova created new policies, strategy, legislative change, and capacity building. Lumos also led in the development of a national strategy of inclusive education. This was essential, as many disabled children were separated from their parents to live in residential homes, often far from home.
With a strong commitment from the Moldovan government, the past decade saw a decrease in the number of children living in orphanages by 86%, the number of children with disabilities living in residential schools by 76%, while the number of children in the family and community-based care increased by 219%. In addition, the number of children with disabilities educated in inclusive mainstream schools increased by 729% by 2016.