The Children in Need Foundation was founded in Bussum in 1990 by Joop and Annie Heerschop and a number of passionate volunteers. The occasion was the Romanian revolution that marked the end of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989. After the regime change, images of terrible situations in Romanian orphanages and children's homes reached the rest of the world. Ceauseșcu had banned abortion and contraception, and many families were too poor to raise and care for all their families. Many of these children ended up in state orphanages, where they grew up in appalling conditions. When this became known through Western media after the upheaval, help and adoption started en masse. These facts have been the basis for establishing the Children in Need Foundation. In October 1990, the first transport of relief goods took place to an orphanage in Romania.
Over the past thirty years, numerous transports to Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine have been organized. In 2023 we will celebrate the departure of our 300th transport on 23 June.
In addition, over the past 32 years, investments have been made in small-scale medical facilities in rural areas and investments in (sanitary) facilities in children's homes and institutions for the mentally and physically disabled in Romania, Hungary and Ukraine.
Since Putin's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, our assistance has focused on helping children and families in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in Romania and Hungary.