Keep a Child Warm - Moldova
The freezing temperatures as we arrived in put everything we were about to do into context.
It soon became clear that these children were in desperate need of warm clothing to help them survive the harsh winters. Last year temperatures reached -20°C. Behind a dignified surface the people living in the rural regions of Moldova are very poor. They constantly face the challenge of survival. With many family members living abroad and others trapped by alcohol addiction; the social fabric of society is strained and in some cases totally broken. Many children are living at home with older siblings or relatives whilst parents work abroad sending them money for school and food.
The team kept busy throughout the expedition, helping over 400 children find clothing for the winter. Children attending the school and nursery in Pascani village, all the children in foster care, those in the two regional children’s homes and the residents in the regional mothers and babies unit all received quality winter clothing. I would like to thank everyone who donated clothing and were part of the collection and packing process for your incredible contribution. I would particularly like to thank Blue Max Banner, Chilwell School, Connect Packaging and CNG ltd. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces made every ounce of effort completely worth it. Their sincere gratitude confirmed that what they were receiving was greatly needed and appreciated.
In addition to the clothing we also donated £300 worth of nappies to the mothers and babies unit and the emergency referral unit run by social services. When I initially discussed the needs faced by social services, this came up as a high priority. Maria (Head of children’s Social Services) was delighted and so grateful for this gift.
The UK expedition team of Lucy, Gail, Jill, Diane, Heather and Richard were an absolute dream to work with and our Moldovan contacts Victor, Yolanda and Vasile were outstanding. Everyone pulled their weight and made what could have been a very difficult process, incredibly easy and efficient. Thank you team for being part of something special.
Our goal for 2015 is to send another shipment with enough clothing for children living in two large villages (500-700 children). We would also like to include non-food consumables like nappies, toothbrushes, tooth paste, sanitary products etc for use by social services in providing care for the most vulnerable in the region.
On a personal note, Moldova is where the journey of Operation Orphan began to take shape for me. It has been a desire of mine for many years to help the beautiful people of Moldova and for it to become a reality is something truly special. I look forward to returning one day soon.