By Leonie Webster

In already challenging living conditions, COVID-19 is making life for Moldovan foster families that much tougher. Curfews are in place and prices for essential items are inflated. So, when we heard how much the foster families (many caring for kids with special needs in the state-run Temporary Placement Centre for Children with Disabilities), appreciated our gifts, we were overjoyed.

Several children under the care of these 31 families have unique needs due to cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and complications from fetal alcohol syndrome. Our team in Moldova shared with us how much receiving the care packages meant to the children when they were delivered to their homes. They were SO excited to receive items like meat and cheese – a welcome treat for foster households living on small government stipends close to the poverty line.

OGI Child Welfare Coordinator, Alina Druta and Moldovan Governmental Head of Foster Care, Olga Zachariah, greeted the families to present the gifts; traveling up to 12 hours to ensure each and every foster family was cared for. Senior Director of the Temporary Placement Centre for Children with Disabilities, Diana Chicus, was thrilled to receive the OGI donations. She expressed her gratitude through a state letter, saying that not only did the families deeply appreciate the care packages of food and hygiene products, but that their faith in the good of people was boosted.

It is a privilege to see collaborative efforts between OGI and the Moldovan state working together for children and families in need. We are so grateful for the generous donations from our American friends, donors and partners, who continue to help us bring front line assistance and urgent food items to some of Moldova’s most vulnerable children.

Thank you for standing with us, always. Stay healthy, stay safe and keep watching out for each other.