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RAKE is a small charity set up by a group of dedicated volunteers who got together after witnessing the horrors of some of Romania's childcare institutions in the early 1990s.

RAKE unloading aid We registered as a charity in 1994, having spent the previous four years working to relieve some of the hardships for the people in the Vaslui region of North East Romania. We delivered clothes, shoes and toiletries to a number of villages, schools and state childcare institutions. We developed a good relationship with the local authorities and doctors and were able to supply much needed medical equipment to local hospitals.

In 1993 we met up with Linda, a British paediatric nurse working as a volunteer in a small village orphanage caring for a group of severely neglected children. This led to a change of focus with less aid trips being made and more effort being put into changing the lives of the children in the orphanage.

Lenuta in her cot BacestiThe children, aged 8-10 years were severely malnourished and had spent their lives confined to rusty cots. They were afraid of human contact, bottle fed, incontinent and unable to walk or talk. Linda had gained their trust and we started to see amazing changes in the children.

When the children were moved to a large state institution for the disabled Linda went with them but they soon began to deteriorate back to their former fearful behaviour. We decided to set up Casa Linda a project to provide them with a loving home.