Inauguration of the Orkla House in Romania
Six children aged 9 to 13 have now found a safe home in the Orkla-financed house in the SOS Children’s Village in Hemeius, which lies in the poorest area of Romania.
Orkla has supported SOS Children’s Villages since 2000. On 22 May, the Orkla House in the Children’s Village was officially inaugurated by Manuela Banu, CEO of Orkla Foods Romania, and Kristine Kvernmo, Sponsorship Manager at Orkla.
“These children now have a loving home, and we will follow them up and ensure their future,” affirmed Manuela Banu during the inaugural ceremony.
There are seven family houses in the Children’s Village, in which 44 children aged 3–14 currently live. The SOS mothers are the linchpin of the Children’s Village, and it is primarily they who provide the children with security, care and advice.
“I want to help children find their way in life. It is a great moment for me when they call me ‘Mummy’ for the first time,” says Olga, the SOS mother in the Orkla House.
She explains that each family house has an SOS mother, who takes care of the children from the time they first arrive in the Children’s Village until the day they move out. They live as a family in the house, and biological siblings always live together.
“SOS Children’s Villages creates safe homes for underprivileged, orphaned children, helps to build up the community in which they live and gives them the opportunity to shape their own future. Orkla is proud to be able to support these efforts,” says Håkon Mageli, Orkla EVP Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs.
Great need for care
Hemeius is located in the county of Moldavia, the poorest area of Romania. A common situation is jobless parents leave their children to seek seasonal work. The children are left to fend for themselves or live with their grandparents.
According to Unicef, 2.7% of all children between 0 and 17 years of age in Romania are at risk of being abandoned. The social welfare services in the area are inadequate, and the financial crisis has plunged many families into extreme poverty.
SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages is a non-political, non-religious organisation that works in the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The primary mission of SOS Children’s Villages is to enable every child to grow up in a loving family. Of SOS Children’s Villages’ total revenues, 79% goes to the children, 20% to procuring new funding and 1% to cover administrative costs.