Nadya is a 10-year-old who lived in an institution for four years because she has a mild learning difficulty and her family struggled to cope. Her father is a shepherd, which affords the family a very low income. The family also has a son with severe disabilities, who needs a high level of care. When the local social worker began to talk to Nadya’s parents about her needs, they clearly wanted her to come home but worried that she would not be able to attend school and that their home would not be a safe environment for her. The roof leaked badly, and the floors and walls are made of mud. In the winter, it is damp and extremely cold. With temperatures dropping below –20 oC, the parents’ justifiably feared for their daughter’s health.

A partnership between the local authority and a nongovernmental organization (NGO) was instrumental in ensuring that Nadya could go home to live with her family. Together, they managed to secure her a place in the local mainstream school and arranged for additional support in the classroom.

Nadya’s father had begun repairs on the house, but had no money for building materials. Working in partnership, the local authority and NGO were able to supply 1500 kg cement, a new roof, boarding to cover the mud walls and floor, some linoleum, and repairs to windows and doors, as well as a new school uniform and books for Nadya. The total cost amounted to less than the Government had been paying for one year of residential care for her in the institution. Nadya returned home and now attends her new school. This winter, she will be safe and warm, but, more important, will be surrounded by the love and care of her family.