The year started out with a plan to recover from the constraints of COVID and get back to normal at the largest non-government organization (NGO) of its kind in Romania. The Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine on February 24 disrupted that plan completely. Well over 100 Ukrainian refugees of all ages came to Valenii de Munte in March of 2022. Some just passed through but many stayed at the various facilities in the area. Additional waves of refugees and rotating support staff continued to arrive at Pro Vita throughout the year. By the end of the year, Ukrainians were resident at the Social Center and the remodeled administrative building in Valenii, the houses in Posesti, and the elder house in Valea Plopului. The relocation of Romanian residents was carried out by the Tanases and the staff.
As AFPVO is the largest financial supporter of Pro Vita outside Romania, we are proud to have helped them succeed as the ultimate safety net for 500+ residents in total. Throughout 2022, Pro Vita used its Valea Screzii and other facilities to educate, feed, and shelter its beneficiaries in the face of reduced Romanian in-kind donations and struggles with COVID. Pro Vita ended up taking in more Ukrainian children than any other Romanian organization.
The “Economic Trampoline” project continues to be delayed by COVID impacts and difficulty finding both skilled construction workers and people to be mentors in areas such as sewing and small machine parts manufacturing. The European Union is considering how to manage their enterprise grants and we will have updates when they become available.
AFPVO started 2022 with almost $60,000 in the bank. During the year, we provided $31,000 to Mihail and Melanie Tanase at Pro Vita to support the unexpected Ukrainian refugees and order supplies for the planned new residence house next to the Social Center in Valenii de Munte. We hope to actually construct an enlarged residence of 175 square meters in 2023. The amount transferred is an increase compared to past years, as the graph displayed below shows.
Due to the generosity of our donors, we ended the year with over $64,000 on hand. We will transfer appropriate funds to Romania when the Tanases notify us they can successfully execute a project given the labor supply constraints, COVID, and now a war across the border.
Despite the challenges faced by many American Friends of Pro Vita in the pandemic year of 2022, donors continued to provide support: $38,977 in total donations from 26 loyal repeat givers and 22 new givers.
During 2022, the charity incurred administrative expenses totaling $3,286 for website support, assisting Board travel to inspect work in Romania, various corporate registration fees, and miscellaneous costs like stamps and envelopes. The Board donated $10,000 to more than cover all expenses and ensure 100% of public donations directly support Pro Vita activities.
Over the 11 years 2012-2022, the public made total donations of $123,024 and the members of the Board made total donations of $100,126. Over that period the charity transferred $135,100 to Pro Vita for construction and other activities in compliance with our official charter.
We know donors have choices when it comes to charitable giving. Two of our core beliefs are respect for accountability and efficiency. The Board closely monitored every project through four onsite visits in 2022 to ensure each dollar was used wisely and raised the actual capability of Pro Vita to not only provide a safety net but prepare residents for a productive future.
The response to the Board’s offer to match the amount repeat donors give while doubling the amount for new donors, beginning in mid-December and ending January 31, has been gratifying. We are well situated to aid Pro Vita in 2023 with additional resources no matter what unexpected geopolitical events occur.
Fr. Sean Cavanaugh, Chairman of the Board
Donna C. Shelton, President
Frank E. Doe, Jr., Treasurer and Secretary
Kerry Garikes, Communication and Design
Shelby Stowers, At-Large Member