HOUSE OF OPPORTUNITY PROGRAMME
Abandoned, Vulnerable, Exploited
Tens of thousands of children are abandoned every year in Southeast Europe. Thousands still live in institutions of one kind or another, where they grow up unprepared for the time they have to leave. With no one and nowhere to turn to, many young state and foster care leavers fall into the clutches of criminals and human traffickers – condemned to lives of degradation and exploitation.
Protected, Supported, Empowered
FSCI aims to transform the lives of these vulnerable and marginalised young people by providing them with places in our specialised small group homes – which we call Houses of Opportunity. The House of Opportunity Programme empowers these young people to break out of poverty and lead successful independent lives – preventing them from being trafficked, or drawn into a life of crime and homelessness, at risk of abandoning their own children in the future.
After she left state-care, Ivalya found herself with nowhere to go. Then somebody she met made her an offer to go and “play football” in Vienna. This sort of approach is a common ploy by human traffickers to draw vulnerable young people in.
Thankfully we became aware of the situation and offered Ivayla a place in a House of Opportunity. After a few months at the House Ivayla told us: “In the orphanage you learn by yourself. No one tells you whether the things you do are right or wrong and whether there is a better way to do something, the simple daily stuff. This way you learn wrong. It is as if I am starting a new life now. I learn everything over again, but now the way they are.”
The House of Opportunity kept Ivalya safe and gave her the support she needed to make positive choices – she is now married with a family of her own and told us in 2018 that “I have everything I dreamed of. I will never forget what you did for me”.