NGOs’ projects and activities are seldom crucial and, sometimes, decisive for the vulnerable groups across the country. Local communities have different needs and people who are at risk (socially, economically, medically) need a prompt support, no matter the source of this support. For a community to be sound there is the need for the public authorities to work alongside NGOs. And this happens because the goal of increasing the quality of life for the vulnerable ones can be achieved only if we were to gather the human, financial and expertise available both in the public and non-governmental sector.

Bearing in mind this setting, we have organized during the summer several workshops for representatives of NGOs from all over the country. Within this training program we aimed at updating their information in fields such as legislation in social services or to introduce them into new domains that we consider fundamental for their activity in their communities. In these times of pandemic, more than in any other periods, we consider that NGOs must feel that they are part of a wider community. We feel that we all should show solidarity among us and we should all reconsider our ways and our methods of distributing the resources available.

The workshops were part of #SOS_Project: Partnership for sustainable public policies in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention, financed through the Global Fund. Within the project we are planning local advocacy campaigns in order to convince the local authorities to allocate funds for PLHIV and for prevention programs in this domain. Therefore, we need NGOs mobilized for this cause and ready to access these funds. The trainings are aiming to increase the expertise and the energy of these NGOs in such a way that, when the time comes, they would be ready to implement relevant project for the PLHIV and vulnerable groups.

We have identified NGOs from the counties with greatest number of people infected and we have launched invitations for participation at workshops in innovative thinking, licensing and accreditation of social services and social entrepreneurship. These workshops aimed both to increase the organizational capacity for the NGOs and to facilitate improved and more efficient social services to the PLHIV or people that are at risk of infection.

Up to know, Romanian Angeal Appeal organized two of these workshops (Innovative Thinking and Licensing and Accreditation of social services) for NGOs activating in social, youth and health domains.

We have chosen the Innovative thinking workshop because we are firmly convinced that for all the NGOs there is a time for new ideas and new strategies to fulfil their mission. Therefore, we considered that this workshop could enhance the process of brainstorming through new and innovative instruments. Trainer for this workshop was Ina Ilie, a person with sound experience and good energy that facilitated the process of navigation through this new method of ordering one ideas and priorities. The participants experienced new, dynamic and surprising new ways of exploring their old problems in dealing with the needs of their clients and the organizational shortcomings that come from financially or human resources obstacles. The NGOs represented in this training varied a lot – from organizations which have programs aimed at people with disabilities, PLHIV, LGBTQ, drug users or homeless people. Within the workshop, they were split in working groups with different expertise and different experiences, in very different areas of activity. Therefore, one of the biggest outcomes of this meeting were the ideas coming from people who weren’t prior exposed to the problems brought to their attention. The methods explored generated fresh and innovative ideas which validated the theory that a bit of game and limitless exploration of one imagination can generate useful and new ways for solving old problems.

The second workshop – Licensing and accreditation of social services  was a workshop on the complicated and highly bureaucratic work in the life of NGOs activating in the field of social services. NGOs activities should be about the benefit of their clients, but, in some cases, bureaucracy and impressive volume of technical aspects that they should consider in their work could seriously affect the services provided for the people. Daniela Lupu, trainer within this workshop, thoroughly explained the route that a NGO should complete so that they could license their institution and they could obtain accreditation for their services. These processes could both increase the sustainability of the organization and their relevance and expertise within local communities. Along the workshop, representatives of the NGOs were explained the legislative components of the process, which sometimes could be overwhelming because of their highly technical content. What is more, for the critical aspects of the processes of licensing and accreditation, the trainer gave practical examples of how NGOs could deal with these possible problems along the process.

The counties represented in these workshops were Cluj, Hunedoara, Arad, Suceava, Galati, Oradea and Bucharest. Their expertise was very different, but they all had in common the care for the communities that they serve: Galati Patience Association, New Horizons, Pozitive Sense, Pride Romania, Support for Social Integration Association, Identity Education, Parada, Ally Suceava, Mozaiq, Local Youth Groups in Cluj, Humanity Christian Association, Youthland, Hope Empowerment Association, Sportive Club for the People with neuromotor disabilities, Happy Fire Fly, Multiple Sclerosis Association, Saint Family Foundation, Save the Children, Medical Students from Oradea Students.

Photo credit: <a href=””>Education vector created by freepik –</a>

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