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Veritas Foundation Sighișoara

We want to make a positive difference in the community

Our story

1995-2000

The history of the Veritas Foundation began in 1995, when Dorothy Tarrant, a British citizen and professor of social work, settled in Sighișoara and initiated the Romanian Studies Program (RSP). RSP is a program of Eastern Nazarene College near Bostron, Massachusetts, which offers American students the opportunity to do a semester internship in Romania, living with Romanian families, studying Romanian language and culture and working with disadvantaged people in the community. Ms. Tarrant's goal was to find Christians willing to work with students in America, caring for abandoned children at the city hospital, providing a safe place for begging children to play and learn, and visiting isolated elderly people.

Over time, many groups of students have come and gone. Their Romanian translators, high school graduates who knew English well, ensured the continuity of the program. The young translators knew the feeling of satisfaction when they helped those in need. They learned to take more and more responsibility within the programs that began to develop and grow – programs for children, teenagers and the elderly. Some of them chose to go to universities to study social work, psychology, pedagogy, accounting or law. Scholarships for many of them were supported by donors from abroad.

Before long, Mrs. Tarrant understood that it was time to start a non-governmental organization that would allow her to pay employees' salaries and taxes, buy buildings, write projects and apply for funding to be able to develop social assistance services. In 2001, Veritas was legally registered as a non-governmental organization with Dorothy Tarrant as its chief executive officer and chairman of the board. The name of the foundation is Veritas, a word of Latin origin meaning truth. This is how the foundation is identified – a group of people who seek to live as disciples of God, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

2001-2009

In 2001, Veritas had two buildings, the Family Center, the headquarters of the social programs, a place for children and their families, a place where the beneficiaries of the programs had a hot lunch and material aids and the House on the Rock, a five-level house, built in the . the 17th, the seat of the educational and intercultural exchange programs. The house, a historical monument, located right in Piața Cetății gives increased visibility to the Veritas Foundation, having the opportunity to organize and host cultural and spiritual events for the benefit of the community.

In 2001, Eastern Nazarene College withdrew its sponsorship of the program started in Sighisoara. Mrs. Tarrant chose to stay in Sighisoara, continuing the work of the Romanian Studies Program and the Veritas Foundation without the institutional support from the US. Two grants from USAID (United States Agency for International Development) financed the project to develop educational services at Casa de pe Stâncă and the start of a program to combat domestic violence.

All this time, RSP continued to support the work of the Veritas Foundation through students who brought fresh ideas, energy, shared skills and, of course, their financial contribution to the foundation to the programs. From the beginning of the activity until now, more than 500 students and volunteers from the USA have come to Sighisoara through RSP.

During the pre-accession period of Romania to the European Union in 2007, the national standards for social assistance were established. In 2006, the Veritas Foundation obtained accreditation from the county authorities to run social assistance programs for children and their families, the elderly, people with special needs and victims of domestic violence. Accredited services require qualified personnel, and Veritas has managed to form a dedicated team of professionals, half of whom have been working for Veritas for over 10 years, the last accreditation being obtained in 2012.

2010-2016

In 2010, Petronia Popa became the first Romanian executive director of the Veritas Foundation, occupying from the beginning the position of the Director of the Program Against Domestic Violence "Corner Flower" and then the position of the Social Services Coordinator of the Veritas Foundation. Petra grew up in Sighisoara and has a strong network of relationships in the community. She made the Veritas Foundation better known locally, recruited a variety of volunteers and raised local financial support. Shortly after Petra assumed her leadership responsibilities, Veritas purchased a new building complex to accommodate all social programs. The new Family Center, being much more spacious than the previous one, allowed each program to have its personal space and to expand and develop its activities in order to better meet the needs of clients. Thanks to her perseverance in cultivating relationships with local authorities, in 2016 Petra managed to secure the first public funds to support the Children's Programs of the Veritas Foundation.

Petra is supported by the core people of the Veritas Foundation who form the Leadership Team. Dorothy Tarrant continues to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors and serves as Petra's mentor. The Advisory Council of America helps raise funds, brings in teams of volunteers to serve in Veritas Foundation programs and help with construction projects.

Veritas' mission continues to be to help disadvantaged people holistically by meeting their physical, educational, social, emotional and spiritual needs. At the Family Center we want to ensure continuity starting with the Preschool Program, followed by the Children's Program and continuing with the Adolescent Program, thus equipping children and youth from marginalized families with skills to fulfill their God-given potential and break the cycle poverty. Adults with special needs and four Senior Clubs enjoy a sense of community and belonging, a range of stimulating activities and regular reminders that God cares for them. Victims of domestic violence are supported in their search for safety and healing, as well as in the steps to make necessary changes for a more hopeful future. The Educational Programs at Casa de pe Stâncă offer young people and adults opportunities to grow and develop, but also the opportunity to serve through community projects or volunteering at the Veritas Foundation.

Because we are entering the third decade of services for the community of Sighisoara, in September 2015 the employees of the Veritas Foundation were challenged to think and share the dreams and goals they have regarding Veritas. Among the desired program spaces are the domestic violence rehabilitation program, a day center with sheltered workshops for adults, physical therapy for the disabled and elderly, and skills development support and job placement support for young and unemployed. Providing more opportunities for volunteering and community service, mobilizing young people to become leaders for tomorrow are part of the vision of creating a just and caring society.

2017-2023+

In 2017, Veritas received an operating license for the Day Center for Children; this license is for a period of 5 years and covers all programs for children and youth. The standards to receive the license concerned the following aspects: the material base, human resources, the building, the staff, collaboration/partnerships with the local administration, public institutions and other NGOs as well as personalized intervention plans.

On behalf of the Veritas Foundation, Petra worked for several months with representatives of the Sighișoara City Hall, the Miron Neagu State Gymnasium and the Community Resource Center for Roma in Cluj to request a European grant to meet the needs of medical and social services, professional training , housing, education and anti-discrimination. The financing funds were granted and the project activities started in October 2017. The funding of the grant is 10 months per year, for three years. Veritas provides socio-medical services and some of the educational and anti-discrimination components of the project.

Specialists were hired under this funding to provide special support in speech therapy, adolescent skills, psychological support and medical care for children and adolescents, as well as for families. Funds were also allocated for the social canteen (meal program for children and adolescents), which provides breakfast and lunch daily for children and adolescents who participate in the foundation's programs.

Also, the granted funds allowed the purchase of computers, laptops, a multifunctional printer, the improvement of the heating installation. In addition, three summer camps for children and teenagers were made possible through this project.

The EU grant represents another step forward in the ongoing cooperation between the Veritas Foundation and the other institutions in Sighisoara, in the interest of the Roma population as well as the entire community.

In September 2019, the preschool program was temporarily closed. The number of children attending the program decreased, and we did not have a qualified staff. The children were helped to find an alternative kindergarten program in Sighisoara.

On March 12, 2020, the Veritas and International Cafe programs were temporarily closed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Programs reopened in September 2020.

In 2021, work on the top floor of the Veritas Family Center building was completed and the English Camp was held in the new space in late June and early July. The Kids Club, the Seniors Club and the Canteen have been relicensed.

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Mission Vision Values

The Veritas Sighișoara Foundation is a Christian-ecumenical organization, provider of social and educational services that aims to produce a positive change in the lives of the people of Sighișoara

Mission

The Veritas Sighisoara Foundation aims to support vulnerable people to meet basic needs, develop skills and capitalize on their own potential to contribute to the development of the community and the promotion of Christian values

Vision

The Veritas Sighișoara Foundation aims to develop the community of Sighișoara by basing it on values such as: Christian Values, Education, Responsibility, Integration, Equal Treatment, Acceptance, Service

Values

Our team

Results

14.080+

hot meals provided annually for children, adults and the elderly

Help as a sponsor

136+

children, adults and elderly beneficiaries of daily services

Help as a donor

>26

years of support for vulnerable members of the community

Help as a volunteer

Services and Projects

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