Summer Camp offers an escape from the hardships kids face everyday living in deep poverty

Children growing up in poverty in Romania face many challenges – from having to raise their own siblings or manage a household from too young an age – to living in situations that are harmful to their development.

Sorin is an 11-year-old boy with six siblings. His family live in deep poverty in a house located far from the village. The house has only two rooms, both with dirt floors, and no bathroom or toilet. One room is used as the living room and the kitchen, and the other as the bedroom where everyone sleeps.

There are high levels of unemployment where Sorin’s family live, with his parents picking up seasonal jobs in agriculture when they can – but also frequently going abroad to find work when there are no opportunities at home. Sorin and his siblings are left at home alone when his parents are working, and as the eldest, Sorin takes care of the little ones.

The family has been enrolled on Mission Without Borders’ (MWB) family sponsorship program, and now receive regular emotional, spiritual and material support. Last summer, Sorin was invited along to a summer camp run by MWB – an unforgettable experience, giving him an experience radically different from his home life.

Constantin, the staff member who works with the family, said, “Sorin is a very sweet, respectful boy. He comes from a very poor family and Child Protection has placed his eldest sister in foster care; she now lives with another family. Sorin’s parents don’t have much education. They’re not married, and their relationship isn’t always great.

“It’s very difficult to find work in the area they’re in. The father has gone abroad a few times to find work and recently left for Italy to pick apples. When both parents are at work, the children are left home alone and Sorin, the oldest, has to look after his siblings, the youngest being just two years old.

Lyudmyla helps tend to the animals her family raises for food and income

Sorin's one-room house in Romania. Living in deep poverty, Sorin was excited to experience all the benefits summer camp offers, giving him a short escapre from the streuggles at home.

Sorin's mother in the backyard where she does the laundry

Sorin's mother in the backyard where she does the family's laundry

Sorin enjoys a game with friends at camp

Sorin enjoys a game with friends at camp - something he rarely has the chane to do at home.


“Sorin’s father had stomach surgery in the past year and had to be hospitalised for more than a month. After his release from hospital, he wasn’t able to work for a while, and even though he really wants to improve his family’s living conditions, it never seems to happen, as their income is very low.

“For a few years, the father battled alcohol addiction. He’s doing much better now, but he’s still not completely over it yet."

“The family’s living area and outbuildings are in a terrible state and not a good place for children to live. The family keep pigs as livestock and sometimes the pigs even go into the house to find shelter.”

The summer camp Sorin attended was held in Poarta Oilor, Alba County, ringed by green forest and hills and sunflower fields. Here, children like Sorin – enrolled on MWB’s sponsorship programmes – had the wonderful opportunity to learn about God, play table football, sing new songs, enjoy swimming and water balloon fights, play fun games, and eat lots of delicious food.

Like the other children, who also come from backgrounds of poverty, Sorin was amazed by all the comfort and activities at summer camp. Bathrooms, toilets, showers; a bed for each child all to himself; plenty of living space and places to play; nourishing meals and creative activities along with lots of love and care.

This year, the theme of summer camp was Joseph’s life – and Sorin enjoyed learning all about Joseph and what the Bible shares about him.

“Joseph was a good man; he was wrongly accused and imprisoned. What I like most about Joseph is that he was very courageous and kind. I learned that I must love others and be gracious towards my siblings,” Sorin said. “I also learned more about praying. I do pray, especially in the evenings before going to bed. I believe that God is good, and that Jesus died for our sins.”

Alexandra, a MWB volunteer and small group leader at the camp, said, “I met Sorin for the first time this summer camp. It was a joy to meet him and all the other children. Even though he was a bit shy, Sorin got easily involved in everything we did and had interesting questions about God, from his childlike perspective.

“One of the things I noticed about him and that saddened me is that he rarely smiles. He has a beautiful smile which unfortunately he doesn’t show often enough. I wish all of God’s blessings on him and I hope to meet him again soon.”

At summer camp, Sorin forgot about the difficulties he has at home – and fully enjoyed his childhood. He played ping-pong, which he loves, did lots of diving into the swimming pool and tried rock climbing for the first time. He spent time with his lifelong buddy, Darius, and even made a new friend, Denis, that he hopes to meet again after summer camp.

Constantin said, “At summer camp, as well as having lots of fun and getting to spend some time away from home and the challenges there, children are cherished, spoiled, listened to, valued, and taught about God’s unconditional love. This has changed the lives of so many children – for eternity.”


Children will get the opportunity to go to one of MWB’s Summer Camps this year. You can help even more kids experience the joy of summer camp.

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Sorin and his friend Darius
Sorin and his new friend Darius who he met a camp

Sorin plays a bible verse game at camp

Sorin palys a bible verse game at camp with other kids in Romania




Give hope and dignity.