Tech Donations Boost Romanian Group in Helping the Disabled
Of the 100,000 people living with an intellectual disability in Romania, only 1 percent has access to government-funded services. Ninety-nine percent of Romanians with intellectual disabilities are unemployed. Limited support, coupled with limited opportunities, make the outlook for these individuals grim. One of the organizations working to change these odds is the Pentru Voi Foundation (PVF). The foundation's 60 staff members work tirelessly to provide community-based services and advocate for the rights, inclusion, and welfare of persons with intellectual disabilities. At the foundation's three centers throughout Timisoara, a city of over 350,000 in western Romania, more than 200 individuals with intellectual disabilities receive a variety of services to prepare them for employment opportunities.
At a copy center run by PVF, 20 individuals with intellectual disabilities are employed full time. Most of them came to PVF without basic computing skills. Through a carefully designed course, they were able to learn basic computer operations, photo editing, and operating the printers.
With 60 staff members and 10 volunteers performing a variety of tasks across the foundation's three sites in Timisoara, PVF needed a better way to facilitate communication between the dispersed team. PVF reached out to TechSoup Romania for help, which provided support with donated Cisco routers. The routers have enabled the organization to create an Intranet for its 30 PCs. Empowered by the increased connectivity, PVF can now more effectively work on changing the odds for the 200 Timisoarans who otherwise would be left behind.