The Kootenay Romanian Relief Organization was established in 1991 to assist orphans, the elderly and the poor in Romania.
After the fall of Communism, and the subsequent trial and execution of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the horrific poverty in Romania was exposed to the world. When Barbara Walters took a film crew into Romania, they entered the many orphanages and exposed the terrible conditions the children were living in.
Fortunately, people from all over the free world descended on Romania to rescue children by adoption. 14 children were adopted by families in the Kootenay Region of Canada. As a result of travelling to Romania and witnessing the devastation first hand, it was decided to start an organization to assist the poverty-stricken.
The Kootenay Romanian Relief Organization is a Registered Canadian Charity. Our Board of Directors includes:
- a Medical Doctor
- a church Pastor
- a church elder who works with challenged youth
- a retired recreational complex administrator
- a Doctor of Dentistry
- a Pharmacist
- a fitness councilor
- 2 retired Police officers
- a retired Canadian Ambassador to Romania who acts as an advisor
To date, we have shipped and distributed 13 containers of clothing, bedding and toys. Each container assists over 10,000 people.
After taking a team of medical people to look at the conditions of some of the orphanages, we came back and raised enough money to rebuild the infrastructure of one of the orphanages. This consisted of new stoves, fridges and freezers, new plumbing, wiring, as well as new walls and floors. The children’s rooms were renovated and furnished with desks, bookshelves and a bed for each child.
A ladies group began making quilts and pillows. All of the children in the orphanages in Cimpulung have received a pillow, and quilt and a bible. Each of these items has the child’s name placed on it, and in most cases these items were the first things the child ever owned.
We have built 3 houses for poor families and assisted with work on a children’s camp.
Some of these families have been living with 14-15 people in 2 rooms in buildings made of mud and with dirt floors.
We have completed a playground at orphanage #2 in Cimpulung with swings and slides for the kids. Built to Canadian safety standards, it is now being enjoyed by the orphans. The Nelson Kiwanis Club is raising funds to build a soccer field and basketball court for the older children at the same orphanage.
Construction has been completed at a children’s camp with new set of toilets and showers, complete with a well and septic field and new insulating and siding on the cabin for the staff.
We have started construction on two more houses for poor families and we hope to complete these this year (if we can raise enough money).
We are consistently collecting clothing, bedding and stuffed toys for shipment of our next container to Romania which will be distributed to orphanages, elderly homes, poor villages, the children’s camp and to other poor families as we identify them. We distribute everything ourselves to ensure all the clothing and bedding gets to those in need.
We are presently fundraising for these projects. We fully fund these projects ourselves, through your donations. We use Romanian labor and materials for the building projects and remain involved throughout the entire process to ensure quality control.
We are pleased to give slide show presentations and talks to anyone that would like more information or would consider assisting with these projects. We could not do this work without your financial assistance.