Raising the standard of healthcare and education in Eastern Europe, particularly Romania
We are just two years away from CSEF's quarter century working in Romania. Year by year the work with often extremely disadvantaged children and families has expanded. This year is no exception.
Nowhere in Romania was there a specialist school for children with autism. Today there is - and it's a wonderful resource that at last provides a learning centre for two feisty mothers, each with a child with autism, who have struggled for seven years to provide support for Romanian children diagnosed with the condition.
Work with School for the Deaf No. 2 in Cluj-Napoca has developed too. The programme of providing a touchscreen computing system in the school has continued.
As ever the brutal fact remains that the work still needs significant funding. A huge amount of activity is carried out by volunteers, but there are buildings to maintain and upgrade, teaching aids that can only be bought, and full-time staff who must be properly rewarded for what they do. I hope you will be encouraged by this year's report, and perhaps feel able to contribute something.
I am continuously inspired by remembering where CSEF began when a handful of people working in Britain's NHS at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London realised that hospital equipment was being thrown out but still had a life and could be deployed in Romania. Twenty three years on, who could believe that it would have grown to the amazing diversity of services that are now provided around Cluj.