Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been fleeing the Russian invasion in their country and crossing the borders into Romania and Moldova where our local partner organisations are providing food, clothing, shelter and support. With more refugees expected, they need urgent funds to help support more families.
Please donate to our appeal and support Ukrainian refugee families.
Our relationships with local partner organisations in these areas remain strong to this day and, at present, our friends in Moldova and Romania are requesting our help to the families that are arriving in their area.
Rachel Bentley, our co-founder and CEO said:
“The main difficulty at the moment for our friends on the ground is cleaning and preparing the centres for new arrivals each day. As well as paying the bills to keep the buildings heated, they need to offer food to refugees. We're appealing for donations to help with these costs, which are only expected to rise as more refugees arrive in Moldova and Romania.”
HOW WE'RE HELPING
In Moldova, the 'Speranta' centre (meaning 'Hope') in Chișinău is providing hot food, clean beds and other essential supplies for refugee families. There are 22 beds where Ukrainian families have a safe place to stay, with hot water, food, and facilities to wash and dry their clothes.
Our partners in Moldova are also supporting a two house transit centre in Tudora, on the border of Odessa, and a larger local hub with over 180 spaces, further inland in Vatici. All three centres are linked up, with transport provided where necessary between them as refugees travel through the country.
Speranta is also currently working with other local organisations to support a local 200+ bed facility for refugees in Chișinău, providing them with vital supplies as needs are identified.
Along with beds, food and supplies, refugees are getting help to plan their onward journeys, as well the option to access emotional support, to support them as they process the trauma they have experienced.
Whilst local people have been generously providing food and clothing, the pressing need at the moment is funding for fuel and electricity to ensure our partners in Moldova can heat and run the centres where refugees are being hosted.
In Romania, we are working with partners in Siret and Iasi to support refugees. We have set up a dedicated, flexible emergency fund so our partners can respond to the needs of the most marginalised refugees as they emerge.
This emergency fund is already being put into action to fill the gaps emerging in the aid effort. We’ve furnished a house in Siret, which is now housing a Ukrainian mother with her five children, and made an apartment available in Iasi for a woman who has fled Ukraine at eight months pregnant, and cannot move on further into Europe. We’re also filling gaps in food provision at a larger transit centre in Iasi.
As the situation evolves day by day, we will continue to use this fund to meet the needs identified by our partners; always supporting those who are most on the edge.
OUR HISTORY IN EASTERN EUROPE
Our co-founder and CEO Rachel Bentley visited Romania with Dame Anita Roddick in 1990 to help institutionalised children left in orphanages from the brutal Ceaușescu regime. This trip marked the very beginning of Children on the Edge.
Initially, our work in Romania involved helping three orphanages in the small village of Halaucesti in the Iasi district, in rural north-east Romania. We went on to support an early-years special needs centre in a suburb of Iasi where our partner organisation, Sansa Mea has worked miracles in turning around the lives of children with severe disabilities.
We also worked closely with the authorities of the Iasi region of Romania to change the pattern of institutionalisation and ensure that young people who grew up in state care learnt the necessary social and practical living skills to allow them to live independently in society. We also coached them in being able to access the services that will help them as they moved into adulthood. Fundatia COTE, our local partner in Romania is now fully independent and has a whole array of services for vulnerable teenagers.
In Moldova, to tackle the problem of children living in poverty without adequate care, at risk of abuse, institutionalisation, trafficking and exploitation, Children on the Edge developed our Child Friendly Space model in rural Moldova where the dangers were most evident.
This ‘Child Friendly Space’ in Moldova consisted of a converted house and area of land that acted as a centre for activities in the village.This centre serves over 200 vulnerable children of all ages and aims to protect and support these children as well as building community relations.
In the years since the Centre was established, it became the hub of the community. Work with the children at the Centre has reduced the crime rate and increased school attendance in a way that will significantly halt the common cycle of poverty and vulnerability.
We assisted our local partners to become an independent Moldovan run organisation, now running the centre and using independent local funding.