We believe change is possible

We deliver effective and responsive services to support the mental health and wellbeing of people with alcohol and drug problems. Our work is embedded in local communities through strong partnerships with schools, hospitals, NGOs and other specialists.

Give me a firm spot on which to stand and I shall move the earth.

Archimedes

Our primary aim is to be that firm spot for those seeking freedom from addiction

Our staff team has a wide experience and specialist training, including psychologists, social workers, sociologists and a priest.

Our programmes include:

  • individual and group therapies for those struggling with addictions and for those around them.
  • preventative education for schools
  • personal development learning programmes
  • tailored learning and support for children from families affected by addiction
  • ad hoc relief work, supporting the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our communities

WHAT ARE WE DOING IN MAY 2020?

In Romania, the state of emergency imposed due to COVID-19 has been extended until 15th May, after which we will enter into a state of alert, and this is likely to mean some relaxation of the current restrictions. The government has decided that schools will not open again this academic year in an attempt to avoid a resurgence of the virus. A large part of our work is carried out in schools or involves larger groups of young people and adults, and so we remain very restricted in our ability to provide support. While it is not clear what the new rules will be we are hoping at least for extensions to the ability to move around. All of our work supports vulnerable people, who are facing stresses and difficulties in the current time. We are continuing to do all we can to respond to urgent need.

Mentoring and Support

We are continuing to stay in touch with young people in need of support. This situation is difficult for them too, and we are seeing many young people questioning their lives through this period. Many come from difficult backgrounds and are in need of regular help and support. We are working to keep communication open and offer support through whatever means we can, although this is difficult as many of our most disadvantaged young people do not have access to internet or phone.

Group and Individual Therapies

We all know that this time has caused additional stresses, not only for physical health but also for our mental wellbeing. People who are vulnerable, and in particular those struggling with addictions, have an increased need for emotional and spiritual support. Our specialist staff are available, albeit via online means for the time being. We are grateful to be able to keep in contact with our clients in this way.

Delivering to Vulnerable Community Members

As we work to keep responding our thoughts go quickly to the children who take part in FI’s regular after-school and children’s clubs. All these children come from families facing extreme poverty and in this difficult time face desperation due to a lack of basic subsistence. We are providing emergency care packages of food and basic hygiene goods, and send our thanks to all those supporters who have made this possible during this time.

Extracts from a Journal – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, by R

Yesterday: May 2006

Whatever happens I have to make sure I maintain my liquor-induced state at all times. I don’t realise it, but being in this state is a bit like dealing with counterfeit money. I die if I don’t drink, and I can’t even think about not drinking because then I surely will die. So I am trapped between the rock and the hard place, always carrying with me a useless deadweight of emotion. The genius I thought I was could not keep everyone fooled. I slipped on a banana skin. Goodbye driving licence, goodbye company car, goodbye job. It’s a wonderful, terrible month, that gives me gloomy prospects on a plate. War is declared at home. Hideous. As the (Romanian) saying goes, it’s too late now to take out the crap that ended up in the pie by mistake.

Today: May 2020

We have nowhere to go, we adapt to the new normal created by the pandemic and with the means at our disposal we do our best to stay sober. We – the support group – stay in touch however we are able to and take care of each other so as not to find ourselves falling again. In some ways we are lucky with the current restrictions and we are safe, because there are less landmines for us to step on. We need to keep our defences on high alert so that we can resist temptation. We look forward to the events that have been postponed. We will recover. When the second half of the month comes we will resume our long-awaited meetings. And we continue our cleaning process, we dig and clear the weeds and pests so that we can sow the future harvest. Abstinence is non-negotiable for us. We cannot afford for it to be invaded.

I think about the words of Thomas Edison: To take alcohol into the body is like putting sand on the bearings of an engine; it just doesn’t belong. I have a better use for my brain than to poison it with alcohol

Tomorrow: May 2021

There are more and more of us. More people actively attending meetings. If this carries on we will have to extend meeting programme. Good news, two new schools have asked us to deliver our preventative programme for their students. One of them is far out of town. We will spread the work across the team. The work will then cause recovery to spread, see more bodies recover. Of course we rely on meetings together where we can share our experiences, show both sides of the coin, the good and the ugly. After so long apart we were like children visiting Disneyland at our first meetings. It was incredible. We recharged our batteries.