We arrived to the end of United Networks’ project

After 21 months the United Networks – integrated initiative for social inclusion of marginalized communities’ project ends on 31st of January.

The project was financed with the financial support of RO10 – CORAI, programme funded by EEA Grants 2009 – 2014 and managed by the Romanian Social Development and extended by the PLUS funding facility, implemented under the RO10 Programme financed through EEA Grants.

Total budget of the project was 1.756.996,00 lei, out of which private contribution is 175.699,60 lei and the implementation period was between May 2015 and January 2017.

The projects’ promoter was Caritas Alba Iulia – Social Assistance, the partners were: Babeș-Bolyai University from Cluj Napoca, General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Mureș General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Harghita, General Directorate of Social Assistance and Child Protection Covasna and Caritas Norway.

The project aims to support the fight against social exclusion among children and youth within disadvantaged communities (including Roma communities) in Mures, Harghita and Covasna counties, through developing the social infrastructure in the field of social inclusion.

The projects’ main objectives for the May 2015 – April 2016 period were:

  • To determinate the situation of social exclusion risc of administrative-territorial units in Mures, Harghita and Covasna counties through a multi-dimensional social mapping that will allow obtaining a map of marginalization and a map of existing resources.
  • To support the social inclusion of marginalized communities through the creation and coordination of networks in the field of social inclusion (1 regional network and 6 institutional operational networks – 2/counties) which will help to improve relations between local authorities, disadvantaged communities, public and private institutions. The selection of 21 marginalized local communities and their involvement  in the activities of the institutional operational networks, training in the field of participative planning and exchange experience to meet best practices in the field of social inclusion.
  • To increase the capacity of three local authorities with marginalized communities from Mures, Harghita and Covasna focusing on the social inclusion of children and youth and their access to adequate services, by implementing an 8 months long social intervention, including: in-depth analysis of social and economic situation through sociological survey, community and institutional facilitation, development of strategies and plans of action, as well as the creation of a portfolio of integrated projects that will further facilitate access to potential funding sources.

The project was extended for the period of 1st of May – 31st of January 2017. The extension was made possible through the PLUS funding facility, implemented under the RO10 Programme financed through EEA Grants.

The activities funded by Plus funding facility aim to:

  • Provide a sound basis for the process started through the project with the goal of developing the existing social infrastructure
  • Provide a sound basis for the sustainability of the created networks, as well as for the social intervention
  • Providing a response to the needs and interests expressed by the 21 local authorities involved in the project
  • Social intervention in Pănet (Mureş county), Şimoneşti (Harghita county) and Ojdula (Covasna county).

In order to address the needs and interests of the 21 local public authorities and members of local communities involved in the project, new activities will be implemented:

  • Development of case studies on social and economic situation of the 21 administrative units included in the network United Networks
  • Consulting activities for LPA’s in identifying and accessing funds for projects
  • Organizing and conducting a seminar on social economy for local government representatives involved in the project
  • Organizing an Intercultural Summer Program for 90 children
  • Exchange experiences for the stakeholders from the three selected community;
  • Intercultural programmes for children in Panet;
  • “Family Days” in  Şimoneşti;
  • Accountability program for 24 young people in Ojdula

Using these portfolios, we have taken measures for submitting several projects. In the case of the Pănet, these measures were materialized though the submission of the project called “Quality Education, Safe Future – an Initiative in the Support of Inclusion and Access to Quality Education in Pănet”. Starting from the initiatives from Şimoneşti and Ojdula, with the help of the institutional relations strengthened through our collaboration within the county networks, a network of daytime education centres for primary-school children was created,  covering 11 localities from Harghita County, including Şimoneşti, where our intervention took place, as well as Ojdula in Covasna County. The activities of these daytime centres will be supported by means of the financial support of the Harghita County Council, partner local governments and the FAER Foundation.