A CITY family is facing a race against time to build a vital home for impoverished friends in Romania before deadly winter weather blows in.
The Lynch’s, from Craiglockhart, hope to construct a two-bedroom property for a homeless family in Darmanesti – a destitute area of the country previously considered a “dumping ground” for orphans.
Martin Lynch, 51, was moved to raise money for the family after hearing their heartbreaking story on a recent visit to the region.
The sales and marketing expert, who first travelled to Romania with a church group in 2004, accepted an invitation to spend Christmas there with his own family in 2010.
It was on a carol singing event on December 24 that he resolved to help one particularly hard-up family.
“We had a visit from two young sisters Bianca, ten, and Unella, 11, beautifully dressed and presented and with the joy of Christmas beaming on their faces.
“They were similar ages to my daughters and after they left I told my Romanian friend Bitza how lovely their singing was. He told me the story behind their lives.
“They have what he describes as a monster of a father who has a serious drink problem and are so afraid of him that they sometimes hide and even sleep in neighbour’s gardens – sometimes in temperatures that plummet to -15 degrees at night.”
Martin later learned the girls and their mother had fled the home and were living in a 10ft by 10ft room. He vowed to build them a house.
“You cannot help everybody,” he said.
“But I know by doing this kind of thing that they will help others so the ripple effect of what we are doing will go far and that’s what can change a society.”
With land and permits secured, £10,000 would pay to build a brand new home. Around £7,000 has already been raised.
Mother Ana wrote a thank you letter to the family saying: “Here are miracles happening now. We see in the world there are good people. We are happy because we know you. God Bless You.”
A ceilidh is being held at Boroughmuir Rugby Club tomorrow from 8pm to 1am to help raise funds. Tickets can be bought from Craiglockhart Leisure Centre.