The project work that led to the formation of the Bivol Trust began in Romania in 1992. At this time, an initiative called “Work Insight” was based in Glen House Children’s Home in Swanick. This helped young people who were “looked after” by Children’s Services by finding work experience placements. If the young people were young offenders, they had to be out of their offending behaviour before they could join the project.
It was agreed with senior managers in Social Services that there could be a pilot project which consisted in taking four young people from “Work Insight” to Romania. The objectives were to give them a broader experience of working in the caring professions but in a more challenging environment. The trip to Zalau in north-western Transylvania was organized with a local church-based charity who specialized in support to this area, “Logos Life Line.” The pilot project was a success and between 1992 and 1996, 55 young people were taken in small groups for this experience in Zalau. The young people helped out with building projects, orphanages, and support to a home for the elderly. The initiative came to a halt in 1997 with the Local Government Review and changes in city and county council boundaries.
Project work now:
The Trust continues a small amount of work in the Zalau area, as follows:
opportunities are given to young adults with disabilities in the Portsmouth area and to visit Zalau and contribute to the work there.
Specific support in Zalau in given to the following:
A Children’s Centre, providing family work, preventive work, support to education and a children’s home for 20 young people.
A large county home which provides separate accommodation and support to both vulnerable elderly folk and also to people with mental illness.
An individual young woman with a severe learning and physical disability.
A project supporting homeless young adults, which also works with victims of domestic abuse and institutionalised young people.
Visits to Zalau are once or twice year.