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In this Nov. 3, 2019, photograph a child with Down syndrome prepare to show skirts displaying drawings inspired by children, during a fashion show dubbed

AP Photos: Disabled Romanian children given chance to shine

Jan. 4, 2020 5:07 AM EST

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — During Romania's communist era, children with disabilities were shunned, often locked away in institutions or kept at home and deprived of schooling and social interactions. Recent shows in which children with Down syndrome had the starring roles illustrate how much that has...

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, Florin Catanescu, 41, walks through the ruins of the state orphanage that was his home between 1988 and 1997 in Busteni, Romania. Thirty years after the 1989 death of Romania's communist-era dictator, the country is still grappling with the ugly legacy of its once-horrific orphanages. Now some of those who grew up abused and unloved in those failed institutions are turning their trauma into commitment. Florin Catanescu, who lived in an orphanage until 1997, now runs a transition home helping those leaving state care to have a better chance of leading meaningful lives. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Romania confronts ugly past involving abusive orphanages

Dec. 20, 2019 8:14 AM EST

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Whenever he returns to the orphanage where he grew up, Florin Catanescu is overwhelmed by sad memories. “I remember families showing up and visiting other kids, but nobody came for me,” said Catanescu, now 41. Walking through the ruins of what was his home between...