Romanians Pledge Support for IOCC Efforts

Baltimore, MD (July 29, 2004) — At recent meetings in Detroit and Chicago, Romanian-Americans pledged their continuing support for the humanitarian work of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Romania.

Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada and Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America committed their respective communities to raising $50,000 toward new initiatives planned by IOCC in Romania.

IOCC has proposed to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) a program to work with Romanian youth on the problems of HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, human trafficking and family violence.

“This outpouring of support by the Romanian-American community demonstrates their deep concern for the well-being of the people in Romania,” said IOCC Executive Director Constantine M. Triantafilou. “Working together, our efforts can make a significant impact on the lives of young people andfamilies.”

IOCC is seeking $50,000 in funding from the Romanian Diaspora in support of youth initiatives to be implemented with the Romanian Orthodox Church and its network of nearly 11,000 parishes.

In addition to its efforts in Romania, IOCC is currently implementing a three-year, $6 million project in Ethiopia, supported by USAID, that offers faith-based community care to AIDS orphans and vulnerable children, and palliative care to people living with HIV/AIDS.

The project planned for Romania, like the one in Ethiopia, also seeks to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS infections through a massive public education campaign.

IOCC has been active in Romania since 2000, when it began providing emergency relief to victims of seasonal flooding. Since then, IOCC has helped open a multi-purpose youth center in Bistrita and implemented a $335,000 welfare reform program to strengthen families and prevent child abandonment in southwest Romania.

Founded in 1992, IOCC is a humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox Christians. IOCC has implemented more than $175 million in relief and development programs in 26 countries.