Business, General Business Projects in Romania by Bente Heuch
Over 20 years of top managerial experience and consultancy.
Bente spent one month working with orphanages and NGOs in Romania. This is what she had to say about the project:
“When I decided to join Projects Abroad PRO last winter I knew that I had to use my professional background as a manager and consultant to the benefit of the weakest groups who are the children and the handicapped.”
The Project Partner
Bente worked with a variety of orphanages and day care centres in Brasov which are all run as NGOs. Her main partner was Projects Abroad PRO supervisor Dani Cristea. Together they were able to carry out the work in two stages. Firstly, they created a plan to bring together staff from the different NGOs to have workshops and meetings. This involved detailed research and discussion. Dani was able to provide advice on which NGOs to work with and how to go about setting up the meetings.
The second stage was to actually run the workshops together. Dani had experience of running workshops but both she and the local NGOs were able to benefit hugely from Bente’s business background. Together they managed to set goals and create plans for the NGOs to develop in the future.
Role of the Volunteer
Bente's role on this project included the following:
- Meeting with Projects Abroad PRO supervisor to come up with an action plan.
- Meeting with NGOs in order to start discussions and hold workshops on fundraising, networking and organisation.
- Providing advice on organisational changes and ways for the NGOs to join forces.
- Conducting follow-up interviews with NGO staff to set goals for the future.
Benefits to the community
This was the first time that staff from all of the different care centres and orphanages had got together for meetings and workshops. This meant that they were able to share ideas and problems and hopefully come up with some solutions together. Thanks to Bente’s work, there is now more of a community atmosphere among the different NGOS. They will now be working together to achieve their goals. As they become more organised and professional, this will improve their ability to raise funds and care for their children.
Bente was particularly happy to learn about Romanian culture and the local people’s way of life. She stayed with a local host family and also spent a lot of time working alongside people who grew up in Brasov. Through talking to staff at the orphanages she was able to learn about their heritage and also share stories about her own life in Norway. This cultural exchange process was a key part of developing a relationship with the staff at the NGOs.