The largest juvenile prison in Romania is The Re-education Center for Minors located just 20 miles outside of Timisoara in the small village of Buzias. Over 100 boys and girls, ages 14-20, are incarcerated there after committing minor crimes, many times related to poverty, lack of parental supervision and at times, coercion by adults to participate in illegal activities. Harmony has been invited to provide a moral/religious based educational program in an effort to create an alternate route for these young offenders. Though the use of Christian music and Bible instruction, the transformational love of Christ has brought change and the hope of a new beginning for many youth upon their release from the Center. Since its inception, the program has registered a positive impact in lowering the recidivism rate and has gained the appreciation of prison officials for its effectiveness. Some youth are able to transition into MLIs Aspirations program when they are released from the Re-education Center. Learn more here.
MLI also piloted a mentoring program to help the young offenders making new lives after they were released from prison. The program connected Christian mentors with the released inmates for ongoing discipleship and encouragement. Members of local churches across Romania received training in the mentoring effort with the juvenile offenders and are now carrying the mentoring program forward in their towns and villages.