Thank you for visiting our Link to Hope website (Charity Number 1069722). In order to make this happen volunteers gave of their timing willingly and freely and we would like to thank two in particular - Maria Scard (www.mariascard.com) our friend and photographer who has allowed us to use her amazing and vivid images and Simon Streeter (www.animarephotogifts.co.uk) who has designed our new Link to Hope logo, letterheads, shop fascias, banners and anything else we asked him to do for the relaunch.
Why have we become Link to Hope?
It has been nearly five years since we expanded our work to other countries in Eastern Europe -Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria and of course further deepened our commitment to the people of Romania. We have established education and social care projects in these places and feel now that the name Link Romania does not reflect the amazing work we are doing with many groups and individuals in different Eastern European countries. The change of name to Link to Hope expresses the continuing vision of the charity to bring hope to Europe’s poorest communities.
Our aims remain the same and that is to help the poorest and most marginalised through education and social care and to change lives by releasing communities out of poverty. We deal directly with trusted partners who deliver the aid directly to the people that need it and therefore see results very quickly. We are very proud that money is not wasted and every penny that is given counts.
Background to Link to Hope
Link to Hope (formally Link Romania) was established in 1991 in response to the devastating television pictures of the appalling conditions in the orphanages in Romania. A group of Christians in Worthing led by Mark Shipperlee (who later became the charities founder) hired a truck, loaded it with aid and drove to Romania. They ended up in a town called Iasi in the NE of Romania and there the work began. Nicolae Ceauşescu’s brutal regime left the country impoverished and reeling from the effects of the totalitarian police state.
Link to Hope works with a variety of nationals on a range of projects throughout Eastern Europe. Link to Hope success and good reputation is based on 22 years of dedication by a range of individuals who have a heart for Eastern Europe and want to offer the hand of friendship, finance and knowledge to the people of these countries to lift them out of poverty.
Our Purpose & Beliefs
Link to Hope offers help to people of all backgrounds regardless of race, colour or creed with no qualifying criteria other than that they are poor and marginalised. The work that Link to Hope undertakes is through a known networks of church leaders, pastors, community leaders and mayors who are at the front line of providing help and services to those that need it. Link to Hope is driven by Christian principles and holds Matthew 25 v 35 - 40 at the heart of its work. “Then the King will say to those on his right.... 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Life in Eastern Europe is very hard. The countries that have succeeded in entry to the EU have provided many people, especially the young,with the opportunities that their parents could only dream of. Not for those however of low or no literacy existing in poor housing who still struggle with poverty, illness, lack of money, unemployment etc. Tragically their children are born and raised to live in the same way and continue to exist in a circle of poverty they can never escape from. Link to Hope believes that the only way out of poverty is through Education and that there is also a need for Social care for those that cannot look after themselves.
Link to Hope currently works with nationals in Moldova (NE) and Romania (NE), Bulgaria (N) and the Ukraine (S & W). It also sends Christmas Shoeboxes to all of these countries.
Link to Hope’s aim is to combat poverty and give humanitarian aid and has special concern for the most disadvantaged.
The poorest – especially people struggling to survive in the poor villages that lack basic amenities.
Most vulnerable – especially children and the most marginalised.
Most exploited – the families and individuals who are at the mercy of authorities and circumstances that they have no control over
Missions and methods
Link to Hope is working towards its vision by supporting two particular areas of need:-
Our aim is to combat poverty through education. We work with children and young people through our Kindergarten in Iasi, Romania and the Emmaus Club in Dancu Moldova. Both projects aim to target marginalised and poor children who struggle with normal schooling or because of their background or ethnic origin are marginalised and drop out. The kindergarten teaches children from Dallas Shanty Town between 4-7 years and the Emmaus Club targets children with special needs who need extra help to keep them in schools. We also support adult education and training with our Farm of Hope project for ex-orphanage young men and a school for gypsy children in the Ukraine.
Community development and social work
Our aim is to promote family cohesion and the inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups into society. In Romania we work with families and their children some of whom live in Dallas Shanty town. We go and meet with them regularly to extend help and advice to those that others would ignore. The team also helps with medical and dental bills, official paperwork, repairing of homes, helping with fuel in the winter etc. Our projects in Moldova include the Inn of Love, a ‘meals on wheels’ service for the very poorest and elderly in Dancu to provide food and friendship. In addition the building of a Soup Kitchen in the village of Cosnita to feed between 50 -100 of the poorest residents.
Why is Link to Hope uniquely placed to deliver help to Eastern Europe?
Link to Hope and it’s associated projects have a track record of working within Eastern Europe. Demonstrating care and understanding as well as aiming to provide practical and financial help to those most in need.