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A Transformed Legacy The Impact Sponsorship has on a child’s life

We recently sat down with Lavinia, MWB Romania's Communication manager. She has been working with MWB for over 26 years and has shared with us some great insight into the impact of poverty on children's lives and how we are stepping into combatting the struggles they face as a mission. 

Can you describe poverty in Romania? 

Poverty is a very complex, issue. Poverty is a way of thinking, feeling, and acting. If you are born into poverty, grow up in a family where there is violence and addiction, never go to school, and can't read and write, then you will pass this poverty on to your children, and the downward spiral never stops.

Is there a moment that's really impacted you? 

The other day we visited a family we've just enrolled in the program and found two children aged nine and 12 who – because they couldn’t find anything to eat for three days in their home – they drank the only liquid they could find in the house, which was alcohol.

Such situations are of course extreme and an exception. And yet many children grow up in households where hardship and hunger are the order of the day.

How do you meet the needs of these families? 

To really bring about a new way of thinking and lasting change in families affected by poverty, it takes long-lasting, reliable relationships, counselling, prayer, and material help. Our coordinators live nearby to the families they work with, and they invest a great deal in supporting them and in being there for them. In addition, we involve the families in our community centres and churches and try to model a new way of life to people, with many opportunities they can take part in. But the greatest impact is mainly made by our After School programs. We prevent children from dropping out of school early by helping them do their homework and providing a warm meal every school day. As a result, children finish school and get an education. In this way, poverty can be broken and the next generation grows up differently.

What would you like to see in the future? 

I would create many more such centres, so that all of Romania would be covered! Sometimes it takes very little help to change a family’s life. I wish that more struggling families could be given the chance to access the support they need.

What does a community centre involve? 

We always work in partnership with a church. That means that the community centre provides the place and of course, the volunteers, but the MWB coordinators are the ones who organise all the activities and events. Some of the community centres run various projects such as the After School program, cooking facilities, showers and laundry facilities. 

One coordinator at each centre is employed by MWB and is responsible for the families and child sponsorships. However, the whole thing would not work without the many volunteers from the local church. At the After School program, teachers, volunteers and some students are involved in helping with homework and many other volunteers are involved in caring for the children. In addition, there are showers and washrooms with washing machines, which MWB makes available to people who mostly do not have running water at home, not to mention hygiene products. 

Is there anything else you would like to share 

Oh yes, very much! We are so happy about the support we receive. Please tell everyone that every penny invested is not in vain. Without the backing of donors, we would not be able to make so many good things happen. Thank you to everyone who makes this work possible! 

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