IOCC Project in Romania Aims to Expand and Strengthen Social Services

A new grant in support of IOCC’s efforts to work with the Romanian Orthodox Church will help improve and expand the delivery of social services, such as the provision of emergency assistance following disasters. (photo: N. Chakos/IOCC Romania)

Baltimore, MD (October 14, 2010) — IOCC’s efforts to partner with the Romanian Orthodox Church and local community-based organizations to provide vital social services received a boost recently when it was awarded a grant of more than $1.8 million to help strengthen the work of community-based organizations in Romania.

“Ten years ago, IOCC opened an office in Bucharest with the vision of working side-by-side with the Romanian Orthodox Church to serve people in need,” reflected Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director. “We are gratified to have this opportunity to take one more step toward that goal of a vibrant network for diakonia in partnership with Filantropia.”

The project will assist Filantropia, a national network of community-based organizations under the auspices of the Romanian Orthodox Church, to improve the social services it provides to orphans, the elderly, families living in poverty, prisoners, the terminally ill and others in need in Romania. The training and organizational development that will be provided through the project will enable Filantropia to become a strategic partner in improving social services at the local, regional and national levels.

The new program has been made possible through the Romanian Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunity and co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Sectorial Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007-2013.

Over the next two years, the project will provide essential training in the organization and management of the network and its member agencies. The training is expected to improve social service delivery throughout much of Romania, aid in evaluation programs, and assist in the development of a strategic plan that will guide the federation’s organizational development and map its future initiatives. The project will also enhance communication and networking among the federation’s members, increase linkages and the sharing of resources and best practices.

The project will help Filantropia develop strategic partnerships and more effectively coordinate with local government agencies and businesses to cooperate more effectively and increase the efficiency of social service activities. IOCC will help promote sustainable social inclusion and provide opportunities for underserved communities to be fully engaged in society.

Training and coordination efforts offered through the project will be offered in the Romanian counties where the twelve members of the Filantropia network are located, including Alba, Bucharest, Buzau, Calarasi, Cluj, Dolj, Galati, Ialomita, Iasi, Mehedinti, Buzau, and Timis.