During the 40 decades of Communism and the Ceausescu’s dictatorship, the population of Romania were not free to travel or talk freely to foreigners; people had difficulty obtaining health care or i.e. plan the size of their families; many were hungry and lived desperate conditions. The social and living conditions in the country and people’s welfare hadn’t improved still for a long while after the Romanian Revolution in 1989.
In 1995, Carol R. Daniel visited Barlad – an area of high deprivation in north eastern Romania –, with a friend who was adopting a child. Then, a doctor in the Children’s Hospital in Barlad, asked Carol not to forget their needs when returning to the UK.
Carol’s professional life had mainly been spent working in health care in the NHS and what she saw in the children’s hospital in Barlad, as well as child placement center and gypsy ghetto, inspired her to try and improve conditions for the sick and poor in the area of Barlad.
Upon her return to the UK, Carol took early retirement from the NHS and she used her lump sum to set up the Myosotis Trust, make initial information gathering visits to Barlad, developed contacts and recruited supporters whilst creating an initial activity plan.
Spending a number of months in Romania she started working in the town’s Psychiatric Hospital with both child and adult patients; she made a number of visits to the town gypsy ghetto, spoke to as many local people as possible and decided the priority needs of community.
From these initial actions, a sister NGO – the Myosotis Association Romania – was formed in Barlad and working together projects were started and run. It was always seen as essential to the charity that the future success of the projects would need to be owned by the Romanian NGO, so, with the support of professional visitors from the UK in both health and administrative experience, the Romanian team have developed the various skills needed.
Nowadays, the Myosotis Trust in the UK and its sister Romanian NGO Asociatia Myosotis Romania work in partnership to run various projects and raise funds to pay for staffing and accommodation costs and materials.
However, whilst the Romanian NGO will increasingly fund the work, essential development needs to occur, and this will only happen with donations from the UK and any other funders.
Fr Simon Evans, Patron of the Myosotis Trust writes:-
Ever since Carol Daniel invited me to be the Patron of the Myosotis Trust when she founded it, I have felt it a huge privilege to be involved, even in a small way, in supporting its work. Driven by Carol’s vision and determination, the achievement of the Myosotis Association, supported from Britain by the Myosotis Trust since its inception in 1996, has been astonishing: the fostering and adoption of orphaned children, from a remote room in the psychiatric hospital and the provision of proper beds for the adult patients there; the establishment of the Centrul de Sanatate, a health centre specialising in the provision of care for women otherwise unavailable in Barlad as well as care for the poorest in an already extremely deprived part of Romania, now providing an out of hours surgery; the establishment of the Young Volunteers group who run scouting and guiding groups for children, initially especially for those with HIV as well as a Sunday School, now attached to one of the Orthodox parish churches; the rehousing of families from the gypsy ghetto to a nearby village through a programme called Opportunity Change; the opening of Casa Esme, a day centre for children with physical and learning disabilities; the opening of the House of Roses, a home for adults with learning difficulties; the provision of basic equipment to schools in local villages…as well as countless acts of kindness and help to individual people and families.
In 2016 the Mayor and Town Council made Carol an Honorary Citizen of Barlad. The Mayor spoke at the ceremony in the Town Hall of the high esteem in which the charity and its work have come to be held, as well as of his appreciation for all that Carol has brought to the local community. The work of the Myosotis Association has come to be widely admired and held up as a model of excellence not only in Barlad itself, but further afield in Romania. The friendship and support of a previous Bishop of Husi and of the current Bishop, as well as the small community of nuns at the Monastery of the Transfiguration at Husi and of some of the local Orthodox clergy has also been a support and an encouragement. The former Bishop of London, who takes a keen interest in the Orthodox Christian world has also given encouragement to the work of the charity. He has continued in his retirement, to follow its progress.
The need for financial and material support from the UK continues to be a real factor in the ability of the charity to do its work. In particular, we now face the challenge of providing premises for the House of Roses that are fit for purpose and which will enable it to expand and develop its important work. The charity continues to look for support in its mission to make a difference to the lives of those whom it seeks to help.