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Volume 8, No. 2FALL 2005

Donated vitamins give hope to
Albanian children, hospitals

The children under Dr. Charles and Maria Linderman’s care at the Children’s Home of Hope. Below, some of the children are greeted by His Beatitude Archbishop ANASTASIOS. Photos: Dr. Charles Linderman

Tirana, Albania (IOCC — This is the story of how $11,000 became $450,000 in vitamins and protein supplements for malnourished children in Albania.

Still struggling 14 years after emerging from a brutal communist dictatorship, Albania suffers from a poorly developed medical infrastructure. Many of the hospitals struggle to maintain the barest of necessities, and outside the capital of Tirana, there is significant poverty and malnourishment.

Dr. Charles Linderman and his wife, Maria, have been working in Albania for IOCC’s sister agency, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) as medical missionaries for five years. The Lindermans also oversee the Children’s Home of Hope, founded by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios in July 2003. The facility operates as a licensed foster home for 32 children.

IOCC has supported Dr. Linderman’s medical work at the Annunciation Orthodox Clinic for several years, and recently, IOCC’s Gifts-in-Kind program was able to offer assistance to children at the Children’s Home of Hope and beyond.

In the summer of 2004, the Children’s Home of Hope received a donation of $25,000 from the Dietrich Boststiber Foundation, part of which went to the home’s operating expenses and $11,000 of which is being applied to a large in-kind donation from a medical charity.

IOCC was able to leverage the donation into $450,000 in vitamins and protein supplements for pediatric hospitals in Albania. The donation from Globus Relief of Salt Lake City was made possible by IOCC’s Gifts-in-Kind program, which leverages bulk quantities of material goods from corporate and charitable partners.

The $11,000 will cover the shipping and freight costs for the vitamins, and the Albanian Ministry of Health will help administer the program.

“With much of the pediatric illness in Albania stemming from poor nutrition, one can easily appreciate the value of this donation,” Dr. Linderman said. “It will significantly impact the children of Albania.”

The donation includes more than 698,000 vitamin doses and more than 150,000 protein drink servings, which Dr. Linderman estimates will help about 14,150 children.

“The goal of the Ministry of Health is to provide these supplements to children who are at the greatest risk and therefore the greatest need,” Dr. Linderman said. “If active efforts are not taken to supplement their levels of protein and vitamins, their ability to respond to antibiotics and other treatments is greatly reduced.”

This project is one of nine Gifts-in-Kind initiatives that IOCC is currently implementing around the world.

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