Here's our latest
Trustees' report - for the year to March 2011
The trustees report is written for
our auditors to explain our activities formally. It is included
in the accounts.
note. In case you think these are outdated we will submit the next
accounts (2011/2012) in January 2013
THE RELIEF FUND FOR ROMANIA LTD
REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2011
The members of the trustees, who are the trustee directors of the
Relief Fund for Romania Limited present their report and the audited
financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2011 .
WHO ARE WE?
We are a British charity, based in the UK, that
raises funds and spends them in Romania.
We have 2 full time charity staff and about 30 charity
shop staff. At any one time, we are paying for the salaries of 30
- 40 charity workers in Romania.
All our trustees are Romanian.
We were formed by prominent Romanian exiles resident
in the UK in 1989 after the collapse of the dictatorship and were
instrumental in publicising the appalling plight of orphans and
others in need.
We played a major role in coordinating the enormous
aid response from all over the UK and transported huge quantities
of emergency supplies. We helped to network many independent aid
efforts. In recent years we have set up and run various long-term
WHAT WE DO
We support various charity projects helping the children, the sick,
the elderly and other groups in need in Romania by providing financial
and material aid, promoting awareness and funding the training of
suitable Romanian professionals throughout Romania.
We mainly fund those Romanian charities with whom we work closely
on long-term community based projects. Occasionally we fund charity
projects run by independent Romanian groups ie with whom we aren't
so closely involved.
All funded organisations submit quarterly financial and project
reports and we visit the projects in Romania.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES APRIL 2010 - MARCH 2011
We experienced difficult fundraising conditions due to the increasing
difficulty of acquiring temporary charity shops - our main source
of fundraising - mainly owing to the emergence of commercial "pop
up shops - which take vacant retail units
on a temporary basis, usually while paying pay rent.
Nevertheless we continued to try to help the most disadvantaged
Specifically: We continued our long standing support of FAST, a
very worthwhile charity based in Brasov, by funding their core admin
costs (ie salaries and office costs)
We continued the development of the Impreuna initiative:
This offshoot to our long standing Impart programme, is the National
Community Arts Network which exists to bring together both practitioners
and beneficiaries who are involved in Community Arts for people
with special needs.
The network consists of several hundred members from Romania
and abroad, professionals working in various fields: educators,
psychologists, carers, doctors, nurses, and teachers specializing
in children with special needs.
Also in the field of special needs we continued our funding
of the Mental Health charity Estuar's "Cooking Time
- project in Bucharest.
Estuar is the leading mental health charity in Romania which
focuses on provided sheltered housing and day care for the mentally
The Cooking Time Project.
- at Estuar's Day Centre provides a hot meal twice
a week for 45 of the centre's users with mental health problems
The beneficiaries are closely involved in the preparation
and cooking and so learn new skills and to work together in a team
as well as benefiting from a nutritious and sociable occasion.
Also in the Mental Health arena, we help three major adult
psychiatric institutions in Bacau County - CRRN Gasteni,
Bacau, CRRN Darmanesti Neuropsychiatry Recovery and Rehabilitation
aka Vermesti and CRRPH Ungureni Recovery and Rehabilitation
Centre for Handicapped People. - and by association other units
- in particular by funding the artist and musician Vali Racila
to work there as the Arts and community reintegration therapist.
Vali rotates between each centre, mainly organising
arts events for the several hundred residents. His unofficial role
is to ensure that everyone is valued as an individual with feelings
and human rights.
M.S.Curie Hospital Bucharest / aka The Budimex. Our long
standing association with this hospital continues. We employ a psychologist
to run a play therapy and educational program with the children
on the Surgical Unit / First Floor. Besides providing toys, games,
stationary and books the psychologist provides counseling to the
parents and children before and after surgical interventions.
In addition we also provide ad hoc funding to other parts of the
hospital and help to the medical staff - notably for training costs.
Our main partner organisation is Fundatia
de Sprijin Comunitar
In addition to the above, we funded
various community projects through our main partner organisation
Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (Community Support Foundation), Bacau:
We formed FSC from our existing projects and senior staff in 1997.
They are now one of the leading charities in Romania.
This year they won three significant national Civil Society awards.
Two projects were awarded first prize
under the categories: "Durability and
"Impact on the beneficiaries:
- that give children from poor rural areas access
to the same good quality education, as children from towns.
and "Integrated Services for the Elderly"
in Bacau County
The Care of the Elderly project also won
second prize under the category "Social Care Services
We fund about 30% of FSC's crucial "core costs
- eg salaries - they have 95 staff - office costs
etc, which sadly most funders do not think are an essential part
of running a viable organisation and it's projects.
The rest of the core funding comes from local authority
grants and their own fundraising.
This year FSC directly helped over 12,000 people
through various programmes such as;
- Home Care of the Elderly sick and infirm
in 10 locations
- Two elderly care day centres
- Mobile Health Care to Disadvantaged
- Children's Services - Mozaic
- Five Glue Clubs helping rural
- IMPART: combined arts therapy
for children and adults in institutions and the community
- Emergency grants and social
support for the very poor
Highlights of FSC’s
activities during 2010 / 2011
- in their own words
Our biggest achievement for 2011 is the provision
of direct services to 12,266 people through 95 employees.
78% of our beneficiaries come from rural areas,
39.64% are children, 35.81% are older people and 24.55% are adults.
In February we organized the 10th edition of the
Bacau Community Awards Gala, now a well-established
event for the local civil society, this year in partnership
with ERSTE Stiftung Austria. The Gala generated donations and sponsorships
of approximately 36.000 euros
In April we organised the opening of a special photo
gallery, comprising the works of two young photo-journalists
from Bacau, Liviu Terinte and George Sacaleanu (Inima
Bacaului). The exhibition, under the title "Rural Romania
in images and colours
- catches beautiful images but also unusual images
from the eastern area of the county, where FSC has been implementing
social, health and educational programs for over 14 years.
May: we organised the National Volunteering Week.
The event reunited 16 organizations and institutions, over 2000
volunteers, 37 seminars, projects and activities.
May: The Impreuna Network organized a regional seminar
in Bacau, we had 54 participants and we discussed about the
development of the network.
May: FSC represents Romania in the European
project "Trans-Care Special
- , a partnership between 9 European Countries
coordinated by Akon Services from Italy.
FSC conducted a significant national study
on home care services in Romania, the results will be
presented at the Transnational Conference "CARE SERVICES
IN EUROPE: Learning from each other
- , which will be held in Italy.
June 2011: FSC received 3 awards in front
of the most important actors of the Civil Society in Romania.
(See above for details)
June: the beneficiaries of the Elderly day
Centre Dr. Stefan Ciobanu
celebrated 9 years from the opening of the centre. (This centre
was named after Stefan Ciobanu, FSC's co-director who died
June: 75 children from poor
villages benefited from social grants and ended the school
year. We organised a nice meeting with the students and some of
The first graduate of the FSC social
grants program is now a student at Medical School!
We managed to organise a real water and sewage
system for The Club with Glue from Panu.
They now have proper bathrooms, showers and sewerage
and it is the only such system in the whole community. The children
love washing their hand and flushing the toilets. (
see "before and after
- pictures below)
July-August 2011: the Summer School this year was
a success. The numbers speak for themselves: 6 rural communities,
750 participating children, 37 volunteers from UK and 40 volunteers
Big Thanks to our partners from Libra and Life
UK for their participation and efforts.
September 2011: we organised the NGO Fest
together with FDSC Bucharest.
The event reunited 20 organisations, recorded 5,000
visitors and presented 6 interesting seminars.
October 2011: we organised a strategic meeting.
A delegation comprising FSC managements and the mayors of 8 local
authorities and two senators went to Bucharest, to the headquarters
of the Minister of Labour and Social Protection for a strategic
meeting on developing social services in rural areas.
The delegation raised awareness on the need for
developing and funding dedicated services (social) in rural areas.
COMMENTS ON THE ACTIVITIES
After the end of the grant we had to implement the sustainability
plan that included: reduction of several job positions
cuts in wages by 25% and also cuts on several expense lines.
The plan affects the beneficiaries on some scale
as, for example; they receive less hours of care or less incontinence
materials or cleaning stuff. We explained the situation to them
and, although frustrating, it is more than nothing.
The situation is very challenging from the
management point of view, having to keep a balance between the expenses
and incomes, making sure there is enough cash.
Key indicators for
FSC provided services to 12,266 people with
a team of about 95 employees.
Details of charity
beneficiaries helped by our main partner FSC in 2011
for elderly people
||Day care Speranta-Bacau
|Day care Motoseni
|Home care Bacau (City)
|Home care villages (9 locations)
Services for children
|Glue Club Bacau
|Glue Club Panu - Stanisesti
|Sticky club Godinesti - Vultureni
|Sticky club Podu Turcului
|Impart – children with
|Health promotion and education
|Mother and baby care
for rural areas
|Services for youth
|Services for professionals
Situation for 2012
The budget for 2012 is pretty slim and problematic
as we still don't know what sources will be confirmed. We will probably
know in the last days of the year or early next year.
There are big chances that we will continue to benefit
from the Law 34 from the Ministry of Work and a contribution from
Bacau County Council. There are other small grants in place.
With the exception of 2009 (when we knew we were
going to have the Norwegian Grants) every year we have similar situations,
big uncertainties on the budget of the following year.
This is why the help from the Relief Fund for
Romania is so important and valuable, it helps with periods
of gaps in funding or in covering expenses that are not eligible
for certain grants (such as administrative costs or bank loan).
The Norwegian grants will probably be launched again
later in 2012 with direct applicability in 2013. This delay is purely
created by the style of the Romanian authorities that move the responsibility
around or impose tons of papers.
We are prepared to apply to every possible source
even though chances look slim
Care of Elderly
Our recent research on the situation of population ageing/the need
for dedicated services in Romania, looks pretty similar to our study
back in 2009.
Some facts from the study:
- 15% of Romania's population is over 65 years
- In 2030 this will increase to 30% (similar
with European tendencies)
- 45% of Romania's population live in rural areas
- The total number of towns (cities and communas)
are 2,948, of which 2,685 represent rural places
- There are only 78 day centres for the elderly
in entire Romania, less than 1/town and only 36% of their costs
are covered by the state
- There are only 8 protected living projects
in entire Romania, and only 47% of their costs is covered by the
- There are only 149 residential homes for the
elderly in Romania, less than 1/town and only 19% of their costs
is covered by the state
Home care services
- are provided in only 27 counties out of 42
- only 15,600 people benefit from home care services in all of Romania
- the real need is for 1 million people
(there are 5 million people over 65 years in Romania)
- this could bring jobs to 100,000 unqualified people
- home care is 10 times cheaper than other care services
of the year for Bacau city:
TOTAL BENEFICIARIES 2011: 886
Total beneficiaries home care services:
- 87 home care
- 270 nursing care
- 71 incontinence care
Total new requests: 325
- 219 day care
- 131 socialising
- 101 physiotherapy
Integrated services in rural areas: Podu Turcului
It is very interesting that after 20 years of Relief
Fund for Romania -FSC intervention in the villages on the East
side of the county, the poorest in Romania, we remain the only
NGO committed to make a difference.
Care of the elderly
The programme has been quite successful and needed.
All the local partners made some financial contributions and would
like to continue the services.
2 new communas, Rachitoasa and Colonesti would like
to become partners as well which means that the services are slowly
We had a journalist from a national newspapers visiting our programme
and after the visit wrote a very good article.
Total number of beneficiaries: 932
After the end of the grant we donated the minibuses to the
local communities conditioned that they continue to provide
the same service. They paid all the costs and kept the activity
going at about 75%.
Key Indicators for 2011
Services for rural areas / people helped
Community transport 4500
Family planning 147
Specialist doctors 97
IMPART: COMBINED ART
Key Indicators for 2011
New members 818
TOTAL members 1879
Postal addreses 1525
Emails to members 540
Phonecalls from members 130
Phonecalls to members 170
The IMPREUNA magazine - 3 issues
Research on autism 6
The IMPART TEAM
- Total number of trained people: 547
- Direct beneficiaries 265
Unfortunately one of the Impart team members, Mariana
Diosteanu, left the organization to work as a special needs
CLUBS AND MOSAIC CENTRE
KEY INDICATORS for 2011:
- 583 children attending the educational centres
- 200 parents benefited from the School for Parents
Specialized Mobile Services
- 112 Social Grants for High School Children
- 55 Social Care and Psychological Services
- 147 family planning sessions
Grand Total helped 1,097
KEY INDICATORS for 2011:
TOTAL ACTIVE VOLUNTEERS: 280
We managed to end successfully a problematic year from the financial
point of view and we look ahead with hopes that life will be better
again and that things will improve.
The employees are very grateful to have a job in
such difficult times even though payment is so low. The beneficiaries
are also grateful for all we do and we hope they understand how
difficult it is for us to keep helping them.
We know how difficult it has been for the Relief
Fund for Romania to raise money for Romania when Europe and
UK are facing troubled times with high unemployment and social issues.
Please accept our sincere
thanks and appreciation for all the support from the Relief Fund,
please convey our gratitude to all the board members, the Relief
Fund remains a special partner and a serious one and that is reassuring
We thank the Relief Fund for continuing to care
Many special thanks to Edward Parry for his efficiency, advice and
For FSC Board,
Gabriela Achihai, President
For further information see the quarterly charity
project field reports
The staff and trustees of the Relief Fund for Romania are
proud to be associated with such great Romanians and thank all our
supporters in the UK and around the world for helping us fund this
See last year's trustees_report for 2009 / 2010 Click here