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FSC's a typical Report
TO: RELIEF FUND FOR ROMANIA
FROM: FSC - Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar
Quarterly monthly report on the activities of Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar
ECONOMIC ASPECTS IN ROMANIA
The thermometers registered as many as 54.5 degrees C in the sun
in University Square, downtown Bucharest. In the South of the country,
the temperatures did not fall in certain places below 40 degrees
C. The heat killed around 30 persons.
On 26th June FSC celebrated 10 years of existence, a decade of
hard work, results and continuation. We are very proud to say that
we are among a small number of NGOs in Romania that were able to
start large programmes that are still viable.
Various NGOs from the country applied and companies looked at the proposals (an exhibition before the Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility). Our project was “bought” right away by Vodafone with 4,200 GBP. FSC was one of the few NGOs to have sold the entire project.
COMMENTS ON THE PROJECTS AND RELEVANT ISSUES DISCUSSED AT BOARD MEETINGS
We organised one board meeting, in May, and we discussed about:
The Financial Situation
There are no structural funds yet
available for Romania.
However we understood from the various representations made on the structural funds that the money will go to the Romanian Government and will spend through decentralized bodies on fields that represent priorities for Romania, the first being economy, infrastructure, professional reconversion and agriculture. The NGOs can apply for funding if their activity meets the objectives of the programmes.
There are no EU funds on social care because this is considered to be the responsibility of the Romanian Government. NGOs are very worried about this knowing how many things have to be improved in this field.
Because of the EU adhesion the financial departments changed the
fiscal regulations and decided to stop reimbursing the VAT
to the NGOs !!! (Before, NGOs retrieved the VAT for external
[EP Note to Trustees: To clarify this: Romanian business recieve reimbursement of all their VAT. However any charity costs we / FSC incur eg petrol for the mobile health project, food for the children's centre and so on we have to pay VAT for which we do not get back ]
Once again the NGOs get together starting a lobby process to the Ministry of Finance for changing the situation. FSC requested, as a public utility organization, more fiscal benefits (VAT, reduced taxation on wages) which will be unlikely to obtain.
We attended an interesting international conference that covered the subject of “social economy” through NGOs developing lucrative activities. The conference presented an European and American perspective and perhaps we should re-explore this field.
We finally heard from our financial applications to the City Council and County Council. Our requests have been approved (60% from the City for Care of Elderly and 100% from the County for the MHCP and for the Impart).
As predicted, the contracts become functional beginning with June, ending November. Also, as predicted, the cash is likely to arrive late which means that we have to cover all expenses from own sources. These grants do not cover the VAT for the expenses which means that the NGOs have to cover 19% from own money as well as their contribution. This issue was approached during the NGO fair when we had a meeting with the authorities.
These two grants, with all their restrictions and problems, actually
save our cash flow for this year!
The issue with the Local authorities
After the "summit meeting" in March with the mayor,
when we discussed about:
NOTHING HAS HAPPENED!
Our request for the extension of the office was not approved by the City Council, with no reason.
As you know, we had 20,000 Euros from the Dutch Funds to do the building. Because the grant period was ending and we had no approval to do the work we asked them to reallocate the money on other expenses: salaries and supplies. Unfortunately they approve only 7,500 Euros and cut the rest of the grant.
In the meantime, we made a formal complaint and asked for a reanalysis of our request and apparently this time they approved the extension. We need to wait for the written paper before doing anything.
There is a general bad atmosphere about the relationship NGOs/authorities and that was confirmed at the recent NGO Fair when very few authorities were there. The only high level representative that attended the event was the Prefect.
The Mayor did not bother to attend even though he had a meeting in the same room that ended half an hour before. However 3 local councilors were there and they promised to take forward the aspects raised by the participants: partnership, contracting of the services, funding.
All our employees contributed to the 2% campaign managing to double the amount of forms compared with last year. The motivation was mainly the internal contest that we launched: a LCD TV, 100 Euro and 50 Euro for the largest numbers of papers.
It is becoming quite difficult to find qualified workforce in the social work field. We adverstised for a social worker and nobody applied. Also we lost another educator at Casa P. The main reason is the migration to other EU countries.
A large number of staff benefited from various training opportunities, attended seminars and were involved in organizing events.
We organized a general meeting at the end of June which was very
pleasant and we thanked all the employees for their hard work pointing
out the fact that 9 people have been working for FSC since the registration
back in 1997.
Care of Elderly
Number of direct beneficiaries per reporting period: 401/month
The grant (Dutch Foundation) for the salaries of the nurses ended in June leaving us with the entire costs to cover.
We obtained a grant from the City Council that enables us to cover
the following costs for 6 months:
The lesson learnt from the project, so far, is that when the state departments are the lead applicants on a grant funded project there are a lot of problems which they manage very badly.
The seminar on palliative care was a good opportunity
for us to make public the results of the projects so far and the
problems. Working in this field is very hard and is affecting the
nurses because of the pain and death that the beneficiaries and
their families have to deal with. The collaboration with the oncology
department is good.
The services in the day centre:
It was very touching to be there at the celebration of 5 years
since the opening of the centre. The beneficiaries prepared speeches,
poems, dancing and shared their personal feelings about the centre.
Mobile Health Care Programme: Podu Turcului area
Total number of direct beneficiaries per reporting period: 2,455
We obtained a grant from the County Council that enables us to:
Will therefore be able to open a second educational centre in Godinesti (Vultureni Communa). This village benefits from a great building that can accommodate the activity and will employ (like in Panu) a local woman to conduct the activities.
Also will organize 3 “summer schools” projects in Vultureni, Stanisesti and Podu Turcului in August. This project gets together urban volunteers with rural kids in many pleasant and educational activities. This year the project is funded by Vodafone.
We are very pleased with the young family that is living in the small FSC house in Valea Salciei –Vultureni. They have their third baby (another girl to the father’s despair), managed to extend the house and to build animal sheds.
Last time I saw them they were all in the fields weeding, the baby
sitting a small plastic bath tub, and the other two little girls
The rest of the work goes on as before, with:
We need to allocate some resources to teach the local communities
about planning, services, grant requesting as a first step to increase
their abilities in attracting more funds through projects.
IMPART: COMBINED ART TECHNIQUES, number of beneficiaries 66
The Impart team helped very much with the Pistruiatul activities and are now focusing on more direct work with the beneficiaries from the state institutions plus organizing more training in Bacau county. This need was identified following and evaluation carried out in the region. We realized that many people that were trained by Impart don’t work in the system anymore (most of them left to work abroad).
We were approached by Children’s high level group
(The Children's High Level Group (CHLG) was founded in
2005 by author JK Rowling and MEP Baroness
Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne.
The Impreuna network
A new issue of the Impreuna magazine was printed and is ready to be distributed according to the revised database. The revision of the database was quite a job as it was time consuming to phone 700 people.
Thanks to Daniel Hristea from FAST the site of the Impreuna looks
better and all the members are posted there.
Integrated services for child and family
reintegration of the homeless children & support of the families
In spite of our several written requests to sign a protocol of collaboration with the City Council we have no answer.
We carried on the work as before, the only financial help (other than RFFR/FSC) being on utilities from the City and a small grant from Procopil (French Government).
The continuity of the programme remains a sensitive issue, the only solution that we see is “contracting” with state departments and we lobby together with many other NGOs on national level for the introduction of this possibility in the legislation.
In the meantime we have to struggle to keep it going keeping the same standards of work in a context of total ignorant attitude from the authorities.
The children are happy and enjoying a lovely holiday out at the
seaside right now.
Total number of volunteers: average of 120 active volunteers per month
Gabriel Magurianu, the coordinator, is finishing his studies and taking the final exams in psychology.
The volunteers have a busy summer ahead with projects, camps and all sorts of activities.
We (Irina and I) managed to deliver a training session to 25 volunteer
leaders on project management. At the end of the session we asked
them to put on paper, on a simple form, their own ideas for projects.
We promised them to fund with GBP 200 the most well written and
If we sign the contract with UPC (home delivery of invoices to
about 50,000 recipients) we will need all the volunteers plus a
We are very pleased with the work performance of Ionut
Chirita, the coordinator of the department as he is managing
well to keep the follow up contacts with all the companies, to plan
and to organize various events. He participated to the national
conference on corporate social responsibility organized by AmCham,
a training session (of a poor quality) by FDSC and a meeting of
the network of NGOs working in this field.
I was asked to send “many thanks for all you do” from the elderly of the day centre which I am doing now. They really are very grateful for everything.
We are so lucky to have RFFR as partners so, please convey our thanks to all RFFR board members for all the support and trust.
For FSC Board,
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