TWO-THIRDS of children in state-run orphanages in Moldova have
now been found homes. Most have returned to their families, who are
given additional support to look after them under attempts by the
government to improve its social-care system.
Seven years ago, more than 12,000 children were in state-run
orphanages and boarding schools in Moldova, which is the poorest
country in Europe. But Moldova has been closing these after signing
an association agreement with the EU. This includes a stronger
emphasis on reducing institutional care. About 4000 children now
remain in institutions.
Most children in Moldovan institutions are not even orphans. A
report from UNICEF says that 98 per cent of children in state-run
institutions have families, but poverty, lack of support, and an
outdated reliance on state care keeps them apart.
The Christian charity Mission Without Borders has been
supporting families when children are returned from state care.
The charity's national manager in the UK, Carly Jones, said:
"The closure of children's homes means it is now more important
than ever that we ensure we're able to meet the needs of families.
There are many issues facing Moldovan families, including long-term
unemployment, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. Alongside
government initiatives and other NGOs, we're working closely with
families to ensure children grow up in a loving, safe, and secure
At the beginning of 2013, there were about 4889 children in
residential institutions in Moldova. During 2013, closure of homes
resulted in the removal of 290 or so children from state care.
Mission Without Borders runs summer camps and clubs for
children, and provides food, clothing, and other essentials to
families in difficulty.
Children who have no homes to return to are being moved to
smaller group homes, foster homes, or shelters.
The charity runs a family-sponsorship scheme to help families
who are taking back children from state care.