For 16 years we have been trying to get the word out about this small but growing population of children left behind on the streets of Romania by parents who could not afford to feed them or were too disabled to care for them. If you travel to Bucharest you can see them begging in the traffic, sleeping in the parks, but mostly hiding in the shadows. Their life spans are not long, their health is never good and now that the original children are grown there are too many children being born to the streets by mothers who themselves were left in the streets years before.
When I returned from Romania after my very first trip in 1997, I had 144 pages of American corporations who had interests or factories in Romania. I wrote to them all but got no responses from any of them. Then I went the route of the 501c3s (non-profit foundations) but Romania is very private about its lack of social structures to help those living in poverty so most of the foundations not in Romania did not and still do not have an accurate picture of the suffering that goes on there. As a result, there is no perceived need to help these children. Romania still clings to some vestiges of Communism which include the beliefs that the state will care for the less fortunate. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have lectured in Germany about the plight of these children only to be called a liar by a social worker who did not know of the existence of these children and was too horrified to even consider the what I was saying. I have lectured around the United States and seen people dissolve into tears at pictures I have presented.
And so to recap, ARCHWAY is trying to tell the world about these lost children in the hopes that we will find other organizations to partner with us for the sake of expanding our existing programs of food and clothing distribution, providing access to meager medical care, and helping the children obtain the all important identity papers that will allow them protection from sex and labor trafficking. We have been existing for 16 years on three consecutive grants from Ronald McDonald House Charities (1999, 2000, 2001) and always and miraculously the kindness and generosity of private citizens who support us in our work on behalf of these children. We are the only organization that works in the streets, abandoned buildings, and subway tunnels with these children but we need your help to get ideas of how we can raise money to keep our services going and add new ones. If anyone out there has any ideas or suggestions on how to get these children known to the world or where to go for grants, please let us know. And for those of you who have been faithful in your donations of clothing and money and prayers, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are here, fighting for these kids – the ARCHWAY kids – and we’ll keep fighting to give them better lives until the need no longer exists or we find a sustainable solution to this horrific problem. We hope to hear from you soon…
Archway, Inc. / Fundatia Archway Romania
Improving the quality of life of children living in the streets and sewers of Bucharest, Romania since 1999