The first Romania Without Orphans online Summit just finished. “Everyone can do something” was the message that stuck in the minds of the participants and the most common response was “it didn’t last long enough”
Below are a few messages from the speakers:
“At this time, it is hard for you to stay home, but it’s extremely difficult for those that don’t have a home.” #50,000 childrenAlex Ilie, Executive Director ARFO
“Christianity is more than singing, reading the Bible, going to church, and giving some money. It is about how you live your life, if you are aware of those in need. If your life is focused on meeting your own needs or if you prioritize the needs of others.”Krish Kandiah, director of Home for Good
“There doesn’t exist just ‘only’ or ‘a little” when we think about the things that we can do for children and vulnerable families. God put something special in each one of us, something important that we can contribute, something that can make a huge difference in the life of a child.”Jason Johnson, Author of “Everyone Can Do Something”
“The principle of continuity in care is something that is not only proven by literature, but is also a natural thing. If there is a real and solid intention of adoption by the respective family (or fostering), it is desirable that this happens. I don’t support the idea of foster care for an indefinite amount of time or without serious intention by the family. Adoption means more than foster care and more than care and affection. It’s beneficial and natural to pursue continuity in care of the child.”Mădălina Turza, President ANDPDCA (National Authority for the Rights of People with Disabilities, Children and Adoption)
“There are many countries in the world where orphanages close and children are brought into families. We have over 7 million families in Romania. If there was a real change in mentality and mobilization at a national level, all the children would have a family. It all starts with the 10,000 children that enter the system every year. We at ARFO invest in both prevention and intervention because every child has the right to a family dedicated to their well being.”Liviu Mihăileanu, President of ARFO
“We know that institutionalization is harmful for all children, regardless of their age. At the same time, foster care can produce significant trauma because foster care was meant to be a short term solution. Every time we move a child, we break attachments, increase instability, and create another trauma for the child. Only a few people can take a child in their home, but even the smallest acts of help, kindness, resources, and emotional support at a critical time, are valuable and have a large impact.Judy Rycus Director of The Institute for Human Resources USA
The main session, together with all the workshops, of the Summit, will be available starting November 9th (for 40 lei) on ARFO’s website
Some feedback from the Summit:
“I want to support adoptive families that I know.” “ I will get involved with preventing abandonment.” “I want to address the issue of adoption in my family.” “I want to propose to my church that we should organize Orphan Sunday this year.” “I want to spend more time with children from the system and inspire those around me to get involved with volunteering.” “I’m thinking of helping a child in an orphanage.” “I decided to pray for the children in the system, for the authorities and for ARFO.” “I dedicated that next year I’ll apply for adoption.” “I want to listen more to children.” “I want to talk more about adoption.”
Maybe the most emotional testimony come from Adriana’s post on Facebook:
“The ARFO Summit took place online this year. This year’s theme was “everyone can do something.”
When we started to talk about adoption, neither my husband nor I knew where to start and there were so many unknowns. The first event of ARFO’s that I participated in kept me with a handkerchief and tears in my eyes..we were getting answers, and wow, what wonderful answers. We then participated in two Summits (one in Cluj and another in Bucharest), and we were excited to go with our children to the Summit this year- but the children are at their grandparents and we are sitting on the couch in the living room with our laptops in our arms..and still I have that handkerchief in my hand.
Alongside the courses, conferences, books, camps, and trainings Alianta Romania Fara Orfani wants to (and is also taking steps) to change the legislation. ARFO is a big umbrella for many organizations and churches that have the same goal: for every child to benefit from love, support, and security of belonging to a family.
All of this needs money. There are still 50,000 children in the system. Not everyone needs to adopt, but everyone can do something. Donations on ARFO’s site can be done easily here
The greatest dream of every child is a family. Let’s give a helping hand to those that are helping them.
“The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry