Together we are stronger! This is what 2021 proved to us once again. It was a challenging year that brought us together even closer. We were close to the local communities and contributed with over five million Euro to the regions where we operate, with a focus on social, health, education and environmental services in Romania, meant to make a difference where there was a greater need for help.
Just imagine the smile and comfort of children and teachers who enjoy modern study conditions, with new, interactive whiteboards and new modern equipment for practical activities, playgrounds in villages, heat and new facilities and renovation works in social centres and hospitals.
Feel the hope of parents whose children are undergoing various forms of therapy, see how the nature that has received a helping hand through replanting and conservation projects and the satisfaction of researchers and students who use state-of-the-art tools for new research studies and projects. Imagine the warmth and the wooden products that gave a different look to many kindergartens and schools.
All these are some of the projects we gave a hand of help in 2021, in line with our directions of social responsibility.
We start the journey of good deeds in Alba-Iulia, where a ‘Different Kind of Hospital’ is being built - the first National Pediatric Centre in Romania. This will be an oasis for children with cerebral palsy, neuromotor disorders and trauma, but also for their parents, who will have more hope and confidence in a peaceful future. HS Timber Group helped with wood products in previous years and now we are helping to set up and equip a therapy room, so that those children who need so much specialised help can find their special place of relief here, together with their families.
At the Centre for Recreation and Recovery through horse therapy in Leorinţ , children with various ailments and disabilities - such as autism, depression, behavioral, visual, learning or emotional disorders, as well as Down syndrome, hemiparesis, orthopedic or neurological disorders and dystrophy muscle -find here the right to enjoy the best possible health and to benefit from medical care and recovery. After HS Timber Group offered wooden products for a pavilion, the company came back in 2021 with sawdust for horses’ bedding.
The students at the Sebeș Technological High School, an important education center for the local community, now benefit, thanks to the company’s support, of a new combined machine for carpentry. Thus, the students of the vocational school enrolled under the universal carpenter qualification, have the possibility of practical training at school, where they will acquire skills and knowledge necessary for their insertion in the labour market, under the careful coordination of the teachers of practical training.
We head to the northeast of the country, in the heart of Siret, a small town in the north of Romania, to the Hospital for Chronic Diseases. Here, HS Timber Group helped to renovate the central pavilion, including the roof and the façade, which, due to the passage of time, questioned the safety of patients and passers-by. With this renovation, which respected the same architecture as the previous construction, the conditions offered to patients have been considerably improved. At the same time, the architectural landscape has been beautified and the safety of passers-by is no longer in danger.
Also in Siret, close to the hospital, there is the "Ingvar Kamprad" Social Assistance Centre within the Directorate of Social Assistance (DAS). The Group supported the renovation and modernisation works and thus, the residents of the center – in particular social cases, people without a next of kin and possibilities, people with disabilities and at risk or grandparents left alone - will continue to have decent and safe conditions for a comfortable living in the old age.
Also in 2021, HS Timber Group financially supported the Home Care Service run by DAS. The special project gives an extra helping hand to elders who live alone, have dire financial possibilities, cannot help themselves as well as to to adults with disabilities who live in the community and who are at risk. The DAS team traveled daily in Siret, providing social services to those in need, in order to improve their material, psycho-social and physical situation. Our support contributed to the dream of the DAS team in Siret: not to leave anyone alone, without any support and care. This prevents separation and loneliness, preserves the quality of life by reducing the risk of infection with various diseases, increases the sense of security, and makes the community aware of the challenges and risks of the implications of the elders and people with disabilities who are alone.
In the Covasna county, our colleagues from the sawmill in Reci participated as volunteers in a large cleaning action of the banks of the Olt and Negru rivers, a project carried out under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests. We also sponsored the installation of special video monitoring cameras for riverbank surveillance, within a project to prevent illegal dumping of waste.
In Valea Mare we sponsored the installation of a playground for children and three schools from the rural area from the county, were equipped with interactive whiteboards. The company also supports the afterschool program in Reci, to the benefit of the children in the village.
The high-quality services provided by medical institutions are a priority for a healthy community, along with education and social services. Therefore, the company contributed to the equipment and modernisation of the kitchen at the Municipal Hospital in Târgu Secuiesc. The new kitchen equipment includes tools for cooking food, but also for storing it, processing and properly preparing it for patients.
In Comănești, Bacău County, where we operate the biggest blockboard factory in one location in the world, HS Baco Panels continues to be involved in community life. The company supports extensive renovation works of the Ioan Lascăr City Hospital, to increase the energy efficiency of the building.
HS Baco Panels is close to three high schools in Bacău County, where it contributes to the endowment of electrical and mechanical laboratories and other facilities for students, which will prepare them for the future. Also, the blockboard manufactured by our colleagues will be used for furniture and modernization of interior spaces.
HS Timber Group has concluded a strategic partnership with the Tomorrow's Forest Foundation, to implement together social and environmental projects that promote the responsible development of forests in Romania, to the benefit of local communities.
Since the launch of the Tomorrow's Forest project, 797,000 seedlings have been planted on 186 ha of land, in nine counties, within the Reforestation Programme. At the same time, a responsible forestry programme has been initiated, which encourages the development of projects that contribute to sustainable forest management. The first project was a mobile, modular forestry bridge that protects forest waters and associated ecosystems. Designed by specialists at the Transilvania University of Brasov and built using local workforce and materials, the first prototypes are already in operation in Harghita County.
Within the Community Development Programme, in 2021, the Foundation continued the maintenance of the beautiful 2 ha arboretum located at the Ciprian Porumbescu Museum (Suceava county). So far, 117 trees were planted, of high decorative value, and the infrastructure of the arboretum was repaired or renewed. Also in 2021, a new project started together with the Forestry Faculty of the University of Suceava to create a botanical garden in the new university campus.
Another project with a strong educational component aims to improving spruce forests’ resilience in Harghita-Madaras Mountains with the help of stone pines (Pinus cembra) that can mitigate extreme weather effects. The first experimental plantations were performed and are being monitored with the help of forestry students from Harghita and Brasov.
Within the Education Programme, in 2021, together with the professors of the Forestry Faculty from the University of Suceava, the Foundation piloted a new planting workshop for elementary schools and produced a booklet (Semi’s Story) which will be used in the future workshops. The Foundation also sponsored the first Romanian edition of The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono (Carusel Books, 2021).
To all this is added support with wood products for local communities, such as blockboards and solid wood products for school and kindergarten furniture, but also renovation and maintenance works. In addition, for the sixth year in a row, pellets were donated for the winter heating of the Chronic Diseases Hospital in Siret, Suceava County and at the "St. Ștefan” children's social centre of the Caritas Foundation in Sîniob, Bihor County.
We will continue to be involved socially in the regions where we activate, because Together we are stronger and good deeds strengthen local communities.