Fundatia pentru Asistenta Sociala si Tineret (FAST), or the Foundation for Social Assistance and Youth, was founded in September 1998 by Daniel and Ema Hristea, a couple who just didn`t accept the poverty and hardships some people in Romania had to endure during the times following the fall of communism, and decided to do something about it. Daniel and Ema began their mission of helping the disadvantaged in the early 1990s through activities such as feeding street children, volunteering in orphanages, organising charitable events and children`s shows, fundraising, translating and interpreting for the people who visited from abroad and working with the elderly. Through their volunteer work, they decided it was their life`s calling to help the disadvantaged, and especially the needy children of Romania.
In its early days, FAST`s work centred on providing activities for orphanages, street children, and homes for the elderly. As the organisation grew, its focus increasingly turned to education, designing educational programs for children living in rural areas, and providing assistance for local disadvantaged communities to improve their educational facilities. This focus was borne from the observation of underprivileged communities and the strong conviction that only with an education could these people lift themselves out of poverty and into society. In 2002, FAST began work with four specific underprivileged communities in and around the town of Sacele: Garcin, Zizin, Tarlungeni, and Budila. These communities are predominantly Rroma, traditionally the group in Romania most affected by issues of poverty, discrimination and social exclusion.
In 2005, renovation work began on FAST`s new educational centre, Ziurel (New Day Centre). In use by 2007 and completed in 2009, Ziurel allows FAST to bring in large groups of Rroma children from impoverished local villages for educational and social activities, as well as to provide meals and opportunities for hygienic care and entertainment. In 2007, FAST expanded its activities into the field of construction by helping families in critical living situations to build new prefabricated homes for themselves. By 2009, more than 12 houses had been built or added to with the help of local and foreign volunteers, and FAST had begun work on a vocational workshop at a local school, intended to help students learn construction skills for themselves.
After more than 11 years of activity, FAST has become one of the most respectable and efficient organisations in Brasov County, being officially accredited in January 2009, as a Social Service Provider by the local govermnent. The organisation continues to welcome local assistance and volunteers from abroad to help in its activities, and develops further plans and long-term strategies in order to accomplish its mission of supporting the underprivileged people from Romania in their fight agaist poverty and discrimination.
|Daniel suffers shoulder injuries in football game - now home from hospital after operation|
Please find a message from Daniel, who returned home from hospital on Tuesday afternoon, 22nd August ...