Community Work

Contact: Dan Marin    mobile: 0040744319708

Transylvanian Wolf is strongly committed in community work projects through its own legally registered charity in Zarnesti, Transylvania, called Fundatia Rowan România. Zarnesti is a small town in the south-eastern part of Transylvania in which, during the communist times there was the largest military factory in Romania (15,000 employees). All this so called ‘heavy industry’ has completely collapsed after the Romanian Revolution in 1989, generating terrible social problems. Although the town is situated in an extraordinarily beautiful area, core of international research programs on wildlife, it is for the moment still one of the ‘dead areas’, economically speaking in Romania. This is reflected in the dramatic situation at the long-stay psychiatric hospital here (156 residents with 14 people as qualified staff), as well as in the gypsy communities in Zarnesti (about 2,000 people). Back in 2003 we started developping some projects in order to improve, as much as we can this situation. These projects have as a main goal the change in the very bad care system for people with special needs here. Another important goal is to help members of the Gypsy and Romanian communities promote their traditions, culture and skills on both a national and international level. We are deeply involved as well in nature and wildlife research, education and public awareness work.

Here are some of our achievements on these different levels:
Long-stay psychiatric hospital in Zarnesti. Together with Zarnesti town hall, county medical authorities in Brasov and Rowan Romania(UK) we managed to employ four people, registered as unemployed, but had a social assistance background, to work as ‘Creative Carers’ at the psychiatric hospital. They use their ‘creative’ skills (dancing, singing, playing, drama, storytelling, etc.) in working one-to-one or in small groups with the patients at the hospital. This is done under our direct and permanent supervision.

With the help of different persons and organizations we are now able to provide fruit, cakes and juice on a regular basis; occasionally dairy products.
We have different events, such as a coffee shop, beauty salon, short walks in the nature with small groups of patients, things that nobody could see possible not very long ago.

Creating special events at the hospital, linking them with local traditions and customs; for instance, for the Romanian equivalent of St.Valentine’s day(24th February) called Dragobete, we asked male patients to offer chocolate hearts to the female patients, using appropriate formulas.

We had a good collaboration with World Challenge(UK) in involving British teenagers and their teachers in creative activities at and for the hospital.

We managed to get a donation of two new washing machines for the hospital from Bosch Romania ; another British sponsor made a donation for acquiring a semi-professional washing-machine; through another useful donation we managed to get a new toilet-chair.

We started a program for offering dental care for the patients at the hospital that are in great need for that.

We launched a campaign to gather information about the children that some of the patients had at a certain time and were abandoned in the maternity; a first big success was when we managed to find about one of these children, staying at a special children’s centre near Brasov. Intermediating a meeting between mother and daughter in such a case is a very complicated process, but we had the support of Child Protection Authority in Brasov. We had to take a psychologist and a social worker with us to facilitate this extraordinary meeting.

Together with the patients at the psychiatric hospital we managed to present a drama performance based on a traditional Romanian story. This was part of the work on a Socrates-Grundtvig project.

Click here to watch a video on our work at the hospital made by Dan Linstead, editor at Wanderlust magazine (UK)

Rroma communities
Our Foundation supported members of a Rroma community in Zarnesti to produce a traditional Gypsy dance and music performance for the groups of foreign tourists visiting our area. The music and dance went together with a presentation about Rroma history, culture and traditions.

As a very important result of these activities, we managed to convince the town hall in Zarnesti to invite the traditional gypsy dance group to a traditional Romanian festival for the first time ever. This will put the basis to build up the communication bridges between the Rroma people and the other communities living here.

Nature and wildlife
We started a twinning programme between Piatra Craiului National Park in Romania and Afan Forest Park in Wales.

We had presentations on wildlife or human-wildlife interaction issues for groups of pupils from the British and American Schools in Bucharest or from local schools in Brasov County.

Constant monitoring of different wild animals, especially during the winter through snowtracking.

Support from the US State Department for a cultural exchange program on ‘Parks, Biodiversity and Ecotourism Management’ (details on Award Media Reviews page).

All these achievements were possible through our direct and permanent involvement in these activities . We have very good collaboration with state institutions, NGO’s and private sponsors:

Town Hall in Zarnesti
Rowan Romania (UK)
Edith Keller-Merk (Switzerland)
Arabella McIntyre-Brown (UK)
Elizabeth and Robert Taylor (UK) – members of one of the Exodus groups in 2006
Wanderlust Magazine (UK)
US Embassy to Romania
Moriah Baptist Church Risca (South Wales, UK)
Piatra Craiului National Park (Romania)

We need your help to keep all this work going; please contact us if you consider providing any support for it.