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.
note. In case you think these are outdated we will submit the next
accounts (2010/2011) in January 2012
THE RELIEF FUND FOR ROMANIA LTD
REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2010
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 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
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.
All funded organisations submit quarterly financial and project
reports and we visit the projects in Romania.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES APRIL 2009– MARCH 2010
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
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
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
This results in a great community spirit and ensures
that everyone is valued as an individual with feelings and human
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
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
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
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;
Care of the Elderly sick and infirm
Health Care to Disadvantaged Rural Areas
combined arts therapy for children and adults in institutions and
- 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: www.ruralestbacau.ro
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
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
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
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
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
• Working booklet for teachers: support
materials for helping children who want to access higher
Our work was reflected highly in the national and local media.
COMMENTS ON THE ACTIVITIES
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
|Services for elderly
||Day care Speranta-Bacau
|Day care Motoseni
|Home care Bacau (City)
|Home care villages (9 locations)
Services for children
|Sticky club Bacau
|Sticky club Panu - Stanisesti
|Sticky club Godinesti - Vultureni
|Sticky club Podu Turcului
|Impart – children with disabilities
|Health promotion and education
|Services for families
|Mother and baby care
|Services for rural areas
|Services for youth
|Services for professionals
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
• In 2030 this will increase to 30% (similar with European
• 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.
IMPART: COMBINED ART TECHNIQUES
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
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
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.
THE GLUE CLUBS AND MOSAIC CENTRE
KEY INDICATORS for 2010:
- 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
- 2869 Children received information in session
- 111 Teachers received information in session
- 518 sessions in all the schools of these communities
- 69 Schools/ villages
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
See last year's trustees_report for 2008 / 2009 Click here