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I remember that day so well

Georgiana’s mother had walked out of the hospital alone, after giving birth to little Maria. When she came home without the baby, Georgiana, who was only 11 at the time, began crying. She ran out of the house to find me and was crying out, 'If my mother doesn’t want the baby, I do! I don’t want to leave her in the hospital, I want her at home with us and I will look after her! I will be her mother!' 

The authorities wanted to put the baby in a children’s home, but I told them that we were supporting the family. Because they know about the work we do, and trust us, they changed their minds.

I am sure Georgiana took better care of the baby girl than the mother ever did. She spoon-fed her, changed her nappies and put her to bed. She told us any time she ran out of diapers, and we’d help her. She’s like a little mother to her. When Georgiana was in hospital herself, with pneumonia, she couldn’t wait to go home. She told me, 'I want to go home to take care of my sister. I like being in the hospital because I can rest, but I have to go home.'

Now baby Maria has grown into a big four-year-old. She, Georgiana and their brothers all come along to our after-school club and other activities.  They call me their mother. I’m so proud of each one of them.

Paula, who supports Georgina, Maria and many other children in the Danes community in Romania

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