At the end of the 1980s, Romania was suffocating under the government’s economic and demographic policies that would be overturned by a coup in December 1989. Romanians were then living in great material poverty and food insecurity, which led thousands of families to leave their children in orphanages in the care of the State. It was the squalid living conditions that these Romanian orphans were forced to undergo that drove SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams to take action in Romania in 1989.
Between 1989 and 1994, our teams rehabilitated orphanages in Versini, Propricani and Bogdodanesti and carried out “Operation Gift”, distributing packages to 20,000 children and some 15,000 dictionaries and literature books to Romanian secondary school students.
From 1994 to 1999, our activities focused on the Galata Medico-Psychosocial Centre. Having ran a pilot, our teams organized training programmes for Romanian staff. They enlisted the help of French specialists – such as psychologists, special needs teachers, primary school teachers and child psychiatrists – to prepare the local staff to run its own school system. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL also helped rehabilitate the centre’s infrastructure and reorganize matters such as structuring activities for each wing, support services and staff management.
During the 1999–2000 winter, emergency aid in the form of food, cooking fuel and hygiene products was also delivered to Moldavian children in 72 orphanages.
Quotes from our archives:
Four years ago whenever Florin had a fit, he was tied to a radiator and force-fed antipsychotics. Since then, through patience, method and affection, he has gradually calmed down. It is wonderful to see how happy he is in the arms of Doctor Elena, Director of the Galata Medico-Psychosocial Centre. Four years ago, the 50 Galata children were treated as ‘things’.
Alain Boinet, Founder of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL
At head office