In 1991, Jane Nicholson and Martine – Faure-Alderson launched an appeal to help the children abandoned in Romania’s notorious state institutions.
FARA means “without” in Romanian and FARA Charity was founded to create a family for those without.
Heart rending images on UK television, following the fall of Ceausescu, which reported the terrible plight of children in Romania’s State orphanages caused Jane and Martine to organise a group of volunteers, transporting emergency aid from the UK. Romania had been suffering for 40 years under a severe communist regime, the last 20 years under the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who had closed Romania to the rest of the world. The people had their rights and freedom taken away and the country was reduced to a place of abject poverty, suffering and fear. Life under this regime had repercussions which still effect this beautiful country trying to rebuild itself and its people today.
Jane offered her nursing skills in three notorious institutions and witnessed first-hand the appalling conditions endured by severely traumatised and abandoned children and adults. She decided to devote her life to finding an alternative to institutional care and give recovery and hope for the future.
In 1997 FARA’s first family home for children was built and opened, St Nicholas, where children had a chance to live in a family for the first time and be healed from past trauma. Many new projects followed to meet the desperate needs of children with disabilities, young adults abandoned in institutions and families living in poverty. FARA continues to serve the most vulnerable and excluded in Romania. Jane has many stories to tell of children and young people healed by love and care in FARA. Florin who was rescued from a life in state institution where he was often locked in a cupboard, beaten severely and became almost blind, prayed, “Thank you God that love is greater than hatred, I thank you for making my life like the light.”
FARA was born out of a conviction that is strengthened and sustained by Jane’s strong Catholic faith. Our charity is based on Christian roots welcoming people of all faiths and none.
Jane’s inspiration in those early years remains at the heart of FARA. She continues to travel to Romania frequently to guide and share her vision today, as Founder and Chairman of Trustees.
Jane is a member of the Carmelite Order in the Catholic Church, and her faith is nurtured in the teachings of St Teresa of Avila who re founded the Order in 16th century Spain, she wrote, “It is not so much the greatness of our works as the love with which they are done.”
FARA is a work of love and reaches out to the marginalised, the poor and the discriminated children and young people in Romania. Her vision is to build families and communities, to love and to serve them.
Jane was awarded the MBE for her humanitarian work in Romania in 2013.