Supporting Neglected & Disadvantaged Children in Romania

curca3oct17I am wishing you all a Happy New Year with blessings and new opportunities. May we all play a part, however small, in changing this world to a more loving one. This year I am looking forward to continue my work amongst the poor in Romania with all the trials and triumphs it brings.

Looking back at my beginnings of starting Open Hands Charity in 2010, I feel overwhelmed with how far this journey has taken me. I am thankful to have a strong and enthusiastic workforce on the ground, faithful and kind people working to improve the lives of children.

Over the years my team and I have entered into many homes which were places of extreme poverty and neglect; tiny spaces without food, running water or light. This is life of the destitute in Romania. In homes like these, children have to grow up quickly to take on work responsibilities. I often see older children caring alone for their younger brothers and sisters while the parents are out working to make ends meet.

Many children and families life lives as outsiders within rural communities. These families are too poor to buy shoes, warm coats, school bags and learning materials which are required for school. However, without shoes and the right clothing the children cannot get to school and learn. Many children never go to school. Over the years I have seen many young adults who never went to school. Without the basic knowledge of reading and writing these children will grow into adults living on the brink of society. They will struggle to find any type of employment and will face social exclusion and marginalisation. Without education families are caught up in a circle of poverty that often continues for generations.

According to UNICEF there are an estimated 300,000-400,000 children of compulsory school age who do not go to school regularly. The EU has estimated that 40% of 15 year olds in Romania are semi-literate.

curca21 2As a team we have developed a strategy to break this circle of poverty. The key is to get the children used to early educational enrolment, often starting with nursery followed by school. We provide these children with shoes, clothes, bags, learning materials and pay for any school trips to help them feel included and accepted within their school. We also support their learning by visiting their homes and schools regularly.

As a result we have seen a strong increase in school attendance with all the children in our program going to school. Thanks to the additional support received at home the children are catching up on lost learning and are improving. When I speak to the children they are full of enthusiasm for school, the things they learn and the new friends they make there. For these children school offers a vital break from life at home.

At home life is hard and offers few joys. Due to lack of space many children share one bed; there is a lack of food and no toys available. As a team we work on this too. We work together with local authorities to create better living conditions; we teach parenting skills and provide essential nutrition.

I am thankful for our dedicated supporters who enable us to bring much hope and happiness to these forgotten children of Romania. Your contributions are changing young lives! If you would like to support our work, you can donate securely on our website here

Love and peace to you all,

Rebekka

 

 

Registered Charity Number 1136482

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English Office

Rosevine
Wellgreen Lane
Kingston/ Lewes
East Sussex ¦ BN7 3NS

phone: (0044) 7949766147

German Office

Open Hands
Andrea van Hoven
Hagener Str. 29
49377 Vechta

phone: +49 4441 9518875

Romanian Office

Suceava City
Zamca district ¦ No 5 Octav Bancila Street
29th block ¦ Staircase A ¦ Flat no.: 2
Romania

No.: 0040 740 239 964

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