In early 2011, with an unprecedented move, the Moldovan government allowed Stella’s Voice to open and run the very orphanage where we had invested many years getting to know and love the children. This is not far from the orphanage where Stella, our inspiration and namesake, was raised.
We invested over a half-million dollars to replace the roof, windows, heating system, water well, and plumbing.
We call it Providence House, and most of the children were living in unthinkable poverty before coming to our home. Many had never seen a flushing toilet, gone to bed with a full stomach, or slept in a warm bed. Often, the neglect was from alcoholic relatives and abuse was common.
For many, Providence House is the first place they've ever felt 'home'.
The vision for Stella’s Voice began at the fall of communism, when the media was first allowed into Eastern Europe and began showing the dire conditions of the state-run orphan homes. In response to the desperate need, our teams started taking aid to these homes.
When we reached Moldova, the director of the first home we visited asked us, “Have you ever seen a baby freeze to death?” By mid-December, 16 children had frozen to death in their beds. Stella's Voice began working to see that no child ever froze in that home again.
We also watched young people age out of orphan homes and get put out on the streets. One in particular—Stella—was exploited by human traffickers, sold, and eventually died from AIDS at 19 years old.
The year was 1996, and the mission of Stella's Voice was birthed.