Amazing sums are being raised by Romanian community foundations to strengthen hospitals. Meanwhile, in Odorheiu Secuiesc they are also thinking about what the world will be like after the coronavirus and how to restart NGO life. The following is a summary of an interview we have recently made with Rozi Csáki, Executive Director of the Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation (OSCF).
Community foundations in Romania are working and mobilizing their resources to strengthen the country’s healthcare system; as early as mid-March, the organizations decided together that this is what is most needed in an emergency.
The campaign has been going on ever since, with help from their supporter, the organization ARC, in collaboration with the government – bringing amazing results. According to Rozi Csáki, in just three weeks the Odorheiu Secuiesc Community Foundation has raised almost EUR 46,500 for the local hospital from individuals and companies to purchase the necessary medical equipment and supplies.
The current fundraising campaign is also special because the foundations do not withhold a single cent for their own running costs. In this way, one community foundation that has raised almost EUR 100,000 in the campaign, only has a budget to cover its running costs for 1 month. The situation is difficult, yet uplifting at the same time: according to Rozi Csáki, theyhave been encountering unprecedented manifestations of solidarity on the part of individuals and companies.
Beyond immediate intervention, in Odorheiu Secuiesc much thought is given to what the world, the city, and local civil society will be like after the crisis, and how processes could be shaped. How are values being rearranged? What real needs are being strengthened? These are the most important questions.
OSCF is assessing the situation of local NGOs through an online questionnaire meant to shed light on what they are doing, what problems they are facing, and what they need. According to Rozi Csáki, the strategic approach of the community foundation is to prepare, in light of the answers, for helping the resumption of local NGO life after the emergency.
The Ferencváros Community Foundation is not idle either. We have interviewed executive director Era Barna about what they are doing during the emergency in the 9th District of Budapest.
Mureş Community Foundation fundraises for protective masks and prepares to rescue NGOs. A conversation with Sándor Gál, the head of the foundation.
| What do Hungarian community foundations do in time of crisis?
On April 17, 2020, we held a panel discussion in the virtual space with the leaders of the community foundations of Pécs, Ferencváros, Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) and Marosszék (Scaunul Mureșului). By getting to know the two organisations in Hungary, and the two Hungarian group in Romania, we will be able to get a closer look at the concept and significance of community foundations. We will also talk about what specific actions they can perform to mobilize and support locals in these times.