My project by Shirley Mansel



‘Human rights are the right of every person, no matter what colour , creed or race and children’s rights are the right of every child, no matter their origin or family status’

My project by Shirley Mansel


When the first cameras entered the Romanian orphanages in 1990 the world was stunned by what was revealed. The pictures of starving, freezing unloved children had a huge impact. Children were placed in the orphanages for numerous reasons, but most will blame Ceausescu’s anti – abortion and child requirement laws. Ceausescu required that women have 5 children by the age of 45 before he would allow then birth control or abortions. How did the problem start? In 1966, one year after Ceausescu became head of Romanians Communist party; contraception and abortion were outlawed for women under the age of 40. The following year the birth rate doubled. Over the coming years, restrictions on the use of contraception were made even stronger as the deluded dictator attempted to breed a workforce that would grow the country’s manufacturing industries and make Romania a powerful industrial nation. Romanian women were forced into having more children then encouraged to take them to the orphanages where the state would take care of them? The Outcome Television cameras captured images of shaven – headed, emaciated children tied to rusting cots, or banging their heads against peeling, crumbling walls. Dressed in filthy rags, Romanians unwanted children stared out at the world with huge eyes in pale, gaunt faces.

Frank and Diana Curcio founders of Hearts for Romania said: -- We started Hearts for Romania to restore love and care for these forgotten children and instil hope in them, for their future. Diane also goes on to say;--The first orphanage I visited was the Orphanage in the Capital of Romania, as we entered all I heard was complete silence, and I remember thinking “Where are all the children?” “Shouldn’t I be hearing babies crying or children playing or laughing?” I walked into one of the nurseries where ten children lying in metal cribs, not one made a sound, they never even raised their heads, just stared into space without any expression of hope for being alive. They lie in their cribs day and night, alone with very little care; they do not receive proper nutrition and no vitamins. They layed in their own urine, most of them covered with rashes. Several children’s eyes had crossed from lack of human touch and stimulation. I wanted to reach out and hold them, but what could one person do? So I stood there………as they laid. I broke down and cried. I will never forget the pain and suffering I saw in those children’s eyes. The older children were not potty trained suffering from chronic diarrhoea due to malnutrition and illness. They did not wear pants and sleep 4 to a cot or on the floor, sharing soiled blankets, wet with urine and lice infected, they did not have disinfectant, soap they did not have hot water…………….They were the forgotten children and are wasting away in ‘prison like’ institutions, all alone in the world with no- one to help them, guide them or love them…….

My project by Shirley Mansel There are hundreds of new orphanages all over Romania now.


o Ales Home The Alesd Home was started in 1997 by the Hungarian Reformed church, 25 children now call this orphanage home. Bethesda Home This was founded by Reverend Irma Molnar and her husband who once dreamt of a refuge for the lost children in the Carpathian Mountains Casa Tabita The Casa Tabita is a small Christian orphanage located in the city of Bosca in Western Romania. Cernatul de Sus The Cernatul de Sus orphanage is located near the city of Brasov in south – eastern Romania. The construction of the orphanage building was founded by the European Union. And the list goes on and on!! And up to the present day there are; Over 1000,000 abandoned children in Romanian orphanages According to statistics issued by the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption (NACPA) In 1990 there were 47,405 children in social care institutions of whom 8,558 were in nurseries, 25,870 in orphanages and 6,919 in specialised units for children with disabilities. The official figures for institutionalised children grew until 1994 to 52,986 built since 1998 efforts have been made to improve the situation. At the end of 2000 when total responsibility for children’s care was transferred to the NAPCA the number of children protected in public organisations was reported as 53,335.

My project by Shirley Mansel


Progress Romania will always have its orphanages, but slowly things are improving and becoming more humanitarian thanks to the many foreign and UK charities that just want to give these forgotten children a better standard of life… (Easter Aid to Romanian Orphanages) as written by Barry Williamson ,Margaret Geris and Johnathon Slide. During Easter holiday period of April 1990, we left England on Sunday the 08th of April, travelled 4,000 miles in a 7.5 ton box lorry, returning to England the 22nd of April. Supplies taken to Romania included nn 1.132 tons of food 320lb of medicines 1453lb of toiletries 530lb of shoes 2.75 tons of clothing 215lb of books and paper

Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”

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