For some years we have supported the running costs of the Rainbow House in Romania, run by Open Hands, a day centre for young children living in poverty. Whilst we continue with our regular funding, we have in the last year helped Open Hands with 3 new initiatives.
GARDEN PAVILION AT THE RAINBOW HOUSE
The Rainbow House is well equipped and set up for the children who attend, and there is a lovely large garden in which to play. But during the hot summer months, there is no shade, making it unsuitable to use for much of the year. We therefore provided the funds to build a garden pavilion. Despite all the problems during the pandemic, the pavilion was built at the end of 2021, and has been in almost constant use ever since.
The young children who started to come to the Rainbow House, when it first opened, have now become teenagers, and Open Hands wanted to provide a dedicated area for them – to socialise, do homework, and to have a safe space. We gave funding to refurbish and kit out an old container. This is now finished, and the kids really love it.
SUPPORT FOR UKRAINIAN REFUGEES
In response to the war in Ukraine, we initially gave funding to the team helping refugees at the border between Romania and Ukraine. As things have been developing over the last few weeks and months, Open Hands have now changed their focus, and are regularly driving into Ukraine to support a refugee shelter in the Chernivtsi area. The shelter is currently housing 200 people, around 50 of which are children, as well as women and elderly people.
In order to facilitate this work, Open Hands have purchased a minibus, and we have provided £5000 towards the cost. This is a long-term investment, as the bus can be used for many years to come at the Rainbow House and in their outreach work. But for now, thanks to the minibus, they are able to provide vital supplies to the shelter, and support to the staff and traumatised people sheltering there.