Five years ago, a dream became reality. The Vis, or Dream, Community Center opened its doors in Bacioi, Moldova.
Many children in Bacioi come from vulnerable families or single parent families, and their parents may travel far outside the region to work. With the addition of the community center, the children of the village gained a place to find educational, psychological and socialization support, as well as disability services. Based on the Head Start model, Vis also provides support in hygiene, vocational therapy and nutrition, as well as English and music classes.
The Vis Community Center began when Keystone Human Services International Moldova Association received a grant from the European Commission to establish the new community center and expand services at the existing Unitate (Unity) Community Center. Keystone Moldova founded Vis in partnership with the Speranta Day Care Center and local authorities in Bacioi. In the beginning, Vis included a coordinator-teacher, a psychologist, a social assistant, a teacher and a doctor-physical therapist. Today, the community center has grown. It supports 22 children on a daily basis, and 22 teenagers participate in the Youth Club where they pursue activities designed to help them grow into responsible, active citizens.
The Vis Community Center has become a well-known part of the community. Not only are the children thriving, but the community is more inclusive. On International Children’s Day, Keystone Moldova organized a community day, and not only did the children who attend Vis participate, but children throughout the community joined in the celebration. That is the true dream – to build a community where children with disabilities mingle freely with their peers, where true friendships are formed and all people are accepted and respected.
Congratulations to everyone who was and is involved in the Vis Community Center! Your dedication and hard work has truly made a difference. We’re looking forward to the next five years.