I wanted to get in touch with you and report on what we’ve done with your donations, as well as to tell you all about our plans for the future, in this crisis. Curaj Inainte / Courage Romania is a small NGO, but we’ve proved that our reach far surpasses our immediate capacities. We found strength and determination like at no other time. On the second day of the war, we simply bolted for the border. From that point on, we joined an incredibly diverse and global humanitarian army, millions strong, in uniting the free world against this horrific and unjust war. I feel that together with our international network of donors, we can achieve more!
Out of a total of 7200 euros in donations (5200 through Paypal / bank transfer and almost 2000 through Stripe), we have done the following (what worked):
– supplies to the Isaccea border crossing as well as worked there to set up first response capabilities. We also donated gas money for translators coming in from Constanta
– ran a small warehouse and managed to send a few hundred kg of donated supplies to the border and beyond, as well as 1200 raincoats, when it was coldest outside
– supplies to the SNSPA refugee center in Bucharest
– donations to causes outside Romania (Kyiv Independent, Reporters without Borders, UN Refugee Fund, Project Dynamo, a refugee center in Cahul, Moldova, as well as to the Moldovan state refugee relief effort)
– donations to causes inside Romania (Carusel refugee center, Taxiul cu bomboane)
– helped a regular drive to Odessa with resources and back with refugees (an elderly Ukrainian gentleman who saved his family, and then returned to help others), as well as a Ukrainian journalist, now in Iasi, for her stories about Ukrainian resistance
– food for refugees in the central Bucharest central train station through Bucataria.localfood
– contact/lobby with local and national Romanian authorities, European Commission staff, Hungarian MEP’s and Internal Affairs Ministry and various diplomatic missions
– with our partners from Youth Vision for Society, another Romanian NGO, we sent five buses to Germany (and kept in constant contact with them to find housing / centers). We also set up a psychological help service for Romanian volunteers and translators
– constant contact through international and local networks for refugee relief (and we’re not joking, we were actually blessed with incredible access to intelligence)
What didn’t work:
– a charter flight (or a series of charter flights) from Bucharest to Berlin, given delays for buses at the Hungarian and Austrian borders. We thought a second Berlin Airlift would be historic and amazing!
– more aid for refugees in the Bucharest’s central train station
– better collaboration with Romanian authorities or larger aid institutions
What we don’t know if will work:
– brokered information and intelligence for a flight from the US to Poland with supplies. Yes, we like planes 🙂
– continuing all we’ve done so far and more – aid for the centers we set up contacts with, networking for housing and refugee protection, arranging their entry and departure in Romania
– lobby government officials for integration of said 4000 asylum seekers into Romanian society, as well as insure that all refugees here enjoy equal rights to Romanian citizens. Legislation is in place, we will, however, act as a watchdog in this regard. This has already begun.
– work towards educating the Romanian public in relation to the refugees and build much-needed educational context.
– our main idea is a project called the Courage for Freedom (Curaj pentru libertate), where we will do what we do best – educate. As funds become available, professionals will create and teach a university-level course in regards to the history behind the war, the documented horrors of the conflict in Ukraine, the refugee crisis, as well as democratic, European values and fighting fake news, in partnership with regional universities.
– Over 50% of the funding we will apply for (and all donations) is (will be) directed towards projects involving Ukraine. We realize this is a global crisis that will unfortunately continue in the coming years.
We still welcome your donations at curajinainte.org / courageromania.com through PayPal and Stripe, as well as through bank transfers and crypto donations. We are also happy to announce that we are present on the Angel Protocol network and on Benevity.
Curaj Înainte is made up of Mihnea Dumitru, Cosmin Dragomir, and Cristina Stingu. We thank Adrian Raileanu, Leeloo, Elena, Dorin, Mihnea Stefan and his family for their incredible help. Special thanks to Radu Carp. We believe we have risen to the expectations of a free world.
Over 500.000 Ukrainians have transited Romania, with 60.000 currently here, and 4000 requesting asylum. And our goodwill army is still incredibly strong, for them and for our common future. Слава Україні! Trăiască România!
President of Curaj Inainte / Courage Romania