Disabled orphans in Romania face widespread abuse, report says

By May 15, 2006

Romania (MNN) — Reports last week showing the widespread abuse of orphans in Romania served as a reminder to the orphan abuses more than a decade ago.

Bethany Christian Services’ Roger Bouwma says, “Conditions have improved considerably in many areas, but it’s not surprising to find that there are still places in Romania where those kinds of situations are still evident.”

Bethany has been working in Romania since 1991 assisting with adoptions until the program closed a few years ago. The abuses indicate the country still needs help in dealing with its child care system and that’s why Bethany is working there, even though there’s a moratorium on international adoptions in the country.

Bethany’s Lexi Damacus says there’s still a lot to do and they’ve done a lot since 1997. “Established foster-care system, and in fact, Bethany was one of the first organizations in Romania that were thinking of this concept and implementing it. And since, we have been doing many of the placements of the kids with special needs with foster families.”

Bethany is also doing abandonment prevention, reunification and domestic adoption programs.

Since Bethany is a Christian organization, their testimony is an important part of their work, Bauwma says. “We let our light shine as best as we can, at the same time working cooperatively with the government, we can not step beyond the boundaries that are set up. We have had volunteers groups go to Romania in the past couple of years and we have seen some really neat impact as a result of some of that activity.”

Child sponsors are needed to help keep Romanian children in foster families, for as little as $150 a year. Your involvement could be what God uses to help these children hear about Christ.

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