Cry in the Dark. Making a Wonderful Difference in Romania

The work of Cry in the Dark is an amazing example of Christian charity. A charity based in the United Kingdom, they provide fantastic care and support to young people with life limiting illnesses and disabilities in Romania.

In December 1989 an era of Romanian politics came to an end. The Communist leader and President, Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown by a revolution and on Christmas Day, he and his wife were executed. He was head of state from 1974 to 1989 and during his early years of leadership the country's birth rate was extremely low. To counteract this, abortion was outlawed. Women under the age of 40 were required to have four, later to become five children. This was one of the reasons that Romania became poverty stricken and women either sort illegal abortions or gave up their children to state run orphanages. Unbelievably, eventually parents were paid to give up their children.

It was Nicolae Ceausescu's intention to create a Romanian Workers Army from these orphans. However the orphanages had few nurses and suffered food shortages. This caused emotional and physical problems for these children. Ceausescu's answer to the weaknesses of these children was to give them blood transfusions, but blood wasn't screened properly and the transfusions were conducted with shared needles. Inevitably this lead to the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepititis.

As a Communist country, Romania was more or less hidden from other European and Western states, so the suffering of these orphans and young children never came to light until the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu.

In 1998 Steve Cooper was working as a Domestic Appliance Engineer. On one particular visit to repair a cooker, he couldn't but help notice that the lady whose cooker he was repairing was very subdued. Being a Christian and feeling her sorrow he enquired of her sadness. She explained that she had just returned from Romania and had witnessed the horrendous plight of the orphans there. Steve felt compelled to go and see for himself and along with three friends took that trip to North East Romania. They witnessed children with physical and mental disabilities plus life limiting illnesses, suffering in darkened rooms, bed upon bed pushed together with urine and excrement waitng to be cleared away. There seemed to be no love coming from the careworkers, possibly because the soul had been drained from them as well. When Steve and his friends heard the crying and wailing piercing the darkness,

Cry in the Dark was born.

Despite not having any money, they set about building an orphanage in Comanesti. Miraculously their prayers to God were answered as every obstacle they encountered was overcome. The year 2000 saw the opening of Casa Lumina and twenty four children were taken from state run orphanages and given a home with so much love and care.

The Christian work of Cry in the Dark didn't stop there. The death of one of the children, Albert, provided the inspiration to build another centre; Casa Albert.

Casa Albert has for several years now acted as a medical outreach centre where trained medical staff go out into the impoverished regions around the city of Bacau and deliver much needed medical attention to young people with life limiting illnesses. They also offer support to the families of these young people. If proof was ever needed of the support that this wonderful charity gives, in 2010 the doors of Casa Albert were opened as a Day Care centre to their patients.

In 2009, Casa Lumina, the orphanage in Comanesti was extended. Cry in the Dark's original vision was to provide a home for life for the young people that they serve there. As these young people developed into adults, their needs required for Casa Lumina to become larger. Consequently over eighty volunteers spent the summer months building the extension, demonstrating the compassion that has been generated by this Christian charity. The extension was opened in the spring of 2010 making this particular year one to be remembered.

The work is always ongoing and can be quite imaginative. Over the last few years volunteers have answered the call of The Shoe Box Appeal whilst others have flown out to Bacau to distribute these Shoe Box Christmas Presents to the community that Cry in the Dark serve. HIV/AIDS awareness programmes have also been operating in Bacau thus empowering the community to help themselves.

When Cry in the Dark started out it was always the vision to tackle poverty wherever it may be. Their work at present is concentrated in North East Romania but that same vision still exists. As the charity grows, more projects will be developed. If this charity has touched your heart and you feel a desire to help please get in touch via www.cryinthedark.org. With your help their vision can be achieved.

How fantastic is that?



Cry in the Dark

www.cryinthedark.org

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