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The Romanian Aid Foundation

with Asociaţia Neemia

Newsletter,  August 2011


The August 2011 newsletter has been prepared and printed copies will shortly be sent out to those on our mailing list.  If you would like to be added to the mailing list then please go to our 'Further Info' page using the link on the left. Below we reproduce the text of the newsletter for those who prefer this medium. 

It is just over a year since Dorohoi was struck by devastating floods which affected a third of the properties in the town.  Now the Press has gone, the relief organisations have gone, even many of the temporary housing units have gone, but people are still suffering the effects.  Replacement housing is still under construction and many families are having to double-up in rented accommodation which is, inevitably, more expensive than what they had before.  One feature of rented housing in Dorohoi is that you inherit any outstanding debts (rent, electricity, etc) incurred by the previous  occupants.  If your previous house is destroyed then you remain liable for the debts there too since there is no new occupant to offload them onto.

One of the families that we helped immediately after the floods has a son Andrei, aged ten.  He was sent home from school with a high temperature because he had a cold.  When he did not get better after a while he was sent to hospital where it was discovered that he had a serious leg infection, later diagnosed as osteomyelitis. 

In Romanian hospitals, bedside care is provided mainly by a patient’s family and friends.  Because Andrei’s mother could not afford the £4 per day fee charged to carers, he went largely untreated and the situation worsened to the point where amputation was threatened.  Eventually she came to us, pleading for some help.  In co-operation with one of the sponsoring families we were able to provide the necessary help, and treatment was started.  The amputation was prevented and Andrei is now back home.  His living conditions are not conducive to rapid healing and he will require long-term treatment, which the family can ill-afford.

Approximately 30 people per day come to the AN office seeking help of one form or another. Not all cases are as serious as Andrei’s - often a bag of clothes is sufficient - but we can continue to provide help of any sort only as a result of your donations and encouragement.

With many thanks for your interest and support, Steve Humphreys

Take off your shoes Loading shoes, 20/May/2011

Apart  from the command to Moses to respect the ground on which he was walking, what do “take off” and “shoes” have in common?  

On Good Friday one of our supporters was on a long-haul flight and got talking to the passenger beside her.  It turned out that he knew somebody who knew somebody who had a footwear import business in London, and who was wondering what to do with some unsold stock.  

A few phone calls later and his problem was solved.  Several hundred people in Dorohoi are now walking more comfortably due to the initiative and generosity of those who were involved in the donation, collection and delivery of the shoes.   

Graham, Russ and Jim ponder a 3D puzzle


Also earlier in the year we received a batch of redundant computers from a company in Aylesbury.  Although they are not the latest models they are ideal for students and school children who need to have access to a computer to be able to progress with their studies.  Acquiring computer skills improves future employment prospects and helps to reduce the cycle of poverty which often passes from one generation to the next without hope of improvement.   

Family with computer           Laur working on monitor

Computers and household electrical items are checked by our in-house technician, Laurentiu Lozneanu, to ensure that they are safe and in good working order before being donated.  There is a waiting list for computers, which need to be Pentium 3 or later models so that they can run modern Romanian language software.  Flat-screen monitors are preferable because the use less power and take up less space in the houses.

New group in Swansea

We are please to announce the formal establishment of a new team in south Wales.  In addition to our existing co-ordinators, Richard Burgess and Wendy Dando, we welcome Paul & Gloria Hare to the team.  They are working with Chris & Elena Edmonds in the Swansea area, and have already proved themselves to be valuable co-workers.  Together, they are able to collect clothing and household items within the Swansea, Llanelli, Bridgend and Neath areas - items which are suitable for Romania are packed for onward transport and unsuitable items are sold to help pay for the transport costs.  Contact details below.

We are also looking at the possibility of a new group in the north-east of England; if you are interested then please contact the RoAF office.  


Is your larder too full?  Are you getting tired of your diet?  Here’s a way to revitalise your palate. 

During the past couple of years we have received some donations of mixed food, supplied by groups ranging from the Lions in Wallington, who co-ordinated a harvest collection at local schools, to a team in south Wales who collected from customers outside a local supermarket. 

These diverse selections of food are particularly valuable in that they can be given to people when an urgent need arises and can be used to give some variety to the bulk supplies of tinned soup or beans that we receive from time to time. It also offers you the opportunity to show your thankfulness for what you have.  If you receive the printed version of the newsletter, you should also receive a copy of our harvest information sheet; if not, check the website for details of suitable items or click here for a copy which can be used as an A5 size leaflet.  

Preparing warehouse land  Crops at Dealu Mare  Beni with maize crop  

In addition to the food received as donations, AN uses the land surrounding its warehouse to grow crops which can also be given to those in need.  Crops are rotated between potatoes, maize (for flour) and sunflowers (for oil).

Joy in a Box, 2011

It may still be mid-summer but it is not too early to start thinking about Christmas.  Once again we will be organising our annual ‘Joy in a Box’ appeal, which gives people in the UK the opportunity to share something of the joy of Christmas with those who have no other reason to be happy at this period.

The Sandu family is an example - 3 generations (5 adults and 4 children) live in a single room only slightly larger than a touring caravan.  They have one large bed, which they all share and which serves as their seating area during the day.  Unable to get employment, their only income is the child allowance plus whatever they can get from trading the surplus from their small garden.  There will be no Playstations in this family this year but, with your help, there could be some chocolates or even some gloves.

Christmas boxes don’t have to cost a packet.  Just put aside a few items from your weekly shop or perhaps take advantage of those “3-for-2” offers.  Because we already have the logistics in place for our year-round aid distribution we are able to transport and donate the boxes for only £1 each.  Suggestions for contents and full details of the scheme are available from our website or on request from Graham Howard on 07515 284797.

 This link will take you to the website - link to 'Joy in a Box' site

Sponsorship and designated gifts

People in Dorohoi do like to receive gifts sent specially for them.  RoAF and AN have a scheme whereby donors in the UK can help particular individuals or families in Dorohoi.  In some cases these relationships result from friendships made during visits to Romania; in other cases the AN office has made recommendations to people who have offered to help.  This scheme allows the donor to get feedback from those they assist, and lets them see how their help is improving the situations of the people concerned.

Donations can be in the form of cash payments (regular or one-off), designated gift boxes sent via one of our trucks or a specific purchase made on behalf of the donor.  Examples of the latter include the resolution of a boundary problem or the purchase of a cow to provide milk for a family.  Cash transactions are charged at cost whilst a typical family box costs £4 for transport and delivery.

Please note that designated boxes do take up space that would otherwise be used for items that can be used for a more general benefit.  For example a box of food sent to one family might take the place of a box of clothes that could help several people.  For this reason we have to limit the number of designated boxes that can be accepted on each lorry.


Not by bread alone

A new initiative at the Centre of Hope has led to the formation of a men's group meeting fortnightly, in addition to the family meeting held on Wednesdays.  The primary purpose of these groups is to help people in their spiritual growth, with prayer, Bible study and the opportunity to talk together.  Several of those who receive help from AN have started attending these groups and, whilst we place no religious demands on the aid recipients, it is encouraging when they take an interest in what motivates us to continue with this work.

Contact info

Following the changes which have taken place in RoAF during the past year, we can now publish our updated contact list.

Horley, primary contact:  

Bernard Bellingham,  01293 784048

Billingshurst warehouse: 

Graham Howard,  07515 284797

Friday packing at Horley: 

Brian & Pat Gawn,  01293 432026

Lampeter, primary contact: 

Richard & Linda Burgess,  01570 470468

Swansea, primary contact:

Chris & Elena Edmonds,  01792-862562

Swansea warehouse:

Paul & Gloria Hare,  01792-893355

Gwent area contact:

Wendy Dando,  01495 222729

Dorohoi, primary contact:

Benoni Mirauta,  0040 744 198068

RoAF - AN Liaison:

Steve Humphreys,  0040 763 256933

Please feel free to contact any of the above as appropriate, or email us.

Calendar for 2011 

(dates as at 01/Aug/11 but subject to revision and confirmation)

Lorry 2011#01 - Saturday 5th February, from Billingshurst.

Harp Concert - Saturday 12th March, with Keziah Thomas

Lorry 2011#02 - 20th May, from Lampeter, Trowbridge and Billingshurst

Lorry 2011#03 - Saturday 23rd July, from Billingshurst.

Lorry 2011#04 - 2nd September, from Lampeter

Launch of 'Joy in a Box' for 2011 in August.

Harp Concert with Keziah Thomas, date to be confirmed

Lorry 2011#06 - Christmas Lorry - first Saturday of December, from Horley.

 Look out for details and updates  

This newsletter is published on behalf of the Romanian Aid Foundation and Asociatia Neemia.  For further information or to be added to the newsletter mailing list please use our response page or write to us using the contact details below: 

The Romanian Aid Foundation

179 Albert Road, Horley, Surrey RH6 7HS  or  Oaklea, Temple Bar, Lampeter, Ceredigion, SA48 8BQ

The Romanian Aid Foundation is UK Registered Charity No. 1060828. 


Asociatia Neemia

Str Spiru Haret nr 9, Dorohoi, Botosani, Romania.

This newsletter is  © Romanian Aid Foundation, August 2011.  

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