History in Romania
The Romanian branch of AMURTEL, “Asociatia de Ajutor AMURTEL Romania” was founded in 1995 by a group of local and international women volunteers. After analyzing the needs in post-communist Romania, AMURTEL specialized in the areas of inclusive education for children with special needs, and social services for abandoned children and youth.
The organization first began by distributing humanitarian aid to hospitals and state children’s homes. AMURTEL volunteers were touched by the plight of the children abandoned in neglectful state institutions, and supplying temporary aid was not able to have a significant impact on the long term quality of life for the children. Trainings in infant massage were organized with care workers, but again the impact was small and ultimately led to the decision to open a smaller, family-style alternative home where a more holistic, loving and creative environment could be created. Initially, there were ten children, which extended to 20 in 2001.
In the meantime, two alternative kindergartens were opened in Bucharest to develop Neohumanist Education as a holistic approach to early childhood education encouraging personal development, ecological interconnectedness, and inclusive values. In particular, one of the kindergartens was founded with funds from the Swedish Infant Massage Society and was charged with the task of integrating children with disabilities alongside their typically developing peers in a specially designed inclusive setting. For more information about the Gradinita Rasarit project click here.
Here is an early video of our work in Romania made in 2002:
AMURT and AMURTEL (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) is an international disaster relief and development agency established in India in 1970. AMURT and its women managed wing, AMURTEL are now operating activities in over 110 countries globally coordinated from its global office in Washington D.C., USA.
In the recent past AMURT and AMURTEL have earned the praise of the international relief community for its efficient and reliable service in Somalia (1993), Rwanda (1994), Orissa (1999), Kosovo (1999-2000), Taiwan (1999), Turkey (1999), Venezuela (1999) and Gujarat (2001), Indonesia ( 2004-2007), Yogakarta (2006-07), Haiti (2010) and Lebanon (2016-present).
On the international level, AMURT and AMURTEL have received substantial funding from relief agencies such as the Embassy of Japan, UNDP, Catholic Relief Services, WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR, Swiss Development Corporation and GTZ Germany, KNH Germany and USAID amongst others.