Charity brings hope to Europe's poorest country

Ecaterina and the family with their Operation Christmas Love box and contents of the box

Mission Without Borders is distributing emergency food to families and elderly people in Moldova this Christmas.

Thousands of people living on less than 80p a day will receive support from the Christian charity.

The food distribution will help give the families some joy and hope for a better future.

"Life is such a struggle, I couldn't begin to think about Christmas. We just survive from one day to the next," says Ecaterina, a single mother with three young children.

Unable to get work, and almost starving, she was forced to scavenge rubbish from the tip.

The family shares one room and barely has enough to get by. Worries about how to feed her children and keep them warm during the bitter winter months often keep Ecaterina awake at night.

She is just one of the many desperate people to receive a box full of food from Mission Without Borders as part of its Operation Christmas Love programme.

The supply is enough to feed Ecaterina and her children for the rest of the winter.

In the long-term, MWB will help Ecaterina move towards self-sufficiency so that she can provide all the basics for her children.

MWB UK Director, David Hardisty said: "Our Operation Christmas Love boxes are practical expressions of love that meet families' immediate needs for food.

"But they also bring hope for change: As we begin supporting families, such as Ecaterina's, we help them to step out of desperate poverty."

Ecaterina says this hope for change "brought joy into our hearts".

Mission Without Borders aims to distribute 30,000 OCL boxes providing essential food for families living with nothing, across six Eastern European countries.

It costs £20 to fill and distribute each box packed with flour, sugar, rice, oatmeal, pasta, canned food, oil, tea and sweets.

Mr Hardisty added: "It's a wonderful thing seeing a family move from barely scratching an existence to looking after themselves. We provide families with a greater reason to live."

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