May 2023 Update

Thank you so much for your ongoing support for RICF!


Suzie's visit

I was delighted to be able to visit Bucharest for a week in March and to catch up with Ovidiu, Simona and Emilia in person. It was so lovely to see each of them, and how they work so well as a team. They have a real heart for those that we serve. For Ovidiu, this becomes so obvious in the spiritual part of the foster carers' support meeting, where he has been helping the foster carers explore and deepen their faith, leading them in worship, and helping explain passages from the Bible to them. This is a part of the meeting that the foster carers particularly look forward to.  When we visited a mum and baby enrolled in FICR’s maternity project, it was a privilege to see Simona listening with real compassion and concern, and advising this vulnerable woman regarding next steps as she navigated a difficult situation involving domestic violence. Similarly, when we visited an 11 year old boy in FICR’s ‘A Family for me’ foster care project, it was fantastic to see the obvious rapport that Emilia, project facilitator, has developed with both the young lad and his foster carer. You could see a genuine love between them, which is just so precious, and will be one of the reasons why his placement has got off to such a good start.

HQ team March 2023

We are so proud of our team for their continued loyalty and the sacrifices they have made to continue their work with FICR, even though they have each needed to take on other employment or businesses in order to sustain themselves and their families financially.

During my visit I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with progress and goals in each of our projects, and I was able to attend a support group for both the foster carers and the abandonment prevention group, as well as visiting one participant family from each project at their home. The foster carers do an amazing job and it was encouraging to hear from them in their meeting about what they are most proud of in the young people they care for, and also how they have faced some of the challenges they encounter e.g. within the education system. It was great to be able to take the HQ team and foster carers out for a celebratory meal to thank them for all the amazing work they do.

It was a privilege to also hear the stories of some of the mums and babies supported through the Maternity project, and to learn more about the kinds of challenges they face e.g. family dynamics with siblings with special needs, access to nursery education, financial concerns, mental health etc. In some cases, the dads or grandparents attend the meeting if the mums are not able to attend, and it was interesting to hear their perspectives too.

One of the key focuses of this visit was looking at the financial challenges faced by both RICF and FICR, as the economic climate changes in both Romania and the UK. For example, the monthly minimum wage in Romania has increased by over 250% over the last 9 years. This has made it increasingly challenging to cover staff salaries and other costs within Romania. For a number of years RICF UK has been functioning with a deficit and using up reserves to actively continue the work in Romania. We are reaching the point where reserves are coming to an end and so the current arrangement is not going to be sustainable.

We are currently engaged in a review with FICR of the projects we support. We have been assessing the level of need of current project participants, and ongoing relevance and value for money of these projects, alongside looking for viable options for increasing our income. We have a key meeting with the team on Monday.  We'd value your prayers for wisdom, clarity, good communication, and that we would know God's best plan for us as we explore together what the next chapter will look like. 

Project updates: 'O familie pentru mine' ('A Family for Me') Foster care project

Suzie on visit to child in foster careFICR currently has eight girls aged between 12 and 17 years and five boys aged between 11 and 17 years, and their 10 foster carers, enrolled in this project. The youngest boy, who is now 11, was enrolled in the project in September 2022. It was amazing to hear, during my March visit, of the progress he had made in the six months since he had arrived in the placement, in terms of nutrition, growth, speech, emotional development and education. His foster carer enrolled him in school for the first time, at the age of ten, and supported him to catch up two years of schooling so he would be in a class with pupils of a more similar age, rather than having to start from the beginning.

FICR is very grateful to RICF and also to the US charity Remember Nhu for their support for this project.

'Vreau si eu o mama' ('Me too, I want a mother!')

There are currently 12 mums with 13 babies / toddlers enrolled in this project, and overall FICR has now worked with more than 120 vulnerable mothers to support them in caring for their child (or children in the case of twins) and help prevent abandonment since the establishment of this project in December 2009. FICR is very grateful to both RICF and the US charity Remember Nhu for their support for this project.

toy library bottom shelf
toy library top shelfBaby exploring toy
children finding the toy libra child holding toy

At our March meeting we launched our new toy library whereby each child participating in the project will have one educational toy at home at any time on loan from FICR, and these will be swapped at each monthly meeting. We are also grateful for the £150 donated to start a board book library. Here are some of the babies and toddlers at our March meeting helping choose their toy for the first month.

Independent living and Professional development

FICR’s social worker Emilia currently offers individual mentoring to young people in FICR’s projects approaching the age of 18 to help prepare them for independent living, and to give them advice about further education and career options. Young people cared for in our ‘A Family for me’ project can talk through opportunities for furthering their education and / or starting out in employment. There is also a new government scheme whereby young people leaving care are entitled to a regular income for a number of years after they turn 18, if they are continuing their studies or have found a place of work. Many of our young people may be able to benefit from this scheme as they turn 18.


During this visit I was blessed to have a day in the mountains at Busteni with my friend Chris who accompanied me on the visit.  The scenery was breathtaking, and well worth a visit if you get the opportunity! Certainly the most beautiful place I have been in the last several years.


Thanks to all our supporters

Thank you once again to all those who support our work in Romania - we are so grateful for your faithfulness. Please do pray for us on Monday as we meet with the team.

God bless,