Facing the future together: Irina’s story


Irina Kadar is the youngest of five children. She lives with her mother, Tatiana, and her brothers and sisters, in a rented flat in a town in the North West of Romania.

The Kadar family’s house is small and basic but it means the world to Irina and her siblings because without it, the chances are that they would now be living in an orphanage, separated from their mother, segregated according to age and denied the chance to grow up together.

Before they found this flat, Irina and her family spent two years living on the streets or with friends. Tatiana had been forced to leave their previous home, taking the children with her, to escape an abusive relationship. She had none of the official documents that she needed to apply for social support and she knew her children were in danger of being taken away and confined to an orphanage.

This would have been a disaster for Irina and her siblings because orphanages do not protect children. They harm them. Children in orphanages are often subject to high levels of abuse and neglect. Without family to care for them, or siblings to play alongside, they live in a world without love. The impact of this can last a lifetime. Some don’t survive at all.

And over 80% of the 8 million or more children confined to orphanages around the world today are not orphans at all. Like Irina and her brothers and sisters, they have at least one living parent or relative. With the right support, we can give children what they want and need most – a stable, loving family.

Rather than let her children be taken to an orphanage, Tatiana Kadar turned to Hope and Homes for Children. We found them a small apartment and helped with the rent until Tatiana was able to find work. We provided basic equipment for the flat including a stove and a fridge as well as clothes and medicine for the children.

Working with the local social services department, we also helped Tatiana to recover her ID documents and the children’s birth certificates so that the family now receive the support to which they are entitled.

Now that Tatiana and her children have a permanent place to live, the older children can go to school and all five children attend the local Day Centre – a service developed by Hope and Homes for Children, to support vulnerable families and reduce the risk of children being separated from their parents.

Irina and her brothers and sisters may not have a big house or many toys but they have what all children need and want; a family to love and protect them.