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Our child psychologist, Ionela, pauses for a moment, looking out of her office window at several small groups of children that are wending their way down the road towards the Kids Alive Romania Care Center. She continues: “So many of these kids are left alone for long periods because their parents are not home, or because they don’t know how to care well for them. The worst situations are where there is a parent that drinks heavily. That can put the child even more at risk.”
By this time, there is a loud chattering of voices, punctuated with peals of laughter, in the hallway as the children arrive for their afternoon activities at the Center. Here they will receive support with their education, a healthy snack, games and sports, counseling, and, of course, Bible stories about a heavenly Father who never leaves or neglects them. It is here, in the Center, that unhealthy home environments are forgotten for a time as the children learn and play together. Their broad smiles and animated interactions with one another speak volumes for the quality care and love they receive from the committed staff team.
One impact of the Center is seen in the academic results: children attending the program tend to attain significantly higher school grades than their peers who are not in the program. Yet there are other outcomes too, ones that cannot be easily measured in numbers. “We are watching these children grow in confidence and self-esteem,” Ionela smiles. “They have hope, and this impacts all areas of their lives.”
And what plans are there for the future? “We want to help more kids,” our Country Director, Cami Cismaru, tells me. “Our dream is to be able to buy a bus that we can send to nearby villages and bring kids back here – that way we can help twenty more children. And we want to do more with the families too, helping them become healthier and better prepared to care for their children.”
Please pray for this beautiful ministry and these precious kids – that they would continue to flourish and become everything that God intends for them!