Working with the local Orphanage for Special Needs Children

Their 1st Playspace

Imagine growing up spending most days in a tiny living room with other children and shifts of caregivers. For hours you sit on a rug, watch tv or circle the room. Shelves hold stuffed animals and toys, but what you want and need is a safe place for exercise where you can express yourself through art, music, and games. Your brain craves stimulation, but there is none. So you self-stimulate, rocking your body back and forth. But what if you had a play space for exercise, painting, dance, and more?

The Problem

Special needs children living in disability centers suffer emotionally, cognitively, and physically. They do not attend school. USC Brain Institute research shows brain development and learning social interaction requires play and stimulation through art, music, and “free” play. The Barlad facility is in Vaslui County, the poorest area of the E.U. There is no government funding beyond ensuring the children are fed, clothed, have basic medical care, and are looked after by aides.


We are partnering with the orphanage Director, who has long wanted a year-round space for art, music, exercise, dance, and unstructured play. A Delia Foundation Trustee in Barlard is the project manager. We committed funds for labor to enclose an existing outdoor pavilion and turn it into an inviting play space. Donations will pay for construction supplies, so the pavilion will have new sides to open or close, heat, art, music, and pretend play materials. The kids can play and explore!

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