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Romania Support Activities

Why do we work in Romania?

Since the fall of communism in 1989, Romania has been working to improve its neglected care system.  The charity's roots lie in the country's orphanages, but these institutions are largely a thing of the past due to significant care system reforms.  However, there continues to be a lack of training and professional support available within the country for people currently employed in work with people with disabilities and in music therapy in general.  Our current commitment to our Local Partners in Romania is to develop support activities tailored to their needs, so that they may maintain their commitment to running and extending therapeutic music programmes for children and adults around the country. 

As one of our Local Partners explained, "I continued this work because I was supported by [Music as Therapy International] for 12 years. The musical instruments that helped me carry out the work, were donated by Music as Therapy International. The continuous effort done by both parties made this collaboration sustainable over time and helped us give sense to the life of abandoned people that didn't have any hope of someone reaching out to them"

Lenuta works for the fantastic Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar (Foundation for Community Support) in Bacau.  Do read more about their work, here. 

The following initiatives are examples of the range of support activities we are offering our Local Partners in Romania this year:

1)  Evaluating Local Trainers:  Some of our Local Partners are now sharing their own skills within training programmes for other Romanian care professionals.  We offer to evaluate the course structure and content and award a kite-mark of recognition to those that meet the standard that leaves us confident to recommend their training.  In the last two years we awarded Recommended Status to three teams of Romanian trainers.

"What is incredibly rewarding is to think that seven years on, the team I trained at a Special School in Oradea, Romania are now really thriving. Not only have they a well established music programme up and running, they are now even training their colleagues! I would never have imagined that all my initial hard work would have led to a second and third "generation" of enthusiastic workers!"  Cathy Rowland, Music Therapist (Project Oradea, 2002)

2)  Distance Learning Programme:  In response to continuing requests for introductory music therapy training, and taking into consideration the reforming care context in which our Romanian colleagues are now working, we have developed a distance learning course for people interested to learn how music can be used to help young children with disabilities.  We are now in our fourth year of delivering this course, which  comprises a series of on-line tutorials, an intensive study weekend and both written and practical assignments.  Registrations for the next student cohort will be welcome from September 2014.  Please email to register your interest or click here for more information.

 "It was an enjoyable experience in which I learned so much, and from which the child benefited enormously.  I intend to continue holding music as therapy sessions with all the children with whom I work at the recuperation centre."  Daniela Dobre, Distance Learning Student 2011

3) Musical Instrument Fund: 

When our Local Partners origianlly recieved introductory musictherapy training from us, we donated a full set of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments for them to use in their music programmes. These instruments proved an invaluable resource (not availabel within Romania), as well as an empowering symbol of the new skills that they had gained. We knoe those instruments have been cherished, well-loved and well-used by our Local Partners and the children and adults they work with. 

But, as time passes, it is inevitable that some bend and break. Additionally some of our Distance Learning Students or students who have completed trainings with 'recommended status', are struggling to build a resource of musical instruments as they are prohibitively expensive in Romania. The Musical instrument Fund is a structured fund to which Local Partners can apply to replenish their sets of musical instruments. We will be visiting recipients of new musical instruments later this year.

"Thank you so much for recognising our work. We have been working with a boy with Down's Syndrome for four years, who loved our huge drum but now we only have a small bongo. He will be delighted with the new one when it arrives!"  Mirela Naviglu, Vivart (Local Partner since 1999)

As part of the application process we ask our Local Partner's to write a Case study. To read some case studies that have been submitted please follow nthe links below.

Click here to read the case studies in English.

Click here to read the case studies in Romanian.

4)  Online support: 

Formerly simply a Romanian Resource Library, last year we last year we created a new Romanian micro-site containing on-line support, information about how people can find practitioners of music as therapy to visit around Romania, details of training courses that have received Recommended Status from us and other relevant information.  Click here to visit our microsite.

In 2013 we will be encouraging the use of Facebook as a way for Romanian practitioner to network around a shared interest of music therapy. Click here to visit the page.

5)  General Support: 

We provide all our Local Partners and Distance Learning students with quarterly support email bulletins.  These are an opportunity to bring new resources or relevant information to their attention, to facilitate networking and exchanges of experience and to invite news, requests for clinical support and insight into how music therapy practice is developing in Romania. In September 2013 we will be offering support visits to our Local Partners, when volunteer music therapists will travel to Romania to offer onsight supervision and moral support, as well as share in local successes.

You can use the links on the right for further information on specific activities, or take a look at Portfolio of Activities for more insight into the breadth of activities we have delivered over the years.