History and Leadership
Mike Hollander, Founder of Kidstown International
In 1990, after viewing the 20/20 program on ABC about the deplorable conditions in Romanian orphanages, Mike Hollander made his first trip to Romania. He traveled as part of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee(CRWRC) and saw firsthand how the orphans lived. Mike made several trips to Romania with different organizations throughout the next few years bringing relief aid.
In 1995, Mike visited a private orphanage in Zsobok, a small town populated by a Hungarian minority. Reverend Irma Molnar, a Reformed Church pastor, and her husband Janos, a professor of theology, were caring for about 35 abandoned children in three small rooms, giving them basic needs and love. “These kids were being loved and cared for,” Hollander declared, “That’s what needs to be supported. That’s what looking after kids is all about.”
In 1996 Hollander established Kidstown Romania, Inc. for the purpose of raising money to expand the Molnars’ orphanage (named Bethesda Home), set up educational facilities, and rescue more abandoned children.
In 1998, Kidstown Romania expanded to helping another Christian orphanage, the Alesd Home, in the city of Alesd, Romania. The Alesd Home is under the care of Anamaria Gonczi, a retired children’s doctor. In 2000 Kidstown began working with three more Christian orphanages: Casa Sperantei, Casa Dorca, and Casa Otniel. In 2002 Kidstown adopted a sixth orphanage, the Casa Filip. In 2003 Kidstown moved forward with plans to help four additional orphanages.
In 2005 God began to open the doors for a new work in India. Simultaneously, He broadened Kidstown’s vision. Although
continuing to provide compassionate care for orphans, Kidstown began to put greater emphasis on sharing Jesus with the kids, on helping them to grow in their faith, and on orienting them towards a life of outreach to their own communities.
As of 2016, Kidstown is helping to care for over 1,100 children living in 51 orphanages in Romania, India, and Nepal
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Randy Duggan, Board Chairman
Mike Hollander (Founder)
Chuck Valley, Executive Director
Sandra Smith, Finance Director
Kristine Olson, Administrative Director
Athena Meisenheimer, Sponsorship Director
Kurt Swanson, Whatcom County Representative/Nepal Program
Dave McEvoy, Kidstown Scholarship Fund
Florica Iuga, Regional Administrator (Romania)
Eszter Molnar, Regional Administrator (Romania)
Loknath Manaen, Country Director (Nepal)
Sukhlal Singh, Regional Administrator (Nepal)
CV John, Regional Administrator (India)
Asit Samuel, Regional Administrator (India)
Abhoy Manaen, Regional Administrator (India)