Romanian orphan ministry moves forward to independence

By January 17, 2011

Romania (BOC/MNN) — Buckner
is on track as a self-sustained Non-Governmental Organization
(NGO) in Romania.

The ministry launched the Buckner Foundation Romania twelve years ago to
respond to the needs presented by the overburdened orphanage system. On January 1, the parent organization announced it was ending financial support from Fundatia Buckner Romania because it could support itself.  

Buckner International President Albert L. Reyes said the transition is part
of Buckner's long-term plan for establishing self-sustainability among its
international NGOs as time, resources, and support allow.

"When we create an NGO," he explained, "our model is to first establish the
organization to help answer the needs of orphans, vulnerable children and
families in that country, provide the initial resources to support these
efforts, and establish the methodology and model best suited for that context.
When they've reached a certain measure of maturity support and sustainability,
then our goal is to transition these NGOs toward becoming self-sustaining

Buckner established Fundatia Buckner (Buckner Foundation Romania) in 1998
and began offering mission teams to conduct evangelistic camps in orphanages in
the Targu Mures region.

Phil Brinkmeyer, Buckner regional director, said, "We began initially by
providing humanitarian aid directly to the remnants of a communist orphanage
system–one that was, in essence, providing first aid to those in need but was
putting a band-aid on a broken system."

Buckner has also developed a relationship with Child Protective Services in
Targu Mures for emergency relief and aid coordination, a transitional living
home for children who have aged out of care, sent hundreds of volunteers to
minister to children, and,along with CPS, initiated a domestic program to
encourage Romanians to report child abuse. 

Also instituted were an evangelistic follow-up program using Romanian staff
to provide weekly visits to orphans, a "grandmother" program to provide infants
with basic nurturing, and a foster care program along with Pathway to Joy
Ministry in Oradea.

While Buckner has set its Romanian NGO on a course of self-sustainability,
it won't be alone. They'll continue to
share its expertise in social services and will receive support from another
U.S.-based non-profit, "Another Child."

ACF was developed with the help of
Buckner International, with a missions office in Princeton, Ill. and the ACF
Headquarters in Lafayette, LA. ACF
will base its partnership with Fundatia Buckner "on knowing and understanding
the mission and vision of each other's organizations."

Buckner Romania is committed to transforming the lives of the children and
families God has entrusted to them. While ACF is committed to funding the
programs Buckner has created, sending mission teams to help transform these
people's lives and lending our organizational expertise on whatever front we
can help with." There are seven mission
trips planned to Romania in 2011. Click
here for details.

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