2015 began, similarly to the preceding years, with the New Year’s Party. 65 people joined in at the New Year’s Ball – not only the community of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses partied together, but their families and friends participated too.
For the next event, The Carnival we made preparations together with the Association of People with Disabilities in Mures County. The ball was a real success, not only for people with disabilities, but also for their families and friends. A total of 148 people partied together.
After the Carnival season full of activities, we tried to prepare with quietude for the Easter Lent, becoming more introspective for celebrating the Resurrection of Christ. The Fraternitas spiritual meetings became central in order to help us prepare together for the Easter. These meetings and spiritual days were organized involving other themes as well, such as spiritual preparation for the Pentecost, the Last Supper, forgiveness, friendship, loyalty, devotion and preparation for welcoming Christmas.
Our April activities were organized around educational and informative projects. We participated successfully for the “Doing School Differently” activities with our program entitled Let’s learn differently: Interactive islands – How to live with disability?, first in local schools (Dacia and Europa), then going to villages in Mures county, such as Acatari, Gheorghe Doja or Sambrias, where children from nearby villages learn together. Thus more than 250 pupils participated in this program.
Another important project for our association was the BATTLE OF FACES. Although it was organized in the United Kingdom, more precisely in the St. Stephen’s Community House in London, its success is partially due to our joint and ambitious work in the project The Battle Of Faces. This is an art exhibition of Zsuzsanna Magyarosi, member of our association, who – in spite of her disability and due to her ambition, talent and work –succeeded (with the help of the community and the sacrifices of her family) to fulfill her dream to have an exhibition of her own creations. On this occasion we would like to thank the members of the association for their effort to fulfill the dream of the artist, who amazed us with her beautiful collection of works. Furthermore, we thank for our London partners, who welcomed and hosted us with open hearts, and the Communitas Foundation, who supported Zsuzsanna Magyarosi’s travelling costs. We would also like to show our gratitude to those private supporters, who contributed to the fulfillment of Zsuzsa’s dream with their financial sacrifice.
May started with the 13th edition of the Fair of NGOs, a season full of rain. In spite of the unfriendly weather, our volunteers were very active on the fair, presenting the visitors our Association’s activities, employees and its purpose. The poor weather did not scare us away, on the contrary, it motivated us more. During the fair the prize of the Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Adrienne Bíró, the volunteer of our association.
After the Fair of NGOs, the avalanche of summer programs began (which lasted until autumn): the flying test of Mures Fly members, fishing day and trips and Vine-Harvest Ball, organized by the Association of People with Disabilities in Mures County, the Olympicus Sport Club’s Cup, where participants with disabilities proved that limits exist only in people’s minds.
Furthermore, we would like to mention our outdoor activities and our gathering at the Laci Csárda Restaurant, without forgetting the HIFA sports. At the first open air sport activity there were quite a lot of participants in spite of the poor weather, which took place in the Town Park, similarly to many other activities of our Association. Although the heavy rain forced us under the tents, the second part of the day was sunny, thus we continued the activities. The participants played chess, backgammon, cards and the children played their favorite games. We had the chance to discover the magic of archery, and we tested our strengths at table tennis games, which continued with badminton towards the end of the day. We played darts, soccer, we had lots of fun and we had a great time together.
The 16th edition of Fraternitas Camp was organized by our Association during the summer at Selters Bai, Harghita County. Thanks to our sponsors, 55 people were able to participate in our exceptional program, which turned into a traditional event. The theme of the camp was The role of man and woman in the family and society, from the viewpoint of the life and roles of biblical characters – the Virgin Mary and the four evangelists. The camp was not just food for our souls, but also an opportunity for relaxation for many of us.
Relaxation is essential not only for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses, but also for their caretakers.
For the second time, we organized the Photographic Creation Camp. The aim of the contest was that the participants (either volunteers or people with disabilities) should evaluate the city and its infrastructure (accessibility for the disabled), including hotels, theatres, concert halls, museums, sport facilities, wellness centers, shops, restaurants, consulting rooms, pharmacies, commercial centers, schools and universities. The evaluation had to be carried out in pairs, with one disabled person. The teams had the opportunity to present the difficulties they had met with expressive photographs. The city, which had developed a lot over the past few years, obtained many negative marks regarding the accessibility for people with disabilities. We discovered that accessibility might be considered a luxury, although it should be self-evident in our town, even if accessibility is vital for people with disabilities (and not only).
The summer was followed by an autumn full of challenges, because our Association celebrated its 15th anniversary. But this lead us to another story, we will write about in another chapter.
The end of November was marked by an important event: The Circle of Sponsors, organized by the Mures Community Foundation, where three winning projects were presented for fundraising.
One of these projects was of HIFA-Romania Association, entitled Wheels Dance. The objective of this program was to establish a dance group for those in wheelchairs, a program which started in 2016.
At the beginning of December, we participated together with many other similar organizations in the realization of the event concerning the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Within the framework of this festivity, thanks to the initiative of the County Library, a new bilingual presentation of the book Images of Life (Életképek) took place. During the same week we displayed our needlework creations as well and we organized a round table discussion dedicated to accessibility problems, where we had invited a few city officials too. December also saw the Craft Fair in Tg. Mures, where our members were also invited to display and sell their works of art. The fair ended with an amazing show, where famous local artists enchanted the public with their performances.
The year ended with the traditional and unavoidable New Year’s Ball. We thank our members, sponsors, granters, colleagues, partners and volunteers for this year, rich in events and joy, without whom we would not have been so blessed.
Radio Tg. Mures
Being co-organizers of the show Harmony (Összhang) hosted by anchor Edit-Zsuzsanna Erdélyi, Radio Tg. Mures, we were present every last Wednesday of the month, discussing social problems
of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and issues of the deprived, inviting organizations, associations, foundations and NGOs with the same target group, serving community interests.
Along the year, with a more or less monthly regularity, we have given food- and hygienic products to 54 families with disabled members and/or low income. Individual donations have also been offered to other members with specific needs.
In November we launched a donation project Help to Make Miracles Happen, where everyone could make a gift for those in need. Thanks to our announcements 13 families and a group of students offered donations, such as clothing, shoes, kitchenware, children’s toys etc. These donations were completed by our Association by purchasing children’s toys, toothbrushes, sweets and fruits.
After a considerable thought (to find the ones in real need), we considered that the Orphanage of Father Pál Bakó in Glodeni and Materna Center would receive our gifts and donations. We managed to surprise 21 children from the orphanage in Glodeni with nicely packed gifts, kitchenware and a lot of toys.
At Materna Center gifts were offered to 11 young mothers and their babies (27 people in all). We also helped three families and seven children from underprivileged families, who were in great need for all the help received from us.
Furthermore, 48 persons with disabilities were invited to our Saint Nicholas event, receiving gifts. More than that, we prepared together for the holy Christmas celebrations.
For the 15th anniversary of our association in 2015, there was need for a meticulous preparation, because the festivity program was envisaged to unfold during an entire week in different city locations and diversified activities for every taste:
- Open Days for everyone was organized at our easily accessible central office, where we welcomed everyone interested in the activities of our Association.
More than that, the curios ones could enter the office during any work day of the week to ask for information, psychological or legal counseling. The office is the place of our gatherings and meetings, where we organize the various events of our association. This is the place where we make sure that everything goes according to our plans.
- On the first day of the week we organized the exhibition Hidden Pearls from the works of the members of the association in Deus Providebit House. Thanks to Vasile Mureşan and Lajos Czirjék, the exhibition was open for the public all week.
- The third day of the week was spent with the Nostalgia of the Veterans, a program organized for those members of the association, who had worked with us from the first years of our activity. The location of the program was the Christian coffee shop Ama Deus.
- The second edition of the reunion of young people with disabilities, called FAITH also took place at Ama Deus. During the reunion we discussed important themes, such as accessibility in institutions and public spaces of the city, openness of educational institutions for persons with disabilities, possibilities of obtaining a job on the job market. During the same event Robert Veres from Satu Mare presented his biographic book entitled Beyond Appearance. Florin Mândru, a disabled artist, aka Dudu, enchanted us with his marvelous voice and guitar play.
- Friday contained several successive programs. The morning began with thanksgiving and gratitude entitled Gratitude Day in Fraternita, during which we listened to the preaching of the reformed pastor István Szabó. Then we attended the Holy Mass celebrated by archdeacon Dénes Oláh together with vicar Ágoston Sebestyén. All these events celebrated 70 years of activity of Fraternitas movement, which started in France in 1945, and is the spiritual foundation and the starting point of our association.
- After a common lunch, we enjoyed cultural programs: the book launch Images of Life (Életképek), which was also presented in Sâncraiu de Mureş, Odorheiu Secuiesc and again in Târgu Mureş). The book presents the life story, challenges and joys of people with disabilities. These life stories were collected from the bilingual journal HIFA-RO Info appearing quarterly since 2003. In 2015 we were able to celebrate the 50th issue of our journal.
- A dance performance followed the book launch, beginning with the pair of professional dancers Réka Vaszi and Csanád Fodor. The participants had a wonderful surprise, as Évike Bereczki, our volunteer together with Attila Kelemen, our oldest member in wheelchair presented a stupendous dance. The pair of dancers was trained by Katalin Somodi, who taught them the choreography in a very short time.
We will remember this performance in our hearts forever.
- The cultural program ended with the recital of Tiberius Quartet.
- The climax of the day was a flash mob action organized at the Theater Square, entitled Wishing Balloons for people with disabilities. At 6 pm 1,000 red balloons were released, carrying to the sky new wishes and thanksgivings for all we had realized over the past 15 years.
At present we are waiting for the financing program for our most important project: HIFA Park.
At the same time all our sponsors who would like to take part in this project can make donations to the association in several ways:
- Helping Hands – a monthly donation of 10 lei based on a long term contract;
- Buy a brick tickets of 10, 50, 100, 500 or 1000 lei;
- Purchasing our publications, as well as our craft- or needlework.
- Donating 2% of the income tax
- Other fundraising activities
A brief financial report of our Association
In 2015 we filed 25 smaller projects for financial support, out of which 19 were successful. The total value of received funds was 153,541.68 lei.
We used this sum for the aims described in the projects: organizing cultural, social and sport events and for the administration of our association. The sum total from the 2% of income taxes was of 13,658.94 lei, which was completed with sums from our supporters: companies and physical persons.
Income: 269,451 lei
Expenses: 265,306 lei
Retained earnings: 4,145 lei
In 2006 we accredited our social service for homecare unit entitled Get up and walk, for which we requested a new operating license in 2015. This completely changed the activities of our Association and we were compelled to request further licenses.
As a result, we expanded our social services to two new ones. One of these is Open Hearts, the information and integration center for pople with disabilities and chronic illnesses, as well as raising community awareness.
The other social service project for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses is Building Bridges day center offering social, cultural, spiritual, rehabilitation and sports activities.
Further information about these projects may be found in the information leaflets of our Association.