Our main goal is to cultivate ecumenical cooperation, to intensify ecumenical dialogue, both nationally and internationally, and to strengthen an ecumenical platform, a basic tool for cooperation between the Christian Churches in Romania. Together with our members, we support, at the national and international level, the promotion and defense of human rights, gender equality, and climate justice.
AIDRom identifies resources, implements, monitors, and audits programs, provides consultancy, promotes and participates in aid networks, and provides expertise for ongoing training, working in three main departments: the Department for Inter-Christian and Inter-religious Relations, the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Development and Cooperation.
AIDRom (Inter-Church AID Department Romania) started its activity in 1991 as a joint endeavour of the Churches present in the country: the Romanian Orthodox church, the Reformed church and the Lutheran church, in cooperation with Unit IV (Sharing and Service) of the World Council of Churches. In 1993 it received the juridical status of the Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania, and in 1994 two other members joined: the Evangelical Lutheran Synodal Presbyterian Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church.
AIDRom developed steadily and in a short time became a national platform for ecumenical dialogue and collaboration of Christian Churches in Romania. At the same time, it continued to operate as a development agency, processing projects aiming to improve both the formal and informal educational systems, the social-economic and moral-spiritual situation in the country, as well as the protection of the environment.
AIDRom is a member of the Act Alliance, along with over 140 members faith-based organisations working in long-term development, advocacy and humanitarian assistance, with an active presence in over 120 countries.
AIDRom is working to respond to the needs addressed by society in the following fields: resuming of ecumenical dialogue in a new setting, interethnic and social reconciliation, actions for combating discrimination, social work and Diakonia with specific target groups related to women issues, children at risk phenomenon, disabled, elderly, and generally marginalized people, refugees, increasing poverty, gender inequality, access to rights, labor rights, as well as the environmental issues and effects and victims of natural disasters.
The social and community assistance provided by AIDRom is currently focusing on key priorities and programs such as:
Helping to better integrate refugees by providing social and legal advice, support to access the labor market, material assistance for purchasing food products, hygiene products, specialized medical consultations and subsidizing the costs for the purchase of medicines and medical devices, and subsidizing the costs of renting a home. Access to school, kindergarten, and nursery for children. The refugees also benefit from psychological counseling services and psychotherapy.
Training for Transformation
Developing skills via trainings: project management, fundaments of fundraising, conflict analysis and negotiation skills, communication management, training for interethnic and inter-confessional reconciliation..
Raising awareness at all levels about the importance of gender equality, focusing especially on its target groups (most of them being marginalized people, persons at risk, and youth). Key actions cover promoting gender equality and fighting against human trafficking, equal opportunities (training on gender issues), women’s working conditions, women empowerment, prevention of domestic violence, European Union structures – related to gender issues, and new opportunities in the EU’s labor market.
Children at risk
Thousands of children are not raised by their parents working abroad, being left at home without any hope of reintegration with their families. Most of them suffer from depression or worst they leave their homes, becoming street children, or victims of trafficking. Our programs and actions are oriented towards health care and medical assistance, young mothers, education, combating drug use, preventing criminal activities, preventing child abandonment, and family planning.
Key to any nation’s development, education is a strong pillar for our activities. We bring support for educational services (school reintegration, prevention, and assessing the school abandonment) and professional adult education and lifelong learning to youth at risk, children, and adults. We open new perspectives for education tackling vocational learning, the confessional schools, the churches, and the EU integration process, the church ecumenical HIV/AIDS Networking.
There is a need for closer ecumenical cooperation between the Churches. The Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania-AIDRom has a special Commission on inter-church relations in Romania dedicated to open and high-level theological and organizational discussion with no preconditions among all the major Churches as a very inspiring and useful way to move forward. AIDRom’s role is to show unity in diversity, practiced in all Churches as a liturgical variety and via different liturgical languages, in church art and architecture, in various dogmatic formulations expressing the same Christian faith and tradition. Among our efforts in this regard are projects and actions such as the Implementation of the recommendations of the 2nd European Assembly of European Churches (Graz, 1997), the Implementation of the recommendations of the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (Harare, 1999), theological training and reflections, ecumenical prayer, and ecumenical scholarship.
During the last few years, several types of natural disasters seriously affected millions of people in Romania. Floods, landslides, drought, and tornadoes (a very uncommon phenomenon for this area) left so many people without shelter and generated so many human and financial losses that the population and the decision-makers started to become more and more interested in how climate change affects all of us. The country faces a number of development challenges in the environmental sector, for example: ensuring a reliable and clean water supply, controlling air pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions; managing the sustainability of the country’s natural resources and conserving biodiversity; and providing a reliable supply of energy for both domestic and commercial uses, while promoting energy conservation. The inhabitants also suffer from air pollution, the negative effects of climate change, and a lack of safe drinking water. Taking into consideration these burning issues regarding the environment we put a lot of effort behind educational issues and sharing of the good practices in energy-saving topics: ecological Agriculture in Church sites, ecological education, and implementation of resolutions of European environmental networks.
Our organization is active concerning anti-racism, religious freedom, human rights, minorities, and vulnerable groups, working to increase awareness of Human Rights and to promote social justice and human rights, developing a culture of peace and promoting reconciliation, fighting against discrimination and stigma policies. We put a lot of effort towards Rroma issues related to literacy, education – civic education, health care, child labor, school dropout, and anti-discrimination legislation. AIDRom is working through networks interested in the same issues as AIDRom’s activity (capacity building, raising awareness on human rights, advocacy, reintegration of marginalized people, promotion of Christian values, and emergency direct help in case of emergencies.