Bucharest, March 15, 2018 – From November 2017 to February 2018, 60 children from all over the country, diagnosed with terminal or life-threatening diseases, from the HOSPICE Casa Sperantei centers in Bucharest and Brașov, have benefited from more than 300 sessions of therapy based on virtual and augmented reality. The total number of children receiving this type of therapy is estimated to increase to over 100 by the end of the year 2018. The therapy sessions are part of the new Tech Room solution, implemented at the two HOSPICE centers mentioned above, under the „Connecting for Care and Compassion” project, financed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation within the National Connecting for Good program. The project, launched in November 2017, has a total budget of almost 760,000 RON, of which nearly 590,000 RON represent the financing contributed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation
The virtual reality and augmented reality therapy implemented at HOSPICE Casa Speranței centers uses several types of equipment that integrate state-of-the-art technologies, among which a VR play station integrating a job simulator by means of which children can experience different real-world jobs, plus a virtual wall that allows them to interact with various fantastic characters and an oversized piano keyboard where the children can play music by stepping on the tiles.
The „Connecting for Good” program was launched in Romania in 2012 to support initiatives using technology to address major and urgent social issues. Until now, the Foundation has invested 4 million euros in 55 projects developed by partner organizations for more than 40,000 recipients from all around the country”, said Angela Galeța, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
„For the HOSPICE children, Tech Room is a place they trust, a place where they can learn how to interact with others and where they are cognitively stimulated in a playful and enjoyable way. Whatever activity they engage in, the children have the chance, thanks to the virtual or augmented reality, to see the results of their work right on the spot, thus feeling valorized. We want technology to play an important role in increasing the effectiveness of palliative care. And this project, run with the support of the Vodafone Romania Foundation, does just that, helping us to improve the lives of our patients”, said Mihai Mănescu, project manager.
In addition to Tech Room, the „Connecting for Care and Compassion” project includes an integrated system providing healthcare services, psychosocial and emotional counseling services, educational support and respite services designed to provide parents with some spare time to solve various other problems or to rest and recover their strength. The children covered by this project have received 794 play-and-movement therapy sessions, over 2,200 kinesitherapy sessions and more than 1,100 classical or online educational sessions. Besides, over 77 respite sessions have been provided to their parents, to allow them to solve other problems or to recover their strength.
Tech Room was implemented at the two HOSPICE centers as a solution developed to help child-patients to cope with their illness and with the painful medical procedures they often have to go through.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.
HOSPICE Casa Speranței, a non-profit organization established in 1992 in Brașov, was the first provider ever in Romania of palliative care services and is now the largest foundation in the country offering free specialized services of this kind. The organization has two integrated palliative care service centers, one in Brasov and one in Bucharest, and mobile teams in Făgăraş and Zărnești, providing care services to terminally ill people. HOSPICE has developed comprehensive palliative care services that are provided through its own daycare, outpatient and inpatient centers, at patient’s home and at partner hospitals. In its 25 years of existence, HOSPICE has provided relief and hope to over 22,000 children and adults with incurable illnesses. HOSPICE Casa Speranței promotes palliative care training on a national and international level by means of educational programs, information and advocacy services, dedicated to healthcare professionals, patients and community, and by improving the legislation in the field. You are welcome to help HOSPICE patients and the palliative care through donations at (https://www.hospice.ro/doneaza/ ) or by sending a SMS message at 8844 with the text OPTIMISM. More information is available at www.hospice.ro. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram. On Youtube you can read the HOSPICE story and the history of palliative care in Romania.