New Grant Broadens Romanian
|Volume 12, No. 3
Orthodox Church's Social Service
Baltimore, MD IOCC has launched a new program to support the efforts of the Romanian Orthodox Church to more effectively help Romanian communities achieve economic sustainability and overcome severe social issues. The new program is made possible through a $1.6 million grant from the Romanian Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunity and the European Union.
Romania, one of the newest members of the European Union, has tremendous human and natural resources, though it lags far behind the rest of Europe in jobs and income level. Access to healthcare is inadequate in many rural areas. The two-year program will help the Church become a key player in providing social services and in creating new jobs and improving education and health care.
"Our continuing collaboration with the Patriarchate of Romania has risen to a new level with the inauguration of this grant to further strengthen the capacity of the Church to offer social services benefitting all Romanians," said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director and CEO. "The power of this partnership lies in developing systems and capacities based entirely upon local realities, needs, and resources," he continued.
IOCC is well experienced in working alongside the Romanian Orthodox Church to be an agent for social change. It was U.S. Ambassador to Romania Jim Rosapepe who first recognized the potential of IOCC to work in partnership with the Orthodox Church in the late 1990s. Since 2005, over 2 million Romanians have been educated in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and family violence through a program that IOCC implemented in cooperation with the Romanian Orthodox Church (and funded by the United States Agency for International Development). IOCC trained project coordinators who in turn trained over 1,200 priests and almost 1,000 religion teachers to reach youth and families with prevention strategies.