Here's our latest Trustees' report - for the year to March 2009

The trustees report is written for our auditors to explain our activities formally. It is included in the accounts.

Please note. In case you think these are outdated: our latest audited accounts are for the year 2008 / 2009.

We will submit the next accounts (09/10) in January 2011

 

THE RELIEF FUND FOR ROMANIA LTD
REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2009


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 2009 .


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 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 projects.


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 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. In these instances we ensure tight financial controls are in place and monitor the work with regular reports and visits.

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.

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REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES APRIL 2008– MARCH 2009

During 2008/2009, 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.

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.

We continued our support of FAST, a very worthwhile charity based in Brasov, by funding their core admin costs (ie salaries and office costs) of around £7000.

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 ill.


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 or disabilities. 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 the adult psychiatric institution CRRN Gasteni, Bacau – 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 Racila organises arts events and in particular operates the in house broadcasting system where the several hundred residents can watch productions produced with great enthusiasm in their own TV studio.

This results in a great community spirit and ensures that everyone is valued as an individual with feelings and human rights.

The “Theatre from Gasteni” also perform in other similar centres, particularly this year at (CRRPH Ungureni, 'Condorul' Bacau and CRRN Vermesti.


Our main partner organisation is Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar

In addition to the above, many regional community projects were funded through our main partner organisation Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (Community Support Foundation), Bacau: (FSC).

We formed FSC from our existing projects and senior staff in 1997. They are now one of the leading charities
in Romania.

We now only fund about 30% of their costs, the rest coming from local authority grants and their own fundraising. However our money covers their crucial “core costs” – salaries, office costs etc – which sadly most funders still do not seem to think are an essential part of running a viable project. So we need to keep supporting them.

This year our work together directly helped just over 10,000 people through the following programmes;

- Home Care of the Elderly sick and infirm

- Mobile Health Care to Disadvantaged Rural Areas

- Street Children’s Rescue, Refuge and Rehabilitation

- IMPART: combined arts therapy for children and adults in institutions and the
community


- Emergency grants and social support for the very poor

- Mobile Pharmacy to isolated rural areas

Highlights of FSC’s activities during 2007 / 2008

FSC spent the year, as usual, acting as a model of good practice with several successful projects in the area of social care, health and education.

In February 2009 FSC organized the 8th Community Awards Gala and the 4th Volunteers Gala. Both events had a great impact in the Bacau community attracting over 250 volunteers, parents, authorities, many local and multinational companies. It raised 13,000 Euros.

They finished the development of their new building premises in Bacau, the “Mosaic centre” and moved in. The centre is in a deprived area of Bacua city and is used for both admin offices and also outreach work with local children, families at risk and others in need.


They continued their outstanding educational work with underprivileged children in rural areas with the Glue Clubs project and 5 summer schools.


They organized several successful fundraising events.

FSC participated in many national and local seminars, conferences, meetings maintaining their leadership role among Romanian NGOs.

FSC secured a significant long term grant form Innovation Norway for specific projects in rural areas.


FSC provided services to 10,098 people with a team of about 100 employees.



- Home care services for 998 elderly during 144,000 hours of home care

- Covered 144,000 kilometers mainly in the remote and socially deprived Podu Turcului area providing health, social and educational services.

- 2,176 children benefited from services in clubs: hot meals, camps, education

- 4,847 families benefited from health and social care

 

Details of charity beneficiaries helped by our main partner FSC in 2008

 

Description Programme
Beneficiaries Total


     
Services for elderly people Day care Speranta-Bacau 152 998
Home care rural areas
502
Home care villages (8 locations)
344
       

Services for children


Mosaic centre
61 2,176
Sticky club Bacau 222
Sticky club Panu - Stanisesti 196
Sticky club Godinesti - Vultureni 119
Sticky club Podu Turcului 103
Impart – children with handicap 273
       
Services for families Social support 307 580
Mother and baby care 273
       
Services for rural areas Community transport and specialist doctors 962 4,857
Mobile pharmacy 3,457
Mobile team of specialists 428
       
Services for youth Volunteers centre 130 130
       
Services for professionals Impreuna Network 1,367 1,367
       
Total     10,908


In addition to their regular activities FSC also did the following during 2009:

* FSC received an award from Erste Group in Bucharest on June 25, FSC being the first NGO in Romania
(out of 6 finalists) but the first 3 prizes went to NGOs from Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo at the S-E Europe .
Awards for Social Inclusion

* FSC received two special awards at the Civil Society Gala in Bucharest

* We organized the eight Bacau Community Awards Gala (26 February) – event reuniting over 200
participants at the Arkadia Restaurant, representatives of the civil and business community, and also local and
national personalities like Mona Nicolici ,CSR Manager Petrom, and Mr Edward Parry, Director Relief Fund
for Romania.

* We organized Impreuna's third International Conference on arts programs for people with special needs
“ TOGETHER THOUGH ARTS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES” - 10-12 September 2009 in Poiana Brasov;

* We completed the work on the new “Glue Club” in Slobozia Noua, Stanisesti, with funding
from Petrom;

* We organized 4 regional seminars with the Impreuna Network

* We delivered accredited training sessions to 311 people

* We processed, and printed the third edition of the guide “Work techniques through combined arts”
in 1000 copies.

* We launched a new model: the community transport to assist elderly, pregnant, people with
handicap, children for accessing services in our outside their communities in 8 large communes

* We organized multiple summer activities in the villages (5 large summer schools projects) with partners
from UK (Libra Foundation and CAST)

* We designed and printed brochures for health promotion and education in all schools from the 10
target communities

* We designed a brochure for “parents” with useful information and advice regarding communication,
hygiene, healthy habits, etc.to be used in the work in the villages

* We are refurbishing a large building in Motoseni which will become a community centre to assist children, elderly and youth from an isolated, poor area

* Thanks to the Norwegian grants we trained and employed 50 new people from the villages as home careers, social workers, drivers or educators, increasing the number of employees with 50%. For 80% of these people this employment is a first time ever, it is so motivating to see the enthusiasm and real change for better in the lives of these simple women.

* At the end of the year we organized a general meeting and the new colleagues introduced themselves with great pride and so much more self confidence.

* We are very pleased with the relationship developed with the local mayors from the villages. With few exceptions they are more communicative, committed and engaged in dealing with the social cases in their own communities. It is for the first time that they communicate better among themselves at the meetings that we organise even though they share principles of different political parties. Developing their abilities and commitments will eventually increase the chances of these villages to the needed change.

Please accept our sincere thanks and appreciation for all the support from RFFR, please convey our gratitude to all the board members, RFFR remains our special partner and a serious one and that is reassuring too.


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 exemplary young Romanians and thank all our supporter in the UK and elsewhere for helping us fund this work

 

 

 

To See last year's trustees_report for 2007 / 2008 Click here