Our Charity and Our Location
Noreen’s Kids is a UK charity, registered in 2007 (charity no. 1123407), helping to support the work of the Romanian charity Fundatia Cuvioasa Paraschiva (Foundation of St Paraschiva) or FCP.
The FCP was founded in 2000 by Noreen O'Gorman and is based in Slobozia, the county town of Ialomita district about 70 miles east of Bucharest.
The FCP has two main projects:
Project 1: Our Residential Unit
This unit was originally opened by Children in Distress who took over a section of a home run by the Romanian child protection services - they decorated and refurbished it.
Noreen and her team took over the unit in August 2000 and improved the unit further with new furnishings, building works and redecoration. They took on the care of about 14 children who had AIDS.
Typically the children had been abandoned and had other problems, for instance severe learning difficulties, or other congenital difficulties.
At first the outlook of the children was thought to be poor and the work was aimed at providing good palliative care. However the treatment of AIDS has improved out of all recognition and all those who need it get expert treatment for AIDS, monitored from Bucharest by specialists in paediatric infectious diseases.
Independent Living Unit
Because of their wonderful care a lot of our “children” are becoming young adults and this has bought with it new challenges.
Noreen has bought a flat nearby in the town and refurbished it.
This has been used as an independent living unit for those of our young adults, whom we hope will eventually achieve independence. The aim is to reintegrate them into society.
Project 2: Our Community Services
At the moment the team is providing help to over 230 families in a fairly wide area around Slobozia, including Ialomita, Braile and Calarasi counties
Mostly these are poor families with sick children. The team visits regularly to provide support, depending on need. One of the most important things they do is to provide advocacy for families who are sometimes not getting the help which the state should be providing.
There are a number of families with children who have life shortening illness and Noreen’s dedicated team has provided care to families having to cope with the heartbreak of a child dying from illnesses such as AIDS or muscular dystrophy. Although palliative care is now recognised as a competency in Romania it has yet to achieve the status of a full specialty and community palliative care such as is provided by Noreen is still a rarity.
The team provides nursing care, some help with basic foodstuffs and fuel, especially in the winter, when many families struggle to afford the wood used to fuel stoves for cooking and heating their homes against the bitterly cold Romanian winter.
The community team includes nurses, a social worker, a physiotherapist and carers.