Summer 2012 ADRA Works
When Aliona was 5 years old, ADRA workers found her and her developmentally challenged brother living in the garbage in downtown Chisinau, Moldova’s capital. Their home was a cardboard box. With their father dead, their mother had no interest in them and had abandoned the little children.
ADRA’s Rainbow Children’s Home began operating in 2000 and is in a beautiful rural area far away from the noise and dangers of the capital. Moldova, once a prosperous part of the Soviet Union, is now the poorest country in Europe. The challenges of creating a market economy have led to high unemployment, with more than 25 percent of the country’s adults working outside of the country.
When adults struggle economically, too often the children are forgotten and left behind. Upon arriving at ADRA’s home, the first thing a child receives is medical care. “Most children are suffering from gastroenteritis, respiratory ailments, skin diseases, and lice when they arrive,” says the staff doctor. “And unfortunately, a large portion suffer from tuberculosis as well. Some are not able to write, have a short attention span, and are completely unused to talking to anyone when they arrive.”
“Our children come from the streets, and many are referred to us by the government when they find them living in neglect and abuse in their family homes,” shares Natalia, the education manager. “First, they go to the hospital for a complete check; then they return to the children’s home and receive a complete educational analysis. They receive a complete psychological analysis and plan with continual counseling, and we provide all their legal needs.”
Too many children are like Marcella, who arrived at the home in 2003. Horrified, she had watched her father kill her mother. She still remembers every detail, including what her mother was wearing. After years of counseling, she finds it very hard to talk with anyone, preferring to watch everyone around her. Now, at the age of 17, she is in the 9th grade, and school is very difficult for her—yet she puts her whole heart into her studies.
“I like to be at this house,” says Marina with a smile. “I am grateful to be here. I love to learn languages and read. I even like doing my homework. I am here with my younger sister and am so grateful that we are together. Everyone here has a chance to learn and to survive. It is good.”