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Valeria is three years old and loves playing with her big sisters, Marinela who is seven and Natalia who is six.

The girls live with their parents on the outskirts of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Their home is very simple but it’s safe, warm and dry. Two years ago, when our partner local NGO in Moldova first met Valeria and her family, they were living in a cramped, rusting bus that they’d turned into a makeshift house.

When the local authorities became aware of the family’s situation, they wanted to separate Valeria and her sisters from their parents and send them to an institution where they would have been left to survive without the love and individual attention that is so fundamental to the well-being of all children.

Our Moldovan partners stepped in to help Valeria parents’ access vital social benefits to care for their girls. They raised funds locally to help the family buy construction materials to build a proper house, as well as some chickens and ducks to provide food and an additional source of income.

As well as completing programme to close the main institution for babies and young children in Chisinau by finding safe, alternative family-based care for all the children who live there, our colleagues in Moldova work to provide a range of support services for vulnerable families to stop further babies and young children from being admitted to institutions that threaten their development, their well-being and their life chances.