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We Support > News > Children's stories

Life changing is the only word to describe the work these charities do. The children stories below give just a glimpse of this. These children have been subjected to a childhood without love, and thanks to the intervention from these charities their lives have been transformed, and they are now living healthy, loving and happy lives.

Lydia's Story

Romanian Relief

Safe Homes

 Lydia after 9 years of institutional care!

Lydia was institutionalized her whole childhood. She was nine years old when we brought her to live at ‘Safe Homes’, still wearing a nappy, unable to speak and full of pent-up aggression. All of this stemmed from the effects of her being institutionalized - when she had spent 9 years tied to a bed every day and night. We worked with Lydia in the orphanage for 6 months before she would let us untie her and take her out of her room that she had been confined to for so long. As soon as Lydia was untied she would automatically try to hit her head on anything near to her.

We honestly couldn't see how Lydia would ever recover from the abusive life she had led. We made the decision to bring her to live at 'Safe Homes'. We employed full time workers just to care for Lydia and work alongside her house parents. Therapists started to teach Lydia the life skills she had never learnt, but more importantly, loved and cared for her.  Lydia no longer self abuses, she can feed herself and can also go to the bathroom alone, Lydia uses sign language and picture cards to communicate, she will always be scarred from the abuse and maltreatment she received but is a happy and loving child who, through Safe Homes, is learning to reach her full potential.

Lydia has taught us that no child is beyond help, and with the correct care and rehabilitation programs, any institutionalised adult or child's life can be turned around.

Corina's Story

Romanian Relief

Family and Individual Care

Mrs Chebeleuo gave birth to twins in April. One of her twins, Corina, developed Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) within the first few weeks of her life. The Chebeleuo family understood this was a life threatening illness for their newborn baby and felt powerless to help. Worse still, the family’s poor financial state meant their situation was
ignored. They decided they had to abandon her; almost certainly leaving Corina to die at the hospital. We were informed of this medical case and went to visit the parents to explain the possibility of surgery on their daughter.

Corina was born with Hydrocephalus

Mr and Mrs Chebeleuo were very hesitant to let us take their baby to have surgery; they were convinced there was nothing to do and had never heard of such a surgery before.

After an hour of us explaining to them that their baby would surely die without it, they eventually gave their agreement for us to take their daughter to Bucharest to be operated on. Working with a trusted practitioner whom Romanian Relief has a well-established relationship with, we personally took baby Corina to Bucharest, where she was operated on in time to stop the accumulation of fluid.

Corina is now at home living with her parents and twin sister. She is doing extremely well and is a perfect example of how the right information and fast, efficient medical care can reduce Romania’s high child mortality rate.

Corina is a perfect example of how the right information and fast, efficient medical care can reduce Romania's high child mortality rate.

Daniel's Story

Firm Foundations Romania

By Volunteer Katie Greiner

Volunteering in the Children's Hospital, we see many babies come and go - some there for just a short time, and some growing up going back and forth between the hospital and the nearby village of Budila. One of these babies caught in that cycle was Daniel. Rarely ever home for more than a week at a time, he spent the majority of his first 7 months in the hospital before finally going into a foster family. Born just 1 week after I arrived, I immediately came to love this baby as my own and treasured each and every moment with him. The way his whole face lit up with a smile the moment he
saw us, the excited kicking and 'talking' when I came to get him, and the way he melted into my arms with a sigh when I picked him up... those memories will always be in my heart.

I think sometimes about what it must have been like before this project was started, and I can't help but shudder! What would Daniel be like if he were just left in that hospital crib for weeks at a time, with no one to come and love him? No one there to bring that smile and light to his face? All those babies who spent the majority of their first two years there; the ones that have come in sick and scared and in need of loving arms; the abused, abandoned, unloved, and neglected... what would it be like if we were not there? The longer I am here, the more I realize the difference that we are really making in the lives of these babies that come through the hospital... and it is beautiful and amazing, and I am more and more thankful for every moment I have here! To see these babies grow and develop, to see their faces light up the moment they see us, knowing that they are loved.

Baby Larissa's Story

Firm Foundations Romania

By Vice President Steffi Vogel

We knew Larissa’s family before she was even born. With three other children, they lived in the village of Budila, where we have worked for many years. When we heard that the mother was pregnant we knew it was just a matter of time until we would see her sweet face on the Maternity floor of the Children’s hospital. She never left that hospital more than a few weeks the first year of her life. Every time she returned from a brief visit home to her family she looked broken, confused and devastated. But her fighting spirit and the sparkle in her eyes was always there. Our volunteers would work extra shifts even on the weekend to be there for her and give her the love she so desperately needed. The last time Larissa went home to her family she returned to the hospital with bruises and scratches all over her body. This was the final straw the social worker needed to get through to DPC to finally take her out of the family. After a year of back and forth from the hospital back to her family and back to the hospital she finally went in Maternal Assistance in September 2011. The nurses and staff loved her and so did our volunteers. She was very special and dear to us all.