Stories

We’re inspired by the courage and resilience of the children we work for. Here are some of their stories.

  • Carrol’s story
    On UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities we bring you Carrol's story: “We used to be distressed, wondering how our child was being treated in the institution but now we are quite sure of how he is treated because he is in our hands.”
  • To escape her violent marriage, Galina faced an impossible choice
    On this day we bring you Galina's story: Faced with the terrible dilemma of having her children sent to an orphanage if she left her violent husband, her courage and determination meant that she is now able to bring her children up within the love and safety of a family.
  • A foster family story from Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Alex will always be a part of our family”
    In the 15 years he spent  growing up in an orphanage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alex never knew what it meant to feel safe. He had three meals a day but he was always hungry for love. He now lives a loving foster family.
  • Haris’s story from Bosnia: a happy childhood with his mum and sisters
    Growing up with his older sisters to love and protect him, baby Haris is never likely to be short of playmates, cuddles or helpful advice. But without the courage and commitment of his mum, Esmeralda, this happy childhood would have all too easily been stolen from him.
  • A deep bond of love and trust: a foster family story from Rwanda
    The orphanage where Patty was living did provide food and shelter but, like all children, he needed and deserved so much more. An incredible foster family story from our work in Rwanda.
  • The right help, at the right time: Radion’s story from Ukraine
    Without the right help at the right time, made possible by your generous support, Radion was in danger of spending his childhood confined to a loveless institution. Instead, he’s free to enjoy the adventure of growing up with a mum and brothers to love and protect him.
  • Jacinta’s Story from India: “If I am educated, I can do anything I want”
    Jacinta had dropped out of school to help her family earn enough to support her. She was at great risk of being sent to live in an orphanage, to keep her safe from the traffickers who prey on young girls in Jharkhand state. Read about our work in India.
  • Celebrating Women: Grace and her triplets (with video)
    Around the world, March 8 is recognized as International Women’s Day. This week we celebrate the women whose acts of courage and determination have kept their families together, and their children free to grow up in the family; not in an orphanage. Read Grace's story.
  • Celebrating Women: Nduwayo and Mugabo’s story
    This week we celebrate the women whose acts of courage and determination have kept their families together, and their children free to grow up in the love and safety of a family; not in an orphanage. Read Nduwayo's story.
  • Uwera’s Story: saved twice
    Imagine being fed just once a day, sleeping on a floor crawling with insects and only having your nappy changed every 3 days. This was Uwera's life in an orphanage.
  • Nikita is now in a family “His sadness was transformed into happiness”
    By the end of the year, our specialist team in Moldova, had succeeded in matching Nikita with a caring couple who are experienced foster parents. “His sadness was transformed into happiness” says Livia.
  • Jonathan’s story: think before orphanage volunteering
    Jonathan was five-years-old when he arrived at the orphanage in Western Uganda. Watch the video as he describes what it was like to live in an orphanage and to be visited by voluntourists from the UK.
  • No comfort, no joy for Nikita this Christmas
    Nikita has only just turned four but he will have no one to help him hang up his stocking or decorate a tree this Christmas.
  • Now this orphanage is closed, 41 babies and toddlers have families to love them
    This is the Yambol orphanage in Bulgaria – an institution for children under the age of three. September 2018, when the last child left to join a loving family, Yambol was closed for good.
  • Lorette’s Story
    An accident when she was just seven condemned Lorette to a lonely childhood in a series of Rwandan orphanages. The last of these was the Gahanga institution for children with disabilities in Kigali, which we are now working to close. This is her story.
  • Dima’s Story
    Dima is an outgoing 14-year-old who takes an interest in the world around him. For most of his childhood though, no one took any interest in him.
  • Escaping slavery to stay together – Katya and Masha’s story
    Living on the streets with a baby to care for, Katya desperately sought help. The ‘help’ turned out to be a slavery operation that kept her daughter imprisoned and sent her back onto the streets to beg.
  • Rukhiya: My Story
    Rukhiya Budden is the first to say that today, she leads a very privileged life. She lives in a lovely home in Buckinghamshire with her husband and their three beautiful daughters. But her own childhood could not have been more different.
  • Joseph’s Story
    Joseph was born with cerebral palsy and abandoned as a baby. He was taken to an orphanage and spent most of the first nine years of his life, lying in a cot or on the floor, unable to move.
  • Chloe’s Story
    Chloe is a tiny little girl who looks as if she might be about two or three years old. In reality though, her true age is probably closer to ten.
  • Nothing Compares to Family Life: Sylvia’s Story
    As she cleared up the dishes, Rhinah heard a noise from the back yard. Peering out into the semi-darkness from the kitchen window, she could just make out a small bundle, lying on the ground at the edge of her property. She heard another cry and ran outside to investigate. When she unwrapped the bundle she discovered a tiny baby girl; Sylvia, then just a few days old.
  • Edin’s story
    Without our support, Edin's family were in danger of losing their children to an orphanage. Against the odds, they are now able to provide a real home for their children; a home where Edin can grow up feeling loved and knowing that he belongs.
  • Cary’s Story
    Cary was only seven when her mother left her in a remote orphanage for children with disabilities in Rwanda because she could no longer cope without support.
  • Hope for Viorel and his family this Christmas
    No one wants to have their photo taken when they’re at rock bottom. And sadly, this Christmas in Romania, Viorel and his family are in a desperate situation.
  • Baby in the bushes
    Gihozo is four years old and is the apple of her family’s eye, but as a small baby the authorities insisted she was given up to an orphanage. Her story explains why.
  • Fiona and Patience: how poverty pushes children into orphanages
    Fiona is a loving mother who is struggling against enormous odds to keep her daughter, Patience, from life in an orphanage.
  • Giselle’s story
    Giselle was born with multiple disabilities and spent the first five years of her life ignored and neglected in a crowded orphanage in Rwanda.
  • “Without help, I would not have been able to keep my son.” Ivo’s story
    When Ivo was born, his family had nowhere permanent to live and no income. Without help, his mother, Tatyana, thought she might have to leave her son in an orphanage.
  • “He will make you smile more than he will make you cry:” Georgi’s story
    Petya and Ivan Petrovi had spent years longing for a second child. But when their son, Georgi, was born in October 2012, the midwives and doctors at the hospital behaved as if something terrible had happened.
  • She is my life: Azra and Alma’s story
    Azra Čaušević is a happy, high-spirited little girl who lives with her mother, Alma, in a village in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Home at last for Christmas: Maxim’s Story
    Maxim is 16 years old and has spent most of his life trapped in Ukraine’s vast and loveless network of children’s institutions.