Here's our latest Trustees' report - for the year to March 2010

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 In case you think these are outdated we will submit the next accounts (2010/2011) in January 2012


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 .


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 sustainable projects.


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.
All funded organisations submit quarterly financial and project reports and we visit the projects in Romania.


During 2009/2010, we continued to develop our work with the most disadvantaged in Romania. 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) of around £7,000.

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 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 performs in other similar centres, particularly this year at (CRRPH Ungureni, 'Condorul' Bacau and CRRN Vermesti.

We trebled Vali’s funding during the year to help him expand this activity into two more institutions in Bacau county: Darmanesti Neuropsychiatry Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre (CRRN Darmanesti aka Vermesti) and Ungureni

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, 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.

This year they won two significant national awards

May 2010: Their project “Integrated Services in Podu Turcului Area” was awarded "Best Project in Romania” by The Civil Society Gala -a project that promotes and recognizes the activity of the non-profit sector in Romania.

November 2010 : Recognised as the “Top NGO in education in Romania”! by the Dinu Patriciu Foundation at the Education Awards Gala , Bucharest.

We directly fund about 30% of FSC’s crucial “core costs” – eg salaries – they have 120 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 Romanian local authority grants and their own fundraising.

This year FSC directly helped over 16,000 people (up from 10,000 the previous year) through the following programmes;

- Home Care of the Elderly sick and infirm

- Mobile Health Care to Disadvantaged Rural Areas

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

- Emergency grants and social support for the very poor

- Mobile Pharmacy to isolated rural areas


Highlights of FSC’s activities during 2009 / 2010

- in their own words

January: we launched a film on the activity dedicated in rural areas and funded by the Norwegian Grants. The film can be seen on the website:

February: The 9th edition of the Bacau Community Awards Gala reunited 200 participants from the civil society and personalities, such as His Excellency the Ambassador of Norway in Bucharest, Mr. Øystein Hovdkinn;

April: The Day Centre for the elderly “Dr. Stefan Ciobanu” celebrated its 8th year of activity. Every year, the centre has grown and developed many and interesting projects. Over 500 elderly from Bacau have been beneficiaries of the centre, some of them remaining faithful friends ever since.

May: Bacau Volunteers’ Gala -a real celebration dedicated to all those who generously became involved with the social causes of our community. The Gala’s main objective has been to promote the concept of volunteering in the community, to raise public awareness on this phenomenon and no at last, to motivate the volunteers in carrying on their actions for 2010.

The Volunteer of the Year dedicated 1000 hours to FSC!

May 2010: The Official Opening of the Motoseni Community Centre: the centre assures services to children, youth and elderly in a very poor community.

June 2010: the Impreuna Network organized a regional meeting and a training session together with Muzika in Romania for 100 people in Bucharest

We completed the work on the new “Glue Club” in Slobozia Noua, Stanisesti: we built a wooden house next to the school which is very attractive and useful;

July and August: the 6th Summer School in rural areas. This year was very successful with the participation of 40 FSC volunteers, 35 British volunteers and over 800 children from Stanisesti, Vultureni, Podu Turcului, Motoseni, Rachitoasa and Tatarasti.

September: we managed to get 65 children from poor rural areas into high school education. Another 550 children received school supplies and uniforms

October: we organized the international conference “Medical and social services in the rural Romania: needs and solutions” in Bucharest. The conference reunited 150 decision makers, service providers, people working in medical.

We organized the regional seminar: Forming abilities of independent living for children in the rural areas with the purpose of integrating them in high school life”.

December: 1,640 children and 300 older people received Christmas presents from many sponsors.

Over 250 beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and supporters participated in a special end of year celebration, an event with music, poems and Christmas Carols which took place on the nice stage of Bacau Athenaeum.

Our specialists designed several valuable printed materials:

Mother and baby booklet: simple medical advice for mothers on what to do for prevention, house accidents, various common diseases, etc.

• “You can be a better parent”: booklet for parents with school age children; advice on communication, abuse, neglect, hygiene and food, worries, etc.

• 12 informative leaflets for health promotion aimed at school age children

• “Your guide for going out into the world”: support booklet for children going on higher education outside their village.

• Working booklet for teachers: support materials for helping children who want to access higher education;
Our work was reflected highly in the national and local media.


This year we managed, as we planned, to increase the help to rural areas. These places need more and we are determined to continue to do more for them.

60% of the FSC employees were previously poorly educated people from the villages who are now trained, qualified and performing well.

Key indicators for the year:

FSC provided services to 16,166 people with a team of about 120 employees.

Details of charity beneficiaries helped by our main partner FSC in 2010


Description Programme
Beneficiaries Total

Services for elderly people Day care Speranta-Bacau 671 1,939
Day care Motoseni
Home care Bacau (City) 166
Home care villages (9 locations)

Services for children

Mosaic centre
87 6,023
Sticky club Bacau 76
Sticky club Panu - Stanisesti 171
Sticky club Godinesti - Vultureni 98
Sticky club Podu Turcului 105
Impart – children with disabilities 270
Health promotion and education 5,306
Services for families Social support 346 570
Mother and baby care 224
Services for rural areas Mobile Health 5,732 6,578
Specialist doctors 276
Services for youth Social grant 80  
Volunteers centre 215 295
Services for professionals Impreuna Network 1,241 1,241
Total     16,166

Care of Elderly

We intend to take forward the results of the study prepared and presented at the conference in Bucharest in October for raising awareness at high level on the need for development of services for the older population in Romania. Some facts from the study:

• 15% of Romania’s population is over 65 years old

• In 2030 this will increase to 30% (similar with European tendencies)

• 45% of Romania’s population live in rural areas

• Only 10% of the doctors work in rural areas in Romania

• 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 state

• 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 13,333 people benefit from home care services in entire Romania

- this could bring jobs to 100,000 unqualified people

- home care is 10 times cheaper than other care services

We already had a meeting with the President of the Social Commission of the Parliament, Senator Elena Mitrea who attended the conference and is willing to support our endeavor. The intention is to organize more high level meetings and to mobilize the active NGOs in this field to support the initiative.

Integrated services in rural areas: Podu Turcului area

It is very interesting that after 20 years of RFFR-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.

There are no concrete improvements on the medical, social or educational areas introduced by the Government.

The same family doctors struggle to do their job and continue to be unhappy and not motivated, the quality of the education is worse with more unqualified teachers doing what they can and being extremely unhappy these days and with the same lack of services with the exception on what FSC does.

Unfortunately we achieved something that without continued funding could end tomorrow.


Lenuta Nastac tok part in a working and consultative meeting in UK, organized by Muzika in Romania. Among the participants: DGASPC Bacau, CRRN, Vermesti, CRRN Gisteni, Art Therapy Center Timisoara, Education Center Timisoara and Muzika team from UK.

The focus of the discussions were on “Center of Excellence” as a recognition of

1. High level Care.
2. Staff quality
3. Community involvement
4. Beneficiaries teach and development possibilities
5. Staff motivation possibilities
6. Leadership
7. Financing
8. Activities for improving quality of work done

The meeting continued the discussions started in June in Bucharest on the subject of “Centre for Excellence” and added on the definitions and criteria for selection of such centres.

We noticed a decrease in requests for accredited training (level 1 and level 2) explained by the bad financial situation and reduction of salaries with 25%.

The team is working on a third and final level called “qualification” which will be ready for accreditation in few months.

The Impreuna network continues to act on the agreed plan that includes: informing the members through emails, printed magazine and phone calls. Lenuta Nastac and Bogdan are on the phone quite a lot with the most active people.




Educational Services:

- 571 children attending the educational centres
- 1645 children benefited from the Be Santa Campaign
- 241 parents benefited from the School for Parents

Specialized Mobile Services

- 55 Beneficiaries of pediatric health checks
- 11 sessions provided by the specialists
- 114 beneficiaries of Sessions on Health for parents
- 18 family planning sessions
- 192 beneficiaries of Family Planning Services

Health Promotion:

- 2869 Children received information in session
- 111 Teachers received information in session
- 518 sessions in all the schools of these communities
- 69 Schools/ villages


Social Care:

75 families received support

61 young people from rural areas received social grants to attend high school

All the Centres for Children are full of life and productive activity. It is a great pleasure to see how much is already changed the lives of the children exposed to the stimulation, encouragement and positive, attractive education. We sincerely believe that such centres should exist in every village….

The new centre at Motoseni has a little peasant museum with several old donated household objects. They were donated by the elderly and make such a great difference to the place.

The Mosaic centre is vivid, colorful and makes a big difference to the organization, the photo speaks for itself.


We end a successful year and with hopes and worries in the same time. We hope to be able to keep most work going but we are aware that we may not be able to do it without adequate funding, in which case we will have to make changes.

The future remains uncertain, we can only be optimistic and hope that all our efforts will manage to keep us going.

Please accept our sincere thanks and appreciation for all the support from the Relief Fund for Romania, please convey our gratitude to all the board members, the Relief Fund remains a special partner and a serious one and that is reassuring too. We thank RFFR for continuing to care and help. Many special thanks to Edward Parry for his efficiency, advice and friendship.

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 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 2008 / 2009 Click here