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 psychiatric hospital

and independent organisations we funded included;

Therapy Through Art, Timisoara – remedial rehabilitation for special needs children and children suffering from cancer.

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 services.

- 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 a week.

The project is a very effective tool in developing confidence and independence and has enabled beneficiaries to progress to job training and employment.


- 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 directly.

This is an increase of 100% on the previous year.

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.

 

 

To See last year's report on our charity work in Romania Click here