Training Programme Training Programme SOCIAL INCLUSION PROGRAMME SOCIAL INCLUSION PROGRAMME PARENT / CARER NETWORK PARENT / CARER NETWORK SOCIAL & ADVOCACY NETWORK SOCIAL & ADVOCACY NETWORK Quality services
for people with a disability
HAO bring young people with disability
out of Romania's institutions and orphanages
into homes in the community.

We support them to develop the skills they need
to live independent full lives, make friends, get jobs.

We also work in the community
with Parents and Carers of children with disability
and with young people with disability.
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About_us_1

ABOUT US...

FUNDATIA HEALTH ACTION OVERSEAS (formerly know as Fundatia pentru o Viata mai Buna – FVB) is a non-Governmental and not-for-profit organisation founded in 1999 by Health Action Overseas (Ireland), as the first step in localising their activities in Romania.

We support young adults with a disability or those who have been labelled as having a disabilty, to leave institutions, move into homes in the community and lead full, active lives. We provide an opportunity to attend school and courses to gain the education and skills unavailable to them whilst living in institutions. When they are ready, we help them to find employment.

Read on...

A BIT OF OUR HISTORY...

Health Action Overseas, formerly ‘Babies of Romania’, is a registered Irish Charity founded in 1991 by James Dillon after he visited one of Romania’s many orphanages for abandoned children. Seeing the appalling conditions the children were living in, James returned to Ireland where he began to send container loads of food and clothing to Romania for the children. He soon realised that whilst this type of relief work was a much needed necessity at the time, a more sustainable approach was necessary. HAO embarked on a programme of learning and development for its Romanian counterpart – Fundatia pentru o Viata mai Buna and local authority staff working in the institutions.

1991
1991

Babies of Romania

In 1990 after seeing young children with disability living in appalling conditions in Romania’s orphanages, James Dillon, with a small group of volunteers sent aid trucks with food and clothing to the orphanages providing much needed relief.

Babies of Romania’ became a registered Irish Charity in 1991. Large numbers of volunteers travelled from Ireland and the UK to work as ‘carers’ in orphanages in Nicoresti (Galati County) and Negru Voda (Constanta County).

1994
1994

Health Action Overseas

As the ‘babies’ grew and became young adults, Babies of Romania  decided to change its name to Health Action Overseas (HAO).

By 1994 HAO had moved from providing relief to more sustainable development – educational and therapeutic programmes for disabled children and young people living in the Placement Centres and Orphanages; training programmes for local authority staff.

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1999
1999

Fundatia pentru o Viata mai Buna

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In 1999 in a bid to localize the organisation, HAO founded Fundatia pentru O Viata mai Buna (FVB), to take advantage of the reputation of HAO’s longevity in the field of disability and in its reputation in the field of disability services both in Romania and in Ireland.

2011
2011

Health Action Overseas UK

Moreover, Health Action Overseas – UK is newly set up and registered UK Charity, helping people with disabilities to participate as full members of society in a way that respects their dignity and rights by providing support and activities which develop the skills and capabilities of people living with disabilities to live independently and to gain education and employment which allows them to participate in society as mature and responsible individuals.

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2015
2015

Fundatia Health Action Overseas

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In 1990 after seeing young children with disability living in appalling conditions in Romania’s orphanages, James Dillon, with a small group of volunteers sent aid trucks with food and clothing to the orphanages providing much needed relief.

Babies of Romania’ became a registered Irish Charity in 1991. Large numbers of volunteers travelled from Ireland and the UK to work as ‘carers’ in orphanages in Nicoresti (Galati County) and Negru Voda (Constanta County).

GUIDING PRINCIPLES...

All our programmes must have a ‘direct and measurable impact’ – every programme we support helps transform lives in Romania.

Our programmes are based on a human rights approach to service delivery; we believe that regardless of the nature and seriousness of their impairment, disabled people have the equal right to:

  • Participate in the ordinary life of the community;
  • Access ordinary services that are available to every other Romanian citizen; doctors, hairdressers, schools etc;
  • Be provided with appropriate information to make choices and to take decisions of their own concerning their own lives;
  • A home that meets their need for security and comfort. To have fittings and equipment in the home that facilitate their ability to develop and improve their daily living skills, thus increasing their opportunity for empowerment and self advocacy;
  • Be protected from ill treatment or abuse either physical, sexual, emotional or as the result of neglect.

You will most likely know us by looking at our results

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Health Action Overseas

THE FOUNDER

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James Dillon

Chairman

James Dillon is the founder of Health Action Overseas (formerly Babies of Romania).

He has played a key role in the setting up and establishment of HAO in Romania and has also been involved in setting up projects in Albania and China.

He is managing director of a multimedia company specialised in designing training programmes, both DVD and online, for large corporates in Ireland and the UK and has worked with UTV, Sky News, TVAM and GMTV.

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Brendan Collins

MEMBER / CEO

Brendan Collins has over thirty years experience of working in disability, human resource management and the non-profit sector in Ireland. He has worked for over twenty years in Enable Ireland, a national organisation for people with physical disability, where he was directly involved in facilitating both children and adults in educational, social and vocational activities.

Brendan was “human service and disability” Course Director for the Open Training College where he was involved in the design and delivery of a HAO training course on the social model of disability to staff in Romania.

In July of 2010 Brendan took up the position of CEO of Health Action Overseas.

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Patrick Vaughan

MEMBER

Patrick Vaughan joined the board of FVB in 2008 and is a resource person on finances/accounting. He is a semi-retired Property Manager and Pension Fund Trustee and has many years experience as Financial Director in large multinational companies involved in manufacturing and marketing of electronic products.

Pat is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

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Raymond Watson

Member

Raymond is currently the Assistant College Director at Open Training College – Dublin, where he has worked over the last 12 years as Course Director of the Social Care degree programme. Before that, Raymond managed a residential setting for Menni Services, St. John of Gods. He has also worked with the Callan Institute and St. Annes, Roscrea in Ireland. He began his career working as part of a behavioural support team in London.

Raymond has been involved in many other projects, including work with Rosequal and supporting and educating a variety of Irish services in person centred planning. Raymond holds a MSc in Lifelong Learning/eLearning from Ulster University.

HEALTH ACTION OVERSEAS

The Board of Directors
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Luciana Lazarescu

President

Brendan Collins has over thirty years experience of working in disability, human resource management and the non-profit sector in Ireland. He has worked for over twenty years in Enable Ireland, a national organisation for people with physical disability, where he was directly involved in facilitating both children and adults in educational, social and vocational activities.

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Alina Dobrescu

Vice - President

Alina has background in Psychology and Education Sciences and she’s over the last 21 years worked in the Social Inclusion Sector for the benefit of people belonging to disadvantaged groups with an emphasis on people with a disability. She worked for FVB as a Group Home Coordinator at James Dillon House – Constanta between 2004 and 2005, and between 2005 and 2007 she coordinated the Training Programme and the Shadow Training Programme at Techirghiol Pilot Centre. In 2018, Alina came back to us, as Employment Coordinator/Trainer on the LEAD project. She has also taken over the responsibilities on coordinating local staff working with our young adults.

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Claudia Vlaicu

Member

Patrick Vaughan joined the board of FVB in 2008 and is a resource person on finances/accounting. He is a semi-retired Property Manager and Pension Fund Trustee and has many years experience as Financial Director in large multinational companies involved in manufacturing and marketing of electronic products.

HAO Romania TEAM

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Dobrescu Nicolae
Executive
Director

Nico first worked with us as a Project Coordinator in Negru Voda one of Romania’s orphanages, back in 2000. He rose to the position of Executive Director in 2003 working with us until 2007, when unfortunately for us, Nico moved with his family back to Bucharest. In 2013, he decided to come back to us, full time. With a background in Law, financial and project management, Nico helps us to improve our financial reporting systems and fundraising capacity. He is also the Manager of LEAD project.

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Cristina Serbanescu
Communication
Manager

Cristina graduated the Faculty of Commerce of Bucharest University of Economic Studies, and she is specialised in marketing. She has over 23 years of experience in marketing, communication and public relations, gained by working with important non-governmental organisations. Cristina joined our team in September. She is responsible for promoting our key initiatives, activities and services. She thinks that it  is very important to let the facts speak, so she always talks about our beneficiaries and their progress. In her opinion, this is the best way to transmit to our public a consistent and a correct message.

Alina
Alina Dobrescu
Employment Coordinator
Trainer

Alina has background in Psychology and Education Sciences and she’s over the last 21 years worked in the Social Inclusion Sector for the benefit of people belonging to disadvantaged groups with an emphasis on people with a disability. She worked for FVB as a Group Home Coordinator at James Dillon House – Constanta between 2004 and 2005, and between 2005 and 2007 she coordinated the Training Programme and the Shadow Training Programme at Techirghiol Pilot Centre. In 2018, Alina came back to us, as Employment Coordinator/Trainer on the LEAD project. She has also taken over the responsibilities on coordinating local staff working with our young adults.

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Alina Sachelaru
Supported Employment Specialist

Alina graduated the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences and is specialized in special psycho pedagogy and speech therapy. She became part of our team in October. Alina monitors the current activities with the young adults and keeps a permanent relationship with the employers who want to give a chance to people with disabilities who are willing to work. She also promotes the supported employment model, so her experience in sales is an advantage.

Olivia
Olivia Grigore
Labour Market
Expert

Olivia graduated the Faculty of Psychology and is specialized in socio psycho pedagogy. She joined us in August. She monitors the current activities of the Y/AwD and helps them to improve their working skills and behaviours. She also works closely with the employers which have hired young people with disabilities.

BIG THANKS TO OUR...

PARTNERS

Non-Financial Partners

Media Partners

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