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Readers support gave orphan a better start in life

A Romanian orphan who was helped to escape poverty by readers of the South Wales Evening Post is celebrating her tenth birthday.

Nicholetta Codreanu’s plight was first featured in the Evening Post in December 1993.

A front-page article showed the appalling conditions in which she was barely surviving.

Her mother was dying of cancer, aged just 36, and Nicholetta and her six siblings lived with their grandmother in a tiny Romanian flat.

Nicholetta was pictured lying in a filthy cot, and she had rickets and head lice.

Val Newton, a Welsh aid worker had discovered the family’s plight and was determined to help them, promising the children’s mother on her deathbed that she would look after them as best she could.

Val went to the Evening Post with the story and it made the front-page lead on December 27, 1993 – prompting readers to reach deep into their pockets and raise £10,000.

The money was used to buy a flat for the grandmother and Nicholetta’s brothers and older sister, and pay foster parents for the baby and the next two youngest girls.

Since then Nicholetta has lived with the same loving family and has blossomed into a healthy 10-year-old.

Val said: “She is so healthy now, it is a joy to see her. She is also doing well in school. She has a real chance in life now.”

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