A meeting will be staged in Derry tomorrow for local people who can give a child from a Romanian orphanage the gift of a family Christmas this year.
The North West Romanian Children’s Project has organised the meeting after a fresh appeal for more local hosts sparked interest from more than 30 families.
Tomorrow’s meeting will take place at 3.30 p.m. at the Old Library Trust Healthy Living Centre on Central Drive in Creggan.
The N.W. Romanian Children’s Project ‘Home for the Holidays’ Programme already has a number of families who have committed to bringing a child to the North West as part of their family for a number of weeks during the summer and/or Christmas time. A number of additional families are now being sought for this Christmas.
A spokeswoman for the charity said they have been working with children from an orphanage built by their predecessors in the North West Romanian Fund in the Fagaras region, and that they were seeking families to host boys and girls aged from five to 15.
“To be part of a family and experience love outside an institution is very rewarding,” she said. “Those who have hosted families to date have said that the children give back much more than they receive. These children require love, attention and care in the same way our children need it.”
She added: “We have now been out twice to Romania and while some conditions have improved, there are some things that are still very shocking and some conditions that are quite harrowing.
“There are over 60,000 children in institutionalised care in Romania. There are 3,000 in Brasov area- which is around the same size as Derry.
“We are also working with another orphanage, Codlea, with children who have special needs. We are working on a support project for that, and we hope to help improve conditions there.”
The NW Romanian Children’s Project is building on the work of the North West Romanian Fund, which for many years delivered aid to orphanages and supported thousands of vulnerable children. The new group was formed this year following volunteer trips to Romania during which members were shocked at the conditions children were still living in.
Follow North West Romanian Orphanage Project on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help in any way.