everything began

Open Hands started out by a simple visit to Romania in 2008. Below you can follow step by step how the charity evolved and how it grew, over the years, from very humble beginnings to a proper organisation that today reaches out to hundreds of children and changes lives.


Small beginnings

Rebekka decides to travel to Romania, prompted by an English documentary she sees about abandoned children in the country. Two close friends join her. Once there, they witness the plight of disabled and Roma children first hand. The complete helplessness of these children and the impact that severe neglect has on their lives move Rebekka to the core. These children have no one who speaks on their behalf.


First steps

Open Hands Charity is founded and registered as a UK charity, by Rebekka and some close friends. The name Open Hands is drawn up on a notepad at the kitchen table. The idea behind the name is that we open our hands not only to receive but also to give away. Open Hands commits to support the poorest and most disadvantaged children in Romania and becomes a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.


A new Adventure

A sister organisation, Fundatia Open Hands, is registered as an official charity in Romania. There is now an office in Romania and a strong team of committed workers is formed on the ground. Partnerships with local authorities and communities are built.


The Rainbow House

The Rainbow House opens its doors – a safe haven for children who have experienced extreme poverty, neglect and trauma. The Rainbow House is a small day centre which supports children’s emotional and physical healing and wellbeing through play, learning and much love.


Moving on

Work among the poorest, most disadvantaged children and families increases as Open Hands expands its Family Support Program. Children are visited regularly at home in the context of their family situation. Educational support increases as Open Hands begins its work in schools and kindergarten reaching out to children left behind by the system.


Different times

The outbreak of the Covid 19 virus brings the world to a stand-still. The Rainbow House closes temporarily. Open Hands becomes a life-line for the most vulnerable children and families who are completely isolated from the outside world. The charity brings food, learning materials and builds bridges between children and their schools, ensuring no child gets left behind.


To be continued ...

Open Hands e.V. is formed and registered as a charity in Germany. Rebekka is German and Open Hands had support from Germany right from the onset but this extension to the Open Hands family has made the work in Germany easier to carry out. Both Open Hands charities, in Germany and England, work closely together to achieve one aim: A better future for the poorest children in Romania.


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