We’re back …

That is, we’re back in Romania working with Motivation Romania! As most of you know, Mosaic and IMPACT have been working with our friends here since 2002 at which time a program was established to help reduce the number of children with intellectual disabilities living in a local institution. The former dictator, President Nicolae Ceausescu, had created the institutions. Following his death, the cruel and deplorable conditions in these institutions were made public to the world press. The number of children and teens found residing in them was staggering.

New friendships develop in international work, within non-governmental organizations and sometimes within the governments. Sorting out who the good guys are is not easy, but clearly we have learned you cannot do that through emails, documents, or phone calls alone. The development of personal relationships is key, without which one cannot create trust, build reciprocity (a key to building social capital), or truly partner to build a better future for those whom the program supports.

Recently we were in Washington, DC and had the privilege to be on a panel for a “Thought Leadership Event” at the Capitol. Two senior officials, one from USAID, and one from the U.S. State Department were also on the panel. When we mentioned Motivation Romania, a small NGO by many international standards, their eyes lit up. Motivation has left a trail of good workfrom Bucharest to Washington, DC, from India back to Moldova, from northern Romania back to the USA where they have touched the hearts of so many donors.

Cristian Ispas with some of the kids!

It is Mosaic’s privilege and our honor to be counted among the thousands of their friends throughout the world. Though they don’t seek recognition or fame; it finds them. Lets mention just a few of their accomplishments:

  • Motivation LTD – “Entrepreneur (of the year) in Romania – 2010”

  • First Gala for People with Disabilities in Romania (an “Academy Awards” type of event honoring significant contributions by Romanian citizens) – 2010

  • Forbes Romania named Motivation 7th in the top 20 Foundations by size

  • Received Romania’s first bank loan to establish a Social Business as one pillar of their sustainability plan as designed by Mohammad Yunus, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in Micro Credit financing. – 2011

  • Through a network of 11 regional teams, 892 wheelchairs were distributed, 2,733 individuals with disabilities received support in peer group training, camps, and seminars, and also 92 individuals with disabilities successfully moved away from welfare programs to the mainstream employment market. – 2010

  • Established Romania’s first wheelchair-accessible camp – in the Carpathian Mountains – 2005

  • Motivation Romania Open 2009 – an international tennis tournament, the first accredited ITF event in Romania – 2008

  • Participated in the World Health Organization process of setting international standards for wheelchair production – 2009

  • Opened one of the first community-based comprehensive set of services for children leaving institutions – 2002

  • Cristian Ispas, Motivation’s General Manager, testified in front of the Helsinki Commission during a United States Congressional hearing – 2007

Pretty impressive!

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