A Granny for Irina
Irina was abandoned and barely alive when she was born eight weeks early in a Moldovan hospital — weighing less than two pounds. No one expected her to survive.
But she surprised everyone. At four months, Irina was stable enough to move to the orphanage where she still lives today — the Republican Children’s Home in Chisinau, the capital city. At three, she continued to have serious medical needs and struggled to hit her milestones.
Now 4 years old, Irina is walking, eating and speaking because of the loving attention and nurturing from her very own “granny.” Alla, a retired nurse, is one of two dozen local women who work with the neediest orphans every day.
Their warmth and attention is a major reason Irina is improving. Where once she couldn’t speak, Irina has learned to say mama, aunt, water, and bread.
When she first came here, Irina was unresponsive. I’ve seen Irina unfold before my eyes. Being a ‘granny’ is not something you do for money. We get so much out of it!
—Alla, Irina’s granny