Eastern Europe Region
Dorcas is active in four countries in Eastern Europe: Albania, Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.
In this region, our work is designed to strengthen remote communities and increase livelihood opportunities.
This includes three focus-areas:
- Economic development
- Child protection
- Community Safety Nets for the elderly
The inclusion of minority groups - such as Roma - in society is an ongoing priority.
In 2018, our Adopt a Granny programme provided practical care and psychosocial support to 35,000 elderly people across 100 communities in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova.
According to the UN's Human Development Index (HDI), Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries. Can communities turn their situation around?
"God's ways are infinite. We found light, in the darkest of times." How Dorcas helped a family in Albania build a future in the wake of tragedy.
A food collection collection innitiative offered to marginalised people, such as older persons and families living in difficult circumstances.
Project participants who receive support through our relief programmes.
The number of elderly we reach through our safety nets approach.
The children who are part of our community and protection approach.
The stark contrast between thriving cities and rural poverty characterise the situation in Romania.
Across the country, we facilitate the development of social enterprises aimed at the inclusion of Roma, elderly and children in society. Our Blue Bucket Campaign - an annual food collection action run by local organisations and churches - delivered 12 litres of ailments for 1620 Romanian people in 2018. We continue to make steps towards the prevention of human trafficking by establishing a strong network of support organisations and advocating for new laws.
800,000 people in Albania (almost one quarter) live in extreme poverty, surviving on the equivalent of US $2 a day.
In 2018, Dorcas developed a number of new partnerships with key actors and organisations including ANTTARC, Agro & Social Fund and Swisscontact. We launched 6 pilot projects to test new ideas and innovations, such as introducing the concept of social farming amongst Roma and vulnerable groups. 2018 also saw us significantly develop community safety nets in Korca and Kukes and - thanks to sustained lobbying - fund the maintenance of 4 elderly day care centers.
More than 25 years after the fall of communism, the wealth gap between Eastern and Western Europe endures. Ukraine continues to be drawn into the orbit of Russia - a relationship riddled with tensions.
2018 saw us deliver emergency livelihood support and humanitarian assistance to 4,500 people in war-torn Eastern Ukraine. This included small scale farming assistance and provision of cash for food and heating so that the basic needs of vulnerable families could be met.
Our work with the elderly went through an important transition phase towards the set up of locally-rooted community safety nets. We continue to provide lifeskills and literacy training for teenagers and group sessions for adults on topics including stress, positive parenting and financial management.
Almost half the population of Moldova have left the country. Young people move out of rural communities and parents, in search of work, leave children in the care of relatives.
Out of all four countries, the number of elderly people supported by Dorcas is highest in Moldova. In 2018, we established 2 new elderly day care programmes in Balti and Rezina with 300 elderly men and women. In the same communities Dorcas developed a Future 4 Children programme - expertly designed to prevent child trafficking. With the support of 2 local partners - La Strada and Beginning of Life - and key NGOs, we will provide specialised materials and training to children and school teachers in 2019. Our Family Development Programme was another highlight.