Who we are

The charity was founded by an Englishwoman, Mary Gibson, a mother and grandmother, who was so disturbed by the images that came out of Romanian orphanages after the 1989 revolution that she flew there to help. She set up Friends of Children in Romania to give these children love and a family life.

Betty Grigoras manages the homes. She is a woman of tremendous warmth, energy and enterprise. She gives as much thought to each child as a mother, personally attending every parents’ meeting, keeping in close contact with those who are at university and responding to the individual needs of each child. She leads a happy and united team of carers.

Betty Grigoras

The charity is run from the UK by its trustees/directors. They are:

Martin Lane
Vicar of Bosham, West Sussex

“I have continuously raised funds for the project and visited almost every year since 1994. It has been a great pleasure to see the first children grow up and become adults; some now with families of their own, some finishing university. I have also had the opportunity to introduce many parishioners to Hârja and they have supported our work.

While I have seen conditions in Romania improve, there is still a great need for quality childcare. I hope very much you will continue to support us, so that we can maintain this secure and loving home for the children in our care.”

Sarah Gibson
Daughter of the charity’s founder, Mary Gibson

“The children in Romania always felt like my mother’s second family! I am delighted to keep the connection alive and do what I can to support it.”


Paula Wright

“In 2019 I was lucky enough to visit Hârja, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. Seeing how the children are supported and cared for overwhelmed me with emotion.  We are making such a difference to their lives and I knew I wanted to continue to be involved in whatever way I could, so I was delighted when Martin asked me to come on-board as a director and treasurer. “