In 1996 FCE opened Casa Alba (the White House). 24 abandoned boys and girls were moved from the children’s ward at the hospital to their new home. Since then, many children, each of them with their own tragic story, have lived at Casa Alba. Most of them came from the hospital, while others were left directly at Casa Alba by their parents who, for some reason, weren’t able to take care of them.
The idea behind Casa Alba was that it should be a temporary home until the child could get a permanent one with the natural family, an adoptive family, in a foster home, or in another family home. In previous years, many children were adopted by families from other countries, but since June 2004 international adoptions are no longer allowed.
When the children lived at Casa Alba, staff and volunteers gave the children the love, security and stimulation they needed. There was room for 24 children and they were divided in six rooms with one staff responsible for each room.
After international adoptions were stopped, many children stayed for a longer time than originally planned at Casa Alba. Small children weren’t allowed to go there anymore, so during 2005-2009 the children’s ages ranged from 6 to 10 with some children going to preschool and others to the main schools around.
In the summer of 2009 FCE closed Casa Alba as an orphanage and managed to find families for all of the children. Most of them are in foster families and some are in the process of being adopted.
The upstairs of Casa Alba is now being used by the special needs school, which was in urgent need of new premises, and the downstairs by FCE’s day centre for young people with special needs who are outside of school age. Casa Alba, as a building for the benefit of children and young people, continues and the children who once lived there are still living and growing, but instead of them all living at the same place, they now live in different homes with their own families. A dream has come true!