No comfort, no joy for Nikita this Christmas

Like this child in an orphanage in Moldova, Nikita is waiting for a family to love him

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.

He will have no presents to open on Christmas day and worst of all, no one to cuddle him, to make him laugh, to show him that he’s loved at this special time of year.

This is because Nikita lives in a large orphanage in Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries.

On Christmas morning, he will wake up in the same bleak room, to the same monotonous regime that he has endured for the last six months.

He will be hurriedly washed and fed by someone who may not even know his name. Then he will be left for hours with nothing and no one to cheer or console him.

At four years old, Nikita is facing a Christmas without comfort, without joy; without a family.

Tragically, six months ago, Nikita’s mother died. He was not alone though. He had a strong bond with his stepfather, Anton, and called him Dad. But like so many people in Moldova, Anton had no steady work and found it hard to make ends meet. Rather than give Anton the support he needed to care for his stepson, the authorities decided to send Nikita to the orphanage instead.

Children need so much more than food and shelter. To thrive and grow, they need love and individual attention. No institution can provide this. Only families can.

Hope and Homes for Children in Moldova is working tirelessly to close the orphanage where Nikita lives by giving families the support they need to bring their children home. When that’s not possible, we find safe and loving new families for children via fostering and adoption.

Livia is one of our experienced social work team in Chisinau and she has got to know Nikita well. He is a bright, energetic boy she says but the regime in the orphanage means now he rarely gets to go outside.

Livia is doing all she can to find the right family to care for Nikita. “Now, as we approach Christmas, Nikita is alone in an orphanage, with a pale image of his departed mummy in his small heart, waiting for a family of kind strangers to take him from there,” she tells us.

Through our orphanage closure programmes, family support services and work to train social workers and influence legislation, policy and practice in Moldova, the number of children in state orphanages there has fallen from 12,000 to just over 1,000 since 2012.

But, like Nikita, each of these remaining children is a unique and precious individual and we will not rest until every last one of them has a family to love and protect them.

Please give whatever you can to help us finish the job for all of them.

Please donate here