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Homes for orphans in Romania


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An old and current picture of the Toca family who will benefit from the Whirlpool build.

Eighteen years ago Mircea Toca and his wife Lidia from Oradea, in western Romania, decided to help orphans in their country. The couple opened their home for 16 children from the streets and state-run institutions and became their mom and dad.

A few years later, Lidia gave birth to two children. At that time, the family had 20 members and lived in a big house provided by the Caminul Felix association. Many of the orphans have come of age since then and moved out to begin independent life. The bigger dwelling the family currently occupies can be transferred to another couple who are raising orphans and abandoned children, too.

During the years of communism in Romania, orphans grew in number and orphanages became overcrowded after the 1966 decree made abortions illegal. Children in the state-run institutions lived a difficult life, got poor nutrition, inadequate clothing and bad education.

When Habitat started in Romania is began work to address living conditions of the orphan children. A few years ago, a project was developed in partnership with Caminul Felix, an association that accepts orphans and integrates them into families that already have children. These children are raised in locations owned by the association where they get support until the age of 18.

Mircea and Lidia have been living in one of the houses offered by the association. Soon, they will be moving into a smaller house constructed by Habitat and its volunteers. Their current house will be transferred to a new family who is willing to adopt children from the orphanages.

In May 2010, a group of 100 volunteers from Whirlpool Europe, Middle East and Africa came to Oradea to help build this new house for Micrea and Lidia and their children. Whirlpool employees from 14 countries across Europe gathered at the building site for two days. This was the way the company chose to celebrate 100 years of its work. View a slideshow of the Whirlpool build in Romania.

In those two days, the new house truly took shape, the roof was raised and the walls were insulated. Whirlpool’s enthusiasm was great, putting a lot of energy into the work to leave the house at an advanced stage.

Some members of the Toca family worked alongside the volunteers. “Thank you to the Whirlpool Corporation that has offered to support this construction financially and to send a team of volunteers. Your donation will make our vision come through continuing to raise our children”, said Micrea and Lidia.

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but to do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Romania in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our U.S. Dollar donation page to support projects in Romania.
• Visit our Euro donation page to support projects in Romania.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this country.

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