Georgiana's Story

“The children in this family are like orphans, despite having parents.” 

Five children who receive very little input from their parents but are supported through Mission Without Border’s child sponsorship programme.

There are five children in Georgiana’s family, and they are all well known to Mission Without Borders’ children’s worker, Paula. Georgiana is 16, and her siblings are Nicolae 12, Gabriel 9, Kevin 6, and Maria 5. 

“Georgiana’s mother passed away when she was little,” Paula continued. “Soon after her mother’s death, Georgiana’s father began a relationship with her aunt, her mother’s sister, and she had the other four children. She was never around much to take care of the children, leaving the responsibility to whoever was willing to do it–and that was Georgiana. 

For many years, Georgiana, the eldest, took care of her siblings, especially the youngest one, Maria, who was born when Georgiana was 11. 

“Maria was abandoned in hospital after the mother gave birth to her, and she was on the verge of being taken away by Child Protection,” said Paula. Georgiana fought for Maria to stay with the family. 

Georgiana fought for Maria to be allowed to stay with the family – and she was the one who changed her nappies, made sure she had enough milk, and put her to bed at night. “She was like a little mother to Maria”, Paula said.  

Georgiana’s family live in a small village next to Sighisoara, Transylvania, in Romania, that is home to a mix of Romanians, Germans, Hungarians, and Roma people. The children’s mother (Georgiana’s aunt) frequently works abroad, and their father, who has an alcohol addiction, shows little interest in them, and so the children receive minimal parenting.  

The house consists of a bedroom and a kitchen, both of which are un-tidy and disorganized and need a good clean. Clothes and other belongings are scattered around, and the outdoor toilet is both unsanitary and terrible to use in the winter when it’s freezing outside. There is also an outside well which is the family’s water source for cooking and bathing. They have basins instead of a bathtub or shower. And there is never enough money to go around –bills  are often not paid on time, and there is no money for treats or outings. And despite the fact that it’s Christmas, there is no Christmas tree and no decorations at home.  

The four youngest children roam the streets aimlessly every day without supervision, only going home when sent away by the villagers. Six-year-old Kevin, who is particularly lively, would always leave the house without telling Georgiana where he was going, which always frightened her. Now he is often seen sitting around the railway, and passers-by give him money, without him having to ask.  

The children have few adults in their family who look out for them. They are afraid of their father and of their paternal grandfather, who lives nearby and dislikes them. Their paternal grandmother lives in the same village and will sometimes cook for them, but she doesn’t want to take on any further responsibility for them.  

It was particularly difficult for the children when schools closed because of the pandemic. They couldn’t access online school, like many children living in poverty in Romania, and being shut off from the school community intensified their everyday struggles.  

Then in the summer of 2020, Georgiana decided to leave home and go and live with a boy in another village. 

“What happened was that over the summer her aunt came home for a visit but didn’t stay long,” Paula said. Soon afterwards, the aunt posted pictures on social media of her with her new boyfriend, which made Georgiana’s father very angry. 

Georgiana’s father took out his anger on his eldest daughter –and it seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, with Georgiana packing her bags afterwards. “She loves her siblings very much, and she comes home as often as she can to visit them and run errands for them,” Paula said. “But I think she wanted to have some calmness; she wants to be seen, loved and cared for. It seems as though she’s had enough of being a mother when she herself needs one. 

Georgiana and her siblings are all enrolled on Mission Without Border’s child sponsorship programme, and Paula is the staff member who runs the Soup Kitchen for the sponsored children in the village. Here they receive help with their homework, a hot meal, Bible lessons, and “fun time” to play together. 

Great efforts were made to keep the Soup Kitchen and Christian Input classes open as much as possible throughout the pandemic, when all the restrictions due to Covid-19 were introduced. Mission Without Border’s staff and volunteers wanted to make sure that children like Georgiana and her siblings, who have no other support, could still find a place where they can forget their painful circumstances and be loved and valued for who they are. And with Christmas approaching, the children are growing more and more excited, hoping that their Christmas wishes will be fulfilled. 

Nicolae and Gabriel would love to have wristwatches, Kevin really wants to have a Lightning McQueen car and Maria has set her heart on a stroller with a baby doll.  

All of the children are welcomed and loved by the Mission Without Border’s staff and they are always eager to take part in all the activities, eat good meals, and get some help with their homework. Soup Kitchen also provides a place for them to get their clothes washed. Through Mission Without Borders, the children receive regular material support including clothes, shoes, furniture for their home, and the opportunity to go to summer camp.   

And this Christmas –thanks to the generous Mission Without Borders supporters –not only will the children receive gifts, but they will also be given a Operation Christmas Love (OCL) Box. Filled with both healthy food and treats. 

The Operation Christmas Love Boxes ensure that families living in extreme poverty do not go hungry over the Christmas period. 



 

The children’s father said, “My mother will make some specialties for us using this food you’ve given us. A big thank you to all the sponsors and we wish them health and a happy new year with lots of joy”. 

Although Georgiana and her siblings face an unknown future, Paula and the other Mission Without Border’s staff rest in the knowledge that God has already provided for them and has good plans for their lives. 

As the children come together to celebrate Christmas, the Saviour whose birth they are celebrating has promised them, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18). 

In Him they have a heavenly father, a family, and a home forever. 

1.3 mil

1.3 million is a staggering amount of children living in Romania affected by extreme poverty. 

Because of this it will increase their inability to access healthcare and education. 

These children will suffer various depravations, including social exclusion which will endanger their physical and mental health and even their survival. 

Report by “Save the Children Romania 2020. 

 

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