International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

Vegetarian Orphanage under Threat of Closure in Romania

Romána - from EVU News, Issue 1 /1997 - Deutsch

An orphanage which is home to 12 children in Domnesti, a suburb of Bucharest, is threatened with closure due to government objections to the vegetarian diet which it offers its children.

A Turkish, a Romanian boy and an Albanian girl in a Swiss school.

The orphanage is run by the Romanian branch of AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team). AMURT is an international non-governmental organization providing development assistance and aid to victims of disaster. THE AMURT Children’s Home was opened in 1993 when six children were transferred there from the state run Buffea orphanage, an institution in which 200 children were housed. All the children were suffering from a variety of diseases (including chronic scabies, malnutrition, hepatitis) when they arrived at the AMURT Home. After treatment at a local dispensary and a lot of care, and a pure vegetarian diet, the children were cured of their ailments and today are happy and healthy.

The remarkable improvements in the children at the AMURT Home were noted by several institutions including the Ministry of Education which in 1994 selected the AMURT Home as a model orphanage. At that time, delegates from more than 40 countries who were attending an international conference in Bucharest visited the home and were impressed with conditions there.

Recently six more children were admitted to the AMURT Home which is now housed in a newly constructed building. Despite permission from the Romanian Ministry of education for the transfer of these children to AMURT, the Commission of Minor’s Protection (in the Ilfov jurisdiction –a Bucharest Suburb) has now raised an objection and they cite the vegetarian diet at the AMURT Home as the primary reason. They have ordered that six children be sent back to the large Buffea orphanage, and on 16 April will hold a hearing at which they will make a definitive decision on the recent transfer and also on the right of AMURT to care for any children at all. An unfavourable decision would effectively close this facility.

Call to Action

The values of the vegetarian diet are not well known in Romania. A recent TV programme about the AMURT Home also condemned the vegetarian diet. Thus, we call on vegetarians to write to the Commission of Minors Protection and express your support for the right of AMURT to offer a vegetarian diet to these children. Any supporting documentation about the benefits of vegetarianism would be helpful. If you have any medical or professional qualification please mention it.

Write or fax:

Protection of Minors
Mr. Cazacu Alexandru
Secretary of Local Council
Ilfov jurisdiction
street Gheorghemanu nr. 18, sector 1, Bucharest Romania
Telephone and Fax: +40 1 3111 417
(if you are sending a fax ask them to turn on the fax machine)

For additional information about AMURT see our web site

Contact person for information about this appeal:
A.V. Avadhuta, AMURT, Weisenauer Weg 4, 55129 Mainz Germany
Tel.+49 6131 834262, fax: +49 6131 834628