After 7 years of working on the streets of Arad with street children and young people and poor communities it became clear that we needed a base from which to work – ideally a place to which we could invite people for advice and support, for practical help with such things as enrolling children in kindergarten or school, filling in forms, applying for jobs etc. After much searching we found the ideal building … a house right in the city centre, close to one of the two main markets and easily accessible on foot or by tram. Perhaps most importantly of all, the house had its own private courtyard, rather than the shared courtyard of most of Arad’s older buildings.
The house was covered in ivy and in the courtyard were a variety of overgrown trees and shrubs, reminding us and our earliest visitors of the children’s novel “The Secret Garden” – the beautiful story of an orphan girl and a paralyzed boy who find new life in a hidden garden. Our hope was that many boys and girls would find new life and hope for the future though our “Secret Garden”.
- The Secret Garden
Buying the house was somewhat miraculous, the 120,000 euros coming in mainly anonymous donations over a period of several weeks and on the day of paying the third and last instalment we had over 12,000 euros left over with which to begin renovations! Since 2007 we have gradually renovated most of the building and added an office at the back.
Hundreds of children and their families have been helped in a variety of ways over the years. We offer emergency help in crisis situations, daily meals for all who wish to eat here, shower and laundry facilities, help with kindergarten and school enrolment, homework clubs, free eye testing and dental care and a range of other services.
- phone: +40 0357421222
- address: Ludovic Szantay, nr 15, Arad, jud Arad. Romania 310100