Harmony is an MLI ministry that reaches at-risk children from government institutions, juvenile prisons, and remote villages to bring Harmony into their lives.
The founders of Harmony, Doru and Rodica Racovicean, emerged from the long nightmare of communism to bring the Gospel through music and Bible stories not only to government ophanages, but also to a school for special needs children, and a juvenile prison.
The institution is the only home that many of these children ever know. Harmony brings the joy of music to these children in public and private orphanages where a music program is not provided due to lack of resources. Harmony establishes and trains choirs in these orphanages, and then shares the gift of spiritual music by periodically performing at churches, monasteries, and civic organizations. And then, each year on Christmas and Easter, all the choirs from the various orphanages come together for special programs.
Harmony does not stop with just the orphanages. Consider these boys in the Buzias Juvenile Prison and think of what their future might look like. Fortunately, Harmony is involved and helping in institutions like this one. In fact, Harmony’s prison program has had the positive impact of helping to lower the repeat offender rates to such a degree that the prison officials have not only recognized the program’s effectiveness, but have also recently asked MLI to expand the ministy by making MLI’s Aspirations programs available as well for their juvenile offenders.
Harmony further identified the need and expanded its ministry in two more unique directions: A program to meet the desperate need for food supplements, shoes, and clothing for at-risk children from local villages…And a program of education to prevent child and school abandonment among the areas poorest families—especially the ethnic Rroma children.
According to government studies, 20-30 percent of Rroma children drop out (or are kept out by their parents) of primary and secondary education. While over 95 percent of non-Rroma children aged 7-10 were in primary school (grades 1-4), the same was true for only 72 percent of Rroma children. This descrepancy grows even wider for school grades 5-8, with over 97 percent of non-Rroma children aged 11-14 in school, compared to only 70 percent of Rroma children.
MLI’s Harmony and Aspirations programs address the need to keep Rroma children in school. Because of discrimination, truancy laws are not regularly enforced in rural Rroma villages, where authorities choose to ignore the Rroma people.
MLI believes education is the only answer to breaking the centuries old cycle of disease, hunger, poverty, and child abuse in Rroma villages. The longevity of education outweighs that of any other aid MLI can provide these marginalized children. Education is the most sustainable investment that MLI can encourage. An education, once received, can never be negated or retracted.
A Note from Doru & Rodica:
Thank you dear friends for your prayers and support. Through our work we want the children to experience the love of God, to understand they have great value and can be useful in society. We invite you to partner with us in this ministry through your prayers and support.
You can also find more details on our Children at Risk page: http://www.romanianchildrenatrisk.org
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