Overview of Blue Cross Romania
- Founded in 1990
- Humanitarian organisation (NGO) based in Sibu in the centre of Romania
- 10 employees and 20 volunteers
- Primiary missions are to help victims of addiction to alcohol, drugs and gambling, to help families affected by the addiction of a family member and to help children and young people to avoid abuse and sbstance abuse
- Manage the first two treatment centres for addicted persons in Romania: ”House Nazareth” for Men with 25 places and ”Island Of Hope” for Women with 10 places
- Prevention campaigns in Schools and Camps
- Support Groups
- Media Campaigns
- Trainings in Addiction Care
Q&A with Holger Lux, manager of Rehabilitation Center "House Nazareth"Holger Lux
1. Why is the Blue Cross work important to you?
First of all because I know from my parents’ house what alcohol addiction means. But now my family is glad that for nearly 30 years my father - a medical doctor - has overcome his addiction. But also because I live and work as a medical doctor and psychotherapist in Romania - a country ranked by the WHO among the first ten in the world for alcohol consumption. Our society has to pay a high prize for that.
I learnt at the beginning of my work for Blue Cross from my old friend Klaus Richter, the actual president of Blue Cross Germany, that to work in addiction care means "to accept a man just as he comes, to help him to get again on his feet, to accompany him for a while and then to let him go, to continue his way on his own."
2. Are you convinced of the impact of your work - if so, which aspects?
Yes, the work of Blue Cross Romania, started in 1990 immediately after the fall of the communist regime, definitely makes a difference in our country. Blue Cross Romania opened the first two treatment centers for recovery from addiction in our country - "House Nazareth" for men and "Island Of Hope" for women. Meanwhile over 2.500 people got the chance to change their lives in our therapeutic communities. And also our message reaches an important part of our society.
3. What was your happiest moment during your time with Blue Cross?
There were many happy moments during the last 20 years. Maybe the happiest was in July 2013 at the opening of the new house of our treatment center for men, built with strong support from IBC. Ronald Hansen, a leader from Blue Cross Norway, who wrote the story "The Potters House" as an inspiration for the diaconal work of the Blue Cross was present at the event and said that his vision had become true in Romania.
4. What is/was your biggest challenge in your work for Blue Cross?
The biggest challenge is that the needs for addiction care in our country are very huge - we estimate over 1 million alcohol addicts for a population of 20 million - but the resources we have are very small. The support of the state is more symbolic. Blue Cross Romania is one of the few NGOs working in this field. The challenge is that we have to constantly find and secure the resources we need to continue our work.
5. Blue Cross in your country: What do you consider as your most important project?
Let me put it in the words of Geir Gunderson, past president of IBC: "My deepest concern is to increase quality in all aspects of Blue Cross work (worldwide): professional, human resources, finances - and spiritual!! We need to prevent a fragmented reality and further the holistic one.”