Open Hands headquarters in Romania are in Suceava, a city in the north-eastern part of the country. Work is carried out in two locations: In villages around Suceava where our Lighthouse locations are based and in Gheorgheni, a small town in eastern Transylvania, where our Rainbow House is located. Work with families and within schools takes place in both areas: Suceava and Gheorgheni.
CHILD POVERTY IS STILL
A MAJOR CONCERN,
WITH ROMANIA BEING
ONE OF THE TWO POOREST
EU COUNTRIES. – UNICEF
We work with children and families in rural communities who suffer from isolation and poverty, typically caused by a complete lack of education and poor opportunities for work.
Most children and families we work with are of Roma ethnicity and face severe hardship and destitution. Discrimination, lack of education, unemployment, homelessness, extreme poverty and hunger are part of their daily lives.
We work with parents who had traumatic upbringings themselves and received no education as children. Open Hands is often the first and only support these families receive. We meet many parents who have no bigger wish than to lead a ‘normal’ life and provide for their own children. They find hope in Open Hands and work together with us to improve their children’s situation.
It can take years before we see fundamental change but the small steps are the most important to us, because they show how far a family has come. We are beside these vulnerable families with support and advice every step of the way. To witness how children and families’ lives improve is a profound experience.