Here's the official
charity Trustees' report for the year 2005 to 2006
The trustees report is written for our auditors and
goes into the accounts. This gave the most up to date information
on our activities at that time.
THE RELIEF FUND FOR ROMANIA LTD
REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2006
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 2006.
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 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 part 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 sustainable
WHAT WE DO
We support various charity projects helping the children,
the sick, the elderly and other groups in need in Romania.
We do this by providing financial and material aid, promoting awareness
and funding the training of suitable Romanian professionals throughout
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. In these instances we
ensure tight financial controls are in place and monitor the work
with regular reports and visits.
We also deliver services directly with our own projects. For example
our support of The Romanian National TB Programme.
We run national campaigns and training programmes particularly
focusing on human rights in institutions and community care of the
elderly sick and dying.
We maintain a role of close involvement, advocacy, support and
evaluation of all operations we fund. All organisations submit quarterly
financial and project reports and we visit the projects
in Romania annually.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES APRIL 2005 – MARCH 2006
During 2005/2006, we continued to develop our work with the most
disadvantaged in Romania.
We continued to focus on enabling the Romanian NGO sector to develop
effective programmes of social support that can be contracted by
the state. In a country where few services are established and in
a climate of institution closure, we see this as vitally important
for Romania’s future.
On a national level, we funded various projects directly.
Many regional community projects were funded through our main partner
organisation Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (Community
Support Foundation), Bacau: (FSC)
- Home Care of the Elderly sick and infirm
- Mobile Health Care to Disadvantaged Rural Areas
- Street Children’s Rescue, Refuge and Rehabilitation
- IMPART: Arts Therapy for the Disabled for children and adults in institutions
- Emergency grants and social support for the very poor
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau: part of a national network
- Mobile Pharmacy to isolated rural areas
- Arts and community reintegration therapist for adult long-stay
SPECIFIC OUTCOMES 2005– 2006
During 2005 Our main partner organisation, FSC, was the first NGO
in Bacau County to obtain the accreditation of
the social services from the Ministry of Work and Social Protection.
In May 2005, the Government of Romania declared FSC to
be "an Organisation Of Public Utility ".
After nine years of FSC’s formal existence, this is an important
national recognition of a dedicated, hard working and professional
organisation which covers many needs in the community.
This certification was awarded after careful examination
by 3 National Ministries and various local authorities.
The "mobile pharmacy in rural areas" project was given
a special award under the health category at the Civil Society Gala
(Bucharest, February 2005) and the special media award for "human
solidarity" at the same event
The Head of the EU Delegation in Romania, Mr
Jonathan Scheele, paid a second special visit to FSC in 2005 and
attended their annual Community Awards Gala
The President of the County Council affirmed formally - during
a special extended meeting with the County Counsellors - that “we
are proud to be affiliated with FSC and we are very happy to be
able to contribute to the costs of their projects”.
Stefan Ciobanu RIP
Sadly the organisation suffered a terrible loss when its co-Executive
Director, Dr Stefan Ciobanu was killed in a car accident on 7/10/05.
He was driving to visit and help a sick relative - a typical act
of kindness - with his brother-in-law, when they were hit head-on
by a van. Stefan's brother-in-law, Ovidiu Munteanu, also died. The
van driver, a young man, who had fallen asleep at the wheel after
a long drive from Hungary, had to have both legs amputated.
Stefan was a major force in FSC and his loss was felt keenly. Nevertheless,
after recovering from their initial shock and despair, all the staff
of FSC pulled together admirably to cover for his tragic loss and
the organisation struggled on.
May he Rest in Peace
During the year FSC’s IMPART team trained over 500
people in using the combined arts techniques ie arts therapies
for people with special needs.
They also continued to lobby intensely for national accreditation
of the role of the Combined Arts Worker with various Romanian government
With our direct funding FSC printed and distributed 2,100
issues of the Impreuna magazine to beneficiaries and staff
working in institutions.
We continued to develop the Impreuna National Network of 700 plus
organisations and individuals involved in the creative arts for
children and adults with special needs.
With funding secured from the EU’s PHARE fund,
FSC printed and distributed for free 36,000 copies of the newspaper
“Zeletinului Valley-rural realities” to the inhabitants
of our target area Podu Turcului, authorities, Ministries, funders
and other stakeholders.
FSC reached the final at the Civil Society Gala (Bucharest, May
2006) with our joint “Network of community workers
for rural areas” project
FSC organised the Gala of the Beneficiaries a
unique event that raised awareness in the local community of the
plight of the many people in need in their area.
A group of 10 Romanian NGOs, FONPC (Federation of organisations
working in child protection) and representatives of the French Embassy
visited our projects for the street children. They were impressed
by the various services and the local partnership.
30 volunteers (high school students) spent 3 weeks in the villages
organising 3 summer schools projects and engaging over 350
rural children in various educational activities
1,000 issues of the Volunteer's newsletter were printed and distributed
to students, teachers, authorities and volunteers.
Meanwhile our other projects also
continue as follows:
The Estuar Foundation for Mental Health –
administrative support and a Day Centre canteen project:
Our annual funding of £3,420 paid for a weekly cooking and
canteen programme in a Day Centre for adults with severe mental
health problems, teaching basic life skills and providing a hot
meal for 120 people two days a week.
The project is a very effective tool in developing confidence and
independence and has enabled beneficiaries to progress to job training
An Arts and Broadcasting Project in a long stay psychiatric
hospital: A modest but highly effective annual investment
of c £3,000 provides arts and drama programmes for adults
with severe mental and physical disability. This project enables
those with severe disability to partake in community life, to advocate
for themselves and change the attitudes of society.
The Drama Group led by actor and musician Vali Racila has performed
all over Romania.
They operate their own In-House TV And Radio Station broadcasting
their productions to all the patients in the psychiatric hospital,
who watch with great enthusiasm. This builds a real community spirit
and enhances everyone’s confidence.
We continued our work and funding of the Marie-Curie
Sklodowska Children’s Hospital, Bucharest aka The Budimex
- a large children's hospital - where we are helping
reform nursing standards and infection control and paying for a
We also funded FAST Brasov: a dynamic young Romanian
organisation helping the marginalised poor and the young with community
and educational projects in the Brasov region.
Plus our training programmes in elderly care, tuberculosis
treatment and the creative arts continue to reach a larger national
In 2005 – 2006, our projects served over 8,000 beneficiaries
All of our beneficiaries are among the most marginalised
children, sick and elderly in Romania.
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