FAST Romania story

Our foundation

Fundatia pentru Asistenta Sociala si Tineret (FAST), or the Foundation for Social Assistance and Youth, was founded in September 1998 by Daniel and Ema Hristea, a couple who just didn`t accept the poverty and hardships some people in Romania had to endure during the times following the fall of communism, and decided to do something about it

Early days

Daniel and Ema began their mission of helping the disadvantaged in the early 1990s through activities such as:

  • feeding street children
  • volunteering in orphanages
  • organising charitable events and children`s shows
  • fundraising
  • translating and interpreting for the people who visited from abroad, and
  • working with the elderly

Through their volunteer work, they decided it was their life`s calling to help the disadvantaged, and especially the needy children of Romania

As the organisation grew, the focus increasingly turned to education, designing educational programs for children living in rural areas, and providing assistance for local disadvantaged communities to improve their educational facilities

Re-focus towards Roma communities

In 2002, FAST began work with four specific underprivileged communities in and around the town of Sacele: Garcin, Zizin, Tarlungeni, and Budila

These communities are predominantly Roma, traditionally the group in Romania most affected by issues of poverty, discrimination and social exclusion

Ziurel Centre

In 2005, renovation work began on FAST`s new educational centre, Ziurel (New Day Centre)

In use by 2007 and completed in 2009, Ziurel allows FAST to bring in large groups of Roma children from impoverished local villages for educational and social activities, as well as to provide meals and opportunities for hygienic care and entertainment.

Better Homes project & beyond

  • In 2007, FAST expanded its activities into the field of construction by helping families in critical living situations to build new prefabricated homes for themselves
  • In 2009, FAST had begun work on a vocational workshop at a local school, intended to help students learn construction skills for themselves
  • In 2010, FAST began construction on a Mission House at the Roma community in Tarlungeni, with the aim of providing a community facility in the village, and a centre for an expansion of FAST's social care activities into the community
  • In 2011, in collaboration with Volunteer Studio, an initiative led by two architecture students from Sheffield in the UK, FAST constructed a community playground at the Roma community in Tarlungeni
  • In 2012, FAST constructed a large workshop in Zizin to help fabricate components for the Better Homes project and had initiated a Carpentry Programme under the brand of Gardenis
  • By 2013, more than 40 houses had been built or added to with the help of local and foreign volunteers

Integration Centre

In October 2013, FAST commenced a programme of activities in the newly renovated Integration Centre. On behalf of the local council, FAST will run the centre. The centre will serve at least 300 children and youth each year, most of them coming from disadvantaged and poor families, providing them with a variety of activities such as: informal education, sports, computer and English classes, play room, arts and crafts, music and recreational activities, and much more

After more than 15 years of activity, FAST has become one of the most respectable and efficient organisations in Brasov County, being officially accredited in January 2009, as a Social Service Provider by the local governmnent. The organisation continues to welcome local assistance and volunteers from abroad to help in its activities, and develops further plans and long-term strategies in order to accomplish its mission of supporting the underprivileged people from Romania in their fight against poverty and discrimination