Comber Romainian Orphanage Appeal


what we do

Comber actively supports the closure of all remaining adult institutions in Giurgiu County, Romania, and the provision of appropriate homes in the community for those still living in care. In the coming years, we will roll out this model into other counties and regions. Over the last number of years, huge progress has been made in the closure of Romania’s institutions for children. Sadly, many adult institutions still remain.

At Comber we believe that no child or adult belongs in an institution. We support Romanian authorities to develop sustainable alternatives to institutions.

Recent achievements

• Opening 6 group homes for 40 former institution residents in partnership with local authorities in Giurgiu County
• Providing ongoing support for adults to pursue employment and further education and training
• Establishing a partner organisation in Romania - Prieten Pentru Viata
• Supporting Giurgiu Association of Parents of People with Disabilities (ASCHF)

Comber works in 4 key areas to help improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities in Romania.

Creating homes in the community

Casa Phare, one of Comber’s group homes.

Comber works with local authorities and our Romanian partners to close institutions. We create permanent homes in the community for adults with disabilities from nearby institutions. The lives of these individuals are changed forever – they are able to live in a real home, seek employment, attend university or further training and become independent.

Comber has opened 6 group homes for young adults from Bolintin Vale and Gradinari institutions. 40 adults now live independent lives in the community. The project includes a full programme of de-institutionalisation and community re-integration to support the adults when they move to their new homes. Most of these adults have lived in orphanages and institutions since they were abandoned in infancy. This is literally their first opportunity to live in a home. For the first time ever they have a proper bedroom, bed linen and clothes of their own. They can go out in the community for a walk or to the shops for the first time.

These homes were made possible by the huge generosity of donors in Ireland and with the support of Irish Aid.

Keeping families together

No child or adult belongs in an institution. We actively help to prevent the placement of children and adults with disabilities in institutions. Our activities include supporting local parents associations and respite services, as well as employment, social and educational services for people with disabilities. In 2006 Comber worked with the State Authorities to support the closure of Gradinari orphanage, home to over 200 children with disabilities.

Comber is a partner from 2009-2011 in PREVI Early Intervention Project (funded under EU Daphne III) with KOS Belgium, Samaritans Bulgaria and Iminal de Copil, which is helping to establish early intervention centres in Galati, Romania and Bulgaria.

Comber is a partner in 2010-2013 in Centres for Social Inclusion Project (funded under European Structural Funding) with Estuar NGO and Motivation Romania, which helped open a day centre in Giurgiu town. Residents from the Comber homes are now attending the centre.

Training and education

Paulina Dumitru, a resident in one of Comber’s apartments, working on craft activities at home.

We support the training and education of our partners in Romania in best practice in disability services. With our partner Motivation Romania, Comber delivers training programmes for all the staff who work in the Group Homes. Throughout 2007 Comber worked directly with the County Council in Giurgiu to train their staff and support the development of the county’s Strategy for the Development of Services for People with Disabilities.


We believe that institutions are unacceptable and convey this message through various partnerships and in our communications with the public and other stakeholders. We will continue to champion the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community in all that we do.