Thousands of children in the rural community of Bacau live in abject poverty, lacking even the most basic necessities. Most families are crowded into tiny houses built out of mud and sticks, sharing one or two beds and having very little to eat. The children have to walk a long way for every bucket of water, and winters are especially difficult. These families suffer in deplorable conditions with little or no hope for the future.
Deeply moved by the plight of the most poor and vulnerable, in 1999 FAVOR began working in the local Bacau community to make a difference in alleviating the suffering for impoverished families, orphans and children’s institutions.
FAVOR regularly receives large truck loads of humanitarian aid from generous donors in Western Europe. Food staples, clothing, shoes, computers, toys, furniture, bedding and wheelchairs are among the items carefully distributed by FAVOR’s volunteers through the following avenues.
Visiting Families at Risk
Through personally visiting hundreds of at-risk households and with assistance from local child protection and social welfare officials, FAVOR has identified the most vulnerable beneficiaries for this program. Detailed information is gathered to provide aid packages based on each families specific needs. Along with the material aid, FAVOR volunteers offer counselling and encouragement to these struggling families.
One-Day Free Stores
An effective distribution method, benefitting thousands of residents in surrounding villages has been to setup “Free Stores” for a day. Villagers are invited to a public location such as a school or town hall where items such as clothing, shoes, bedding, household and hygiene articles, and baby equipment are displayed on tables.
Families choose what they need and load up their wagons. Recipients are grateful to be able to select items that suit their specific needs.
Often children are unable to attend school simply because they lack proper shoes or warm coats and their parents cannot afford them. The Free Stores are able to benefit large groups of needy families in one day and provide desperately needed items, many times enabling kids to attend school again.
Distribution to Hospitals, Orphanages and other Institutions
Support to local institutions (which are usually severely underfunded) is provided through targeted aid distribution. For example, walkers and mechanized beds for residents at a home for 100 elderly; gift packages and food for 80 residents of a very poor psychiatric hospital; workbooks, toys and educational materials to several kindergartens and children’s centers; diapers and walkers to a home for handicapped; and baby clothes for needy mothers at a maternity hospital.