Here's the official
charity Trustees' report for the year 2004 to 2005
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 2005
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES APRIL 2004 – MARCH 2005
During 2004/2005, 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. 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
and the community
- 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
and independent organisations we funded included;
Therapy Through Art, Timisoara – remedial
rehabilitation for special needs children and children suffering
FAST Brasov: a dynamic young Romanian organisation
helping the marginalised poor and the young with community and educational
projects in the region of Brasov
FUNDING AND GRANTS
We secured £107,530 in funding from UK Grant
Making Trust appeals. Though Romania remains in urgent need of support
to develop social services to the most marginalised, it becomes
increasingly difficult to attract the necessary funding.
SPECIFIC OUTCOMES 2004 – 2005
In March 2004, reports claimed that 25% of the
Romanian population lived ”below the poverty line” and
8.6% live in extreme poverty. Problems for the
poor were compounded by very severe winter and flooding in the spring.
Migration of the workforce abroad, lack of job opportunities and
foreign investment compound economic difficulties.
The Head of the EU Delegation in Romania,
Mr Jonathan Schele, visited our main partner organisation –
Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (FSC) – and remarked “seeing
this work and the children makes me confident that all the funding
that gets to this organisation is properly spent”.
FSC also underwent an external audit performed
by British Executive Services Overseas who produced
a positive report commenting “FSC is clearly making a
difference and performing very strongly. It is an organization focused
on getting things done”
- We further developed the National Network of
700 plus organisations and individuals involved in the creative
arts for children and adults with special needs.
We sponsored the 2nd national conference in Romania
in November 2004 to further consolidate the network. This was attended
by over 200 people and organisations. It was co-financed by the
British Embassy who donated US$10,000.
We also distributed free of charge a further 3 editions
of our magazine/newsletter IMPREUNA (meaning
“Together”) to the network and other stakeholders.
- Our capital expenditure in Romania 2004-2005 included one off
grants as follows: £2,779 for staff training
and a UK study visit for community care for those
with special needs, £2,265 for rehabilitation, housing and
livestock grants for destitute families, £3,987
on the Impreuna magazine printing and distribution costs.
- Our partners in TB treatment reform, The Romanian
National Institute of Tuberculosis, reported the
good news that TB incidence in Romania had dropped by 4.6% - the
first reduction in cases for 20 years.
We paid £4,128 for funding two TB specialist doctors to implement
training and treatment reforms besides continuing our ad hoc support
for the Institute.
- Our Street Children’s Refuge celebrated
its 5th birthday. While we would have preferred for there to be
no longer any requirement for this service, sadly, the need remains.
We continue to work with local partners to reduce child poverty,
begging and abandonment.
- The Marie-Curie Sklodowska Children’s Hospital,
Bucharest aka The Budimex: we continued funding of £11,469
to reform nursing standards and infection control and for a play
worker in this large children's hospital.
We published an infection control study proving
that with improved resources - sinks, soap, towels, hand rub and
hand washing campaigns - infection rates are dramatically reduced.
This helped the hospital management prove to their authorities the
case for budgeting for these essential resources - a real success
after many years of promoting better standards.
Our investment has also led to the appointment of a Nursing
Care Manager, increased nurse training and better management
of waste disposal and accidents.
- The Mobile Pharmacy has developed very successfully
delivering basic services and medicines to 18 remote villages. We
are working on persuading the government to implement this highly
effective and much needed service on a national basis.
- Our IMPART team - who train others in arts therapies
for special needs people - lobbied intensely for national
accreditation of the role of the Combined Arts Worker with various
Romanian government departments.
- Our partner organisation FSC were invited to be a member of their
local County Commission For Social Problems, Professional
Standards and Human Rights. This is an important indicator
of the development of an effective voluntary sector in Romania -
a milestone in what our work is all about.
- Our partners successfully lobbied government for an increase
in payments for home nursing services from 14 to
56 days a year – an important result for the future of their
- The Estuar Foundation for Mental Health –
administrative support and a Day Centre canteen project: £3,420
funded 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
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: Thanks to a visionary director, Dr Ovidiu
Necula and his hard working staff, a modest but highly effective
investment of £2,670 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 attitudes of society.
The Drama Group of the patients led by professional
actor and musician the blessed Vali Racila has performed
all over Romania.
They also 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 also funded the group’s particpation in a "Special
Olympics" relay race across the country.
In 2004 – 2005, our projects served over 8,000 beneficiaries
This is an increase of 100% on the
All of our beneficiaries are among the most marginalised children,
sick and elderly in Romania.
Our training programmes in elderly care, tuberculosis treatment
and the creative arts continue to reach a larger national audience.
Sadly, funding for many of our programmes was made more difficult
by the closing of all EU programmes for Romania for 9 months during
2004 – 2005.
See last year's report on our charity work in Romania Click here