Imagine yourself, in your forties, well established in your working life and you have a nice little family. You are married and you already have a child and soon you'll be a father of two. You are also passionate about judo and have been since your earliest childhood. Everything is fine, you are happy, and yet, you are missing something and it takes you a few years to define what this something actually is.

What is certain is that some things revolt you, like the conditions for some children. You cannot stand injustice, especially when it condemns the youngest and the most fragile ones, those who have not been lucky and who find themselves at the side of the road, helpless.

Suddenly, an idea comes to you. It is in 2018 and your name is Daniel Zodian. You live in Romania, in Bacau, in the northeast of the country, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, on the Bistrița River.

The idea is simple, "What if I opened my house to orphans, to help them in life, to give them courage and energy to face the difficulties of life?" From the simplicity of the idea to the implementation, there is a step that Daniel took, just a few years ago. It is impressive to see what he has done in such a short time. No sooner said than done, his new one-storey house initially intended for his small family, was transformed into a two-storey home that now accommodates more than 20 young people, including his own children.

The house of happiness

Said like that, it may seem a little crazy and it is, but this kind of craziness changes the world for the better. As soon as you set foot in Daniel and his wife Ana's house, you immediately understand that something incredible and positive is happening there. The house now resembles a hive, in which bees, each with their role and missions, are bustling about in a somewhat disorderly and at the same time very organised way.

The cleaning and cooking must be planned and everyone must also be able to find their own personal space while living in the middle of the community. Also, everyone must be able to flourish peacefully and harmoniously because it is a matter of everyone's physical and mental health, so that the group can move forward.

Daniel Zodian

For this, Daniel has an unstoppable tool: judo. All the residents, at one time or another, are on the tatami. Whether for a few months or more, they can integrate the values ​​of the sport here. "This helps them to integrate respect for the principles of judo and to learn to live together," explains the 'Prof' (teacher) as his children call him, because yes, he considers them all as his children and they see him as a professor but moreover as a father, who can be strict when necessary, but who also knows how to listen better than anyone.

In this house of real happiness, there is an atmosphere that is difficult to describe until you have experienced it. In the coming weeks, we will return to the often chaotic journeys of Daniel and Ana's children. We will enter their intimate stories, not out of voyeurism, but because each one's story is an invitation to optimism.

Today his project, which he named Bronx Bacau in reference to a district of New York, USA, evocative of often negative images, but to which he wants to associate the hope of better days, is developing fast. Around the house, there are 7 buildings under construction and we want to tell you the story of all that.

If you want to contribute, go to for more details and stay connected here for more beautiful stories about the Bronx House of Happiness.

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