Teen Challenge is a non-profit organisation with an impressive history, which currently owns centres in over 108 countries. The purpose of the organisation founded in 1958 by pastor David Wilkerson, in New York, is to help the youth overcome by various addictions (especially drug addicts) get cured and reintegrated into society as physically, emotionally, socio-professionally and spiritually healthy adults. Today, Teen Challenge achieves an impressive healing rate among those who finish the programme.
The rehabilitation model applied by Teen Challenge has remained almost unchanged since the opening of the first centres of the organisation, in the United States. Over the course of one year, the programme residents live at the Teen Challenge centre, where they follow a dynamic and well-structured schedule which touches all important aspects of adult life and responsibilities.
Why is Teen Challenge different from other rehabilitation programmes for addicts? On the one hand, due to its holistic approach, where all essential parts of the addict’s personality are stimulated and developed. On the other hand, its excellent success rate is essentially connected to the stimulation of the spiritual life in residents — through the practice of an authentic, moving faith.
Teen Challenge Romania
Since 1969, Teen Challenge has been developing its presence in Europe as well, today counting centres in 37 countries, with over 2000 volunteers involved in the work.
2007 is the year that saw the opening of the first Teen Challenge centre, in Romania, at Grădiștea, which can house up to 16 residents, while in 2015, the Romanian rehabillitation centre for women was opened — House of Joy. In the past years, two more centres have been added to the list, in Baia Mare and Timișoara.
Over 80 people suffering from addictions have finished the programme at this center and none of them has since returned to their life-controlling problems.
Substance abuse, especially of high-risk drugs, poses a bigger threat than we may imagine. Many lives and families are ruined by the tyranny of drugs and the effort to recover frequently outweighs the inner resources of the afflicted. Still, addiction is not a disease, rather a learned behaviour which can be changed, according to the Teen Challenge team. The respect, trust and love which drives the volunteers who work with the residents offer the latter the strength they need to rebuild their lives.
The entire team working at the Teen Challenge centers works devotely and passionately, which ultimately reflects in the recovery results.
As a non-profit organisation, Teen Challenge depends entirely on donations. GiveFirst supports the Romanian subdivision for their very important and valuable work which saves lives and guides people on the path towards spiritual, social and emotional well-being.