“It was like being kidnapped” – Nelu’s* story

This is Nelu. Nelu was trapped inside an orphanage for two terrifying years. Before people like you helped bring him back to family. This is his story.

Meet Nelu.

After Nelu’s mum died, his uncle Ion* did everything he could to raise him. But instead of helping, the authorities tore Nelu and his siblings away from their family and threw them inside an orphanage. Nelu was only two. 

“It was like being kidnapped. The children were crying and screaming. Some strangers came and took them, put them in the car and drove away.” 

Ion, Nelu’s uncle.

Will you help bring children like Nelu back to family? Donate today.

Nelu sits on his uncle Ion’s lap in their home in rural Romania.
Andreea Tănase / Hope and Homes for Children

Like Nelu, 80% of children in orphanages have families they could be with. Instead, they’re wrongfully separated. Alone and afraid. Exposed to violence, abuse and neglect. 

Learn more about how orphanages harm children.

The fight for family

Ion was desperate to get his nephews and nieces back. He battled with the courts for two years, jumping through hoop after hoop to bring them home.

But still, they wouldn’t budge. Nelu was trapped. He was losing his childhood. Until donations from people like you changed everything.

Read more about Nelu’s fight for family.

The orphanage Nelu lived in for two years. Far from his siblings. His family. His home.
Andreea Tănase / Hope and Homes for Children

Bringing Nelu home

After two painful years of separation, your support helped Ion get everything he needed to bring the children home.

From beds to school supplies, food to stoves, your support helped Ion in his darkest hour. It was the same support he needed all those years ago. But this time, there were people like you by his side.

Learn more about how we bring children out of orphanages.

After years of painful separation, your generosity reunited Nelu with his uncle Ion.
Andreea Tănase / Hope and Homes for Children

Safe and loved

Today, Nelu and his siblings are thriving. They’re doing well in school, and the joy they feel being back with their uncle shines through each of their faces.

“I love them like my own children. Not my nephews, but my children.” 


Thanks to your generosity, Nelu’s spending his childhood with his siblings. Playing cards together, hide and seek, feeding their animals, and playing on their uncle’s wheelbarrow. 

Ion and Nelu playing games together in their garden.
Andreea Tănase / Hope and Homes for Children

Will you help get more children like Nelu back to family?

Right now, 5.4 million children trapped inside orphanages. With your help, we can bring them Back to Family. Where they belong. 

Head to our donate page to make a gift today.

* Names changed to protect identity.