Manuela is one of the first people to join Close to You Foundation. At first, as a social assistant within the programme of “Psychosocial assistance for HIV-infected children”, the first programme of the foundation and later on, as director of the Centre in Iasi. As of 2007, she has become programme director, being in charge of the process of attracting funds, coordination and project implementation. She believed since the beginning in the people's enormous potential in the development of programmes, being supportive both for the beneficiaries and the colleagues that have later joined.

With a professional experience of 15 years with Close to You Foundation, Manuela is educated in social assistance and has a master's degree in probation. Training in domains such as project management, social economy, public acquisitions, training or lobby and advocacy represent only a few of Manuela's secret weapons that she ingeniously manages in her activity within the organisation. She has written and accessed funds for various programmes and financing lines, has ensured the management of over 25 projects with the financing of Global Fund of Fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria; PHARE; UNICEF; European Social Fund; cross-border projects; Swiss grants; Norwegian grants; She has the experience of over 400 hours as trainer on subjects related to project management, social economy, entrepreneurship, peer-education; she is the author and co-author of 12 publications and articles published in guidelines and specialised literature and in time, she has participated to 6 studies and research on social sciences.

“Close to You Foundation is the place where I have developed professionally, where I had the liberty to contribute to the development of the programmes since the establishment of the foundation, the place where I enjoy going every day, where I have found great people and colleagues. 

Manuela thinks that for great results, especially in the social sector,  you have to love people and be passionate about what you do.

Her guiding motto:

”Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value” (Albert Einstein).