Our collaboration with the Church's City Mission yields results

The Fundatia Adina Foundation has become the national center for Home Start in Romania. The program, which started in collaboration with the Church City Mission Foundation in Bergen, has been a success in the villages outside Craiova.

The collaboration started four years ago and the event was marked in Bergen on 5 April. Ove Haugsdal, who started the Adina Foundation, presented a Romanian icon as a tangible expression that Adina values the collaboration with the Church's City Mission. Both organizations have in common that they exist for fellow human beings who struggle in everyday life. The need is present both in the welfare state of Norway and in Romania, which has a long way to go before benefits are distributed a little more evenly.

Our employees in Craiova were on a week-long study trip to Bergen four years ago, and went home with both skepticism and optimism in their luggage. The content of the concepts of volunteering and volunteer work was rather distant in the poor Romanian countryside. Today, the word volunteer is included in the vocabulary of those we are in contact with, and the word can be read in documents from the EEA.

The employees from the Church's City Mission were on a study trip south, and were shocked by the poverty they encountered when they visited the families in the countryside. The City Mission's employees also visited various SFOs and kindergartens. A hybrid model of the global Home Start scheme was created, and our variant was named New Start. This name variant became more precise and rich in content than anyone had imagined. Today we have a solid core of committed volunteers who go on home visits, and in addition we run Open Kindergarten based on a model from Bergen.

Home Start and everything that follows in the wake, results-oriented knowledge transfer is the shortest way out to disadvantaged families. The start-up with own and qualified project staff was possible thanks to EEA funds. The Fundatia Adina Foundation has also become an important interlocutor for local authorities when the topic is poverty reduction, schooling and social exclusion.

We never distinguish between Roma and ethnic Romanians. During more than 15 years of efforts in one of Europe's poorest counties, we have experienced that social distress affects everyone, but we have also seen the result that it is useful to help people at home, regardless of ethnic origin.