Joy in a Box
Romanian Aid Foundation
is happening at RoAF and we are aware that sometimes we have not been very good
at keeping all our supporters informed, so here's an attempt to keep everyone up
to date. So far, this has been a challenging year, which has meant a lot of
change, but some things never change. The need for aid amongst the poorest in
Dorohoi is as great as ever and I am pleased to report that the five full loads
we have sent so far this year have been skilfully used by Beni and his team.
At the beginning of this year, the trustees at RoAF changed.
The new trustees are Chris Edmonds, Steve Humphreys and Jane Inman. Both Steve
and Jane are well known to most of you, both live in Horley and have been
involved in the work of RoAF for several years. Steve has been the central
player, most of the day to day responsibility of making RoAF happen have fallen
in his lap, that is except when he is in Romania visiting Beni and our other
workers in Dorohoi. Chris lives in Pontardawe, South Wales with his wife, but he
is frequently in the Horley area for business. Many, many years ago when they
lived in Horley they were part of Horley Baptist Church and so are old friends
of Steve and Peter and Lesley and many others.
The last newsletter showed pictures of our temporary storage
facility in Smallfield. This is working out much better than originally
envisaged. We rent two ground floor rooms totalling 280 ft2 which is
inadequate for our needs but the miraculously good news is the use of the roof
space which the owner allows us to us free of charge, this extra 400ft2
gives us enough space to store well over a complete load. Although this current
arrangement in Smallfield is meeting our needs, we are still looking at
alternative accommodation as it would be better to be located in Horley, it
would be better if we could sort and pack on site, it would be better if we only
paid a peppercorn rent, but the good news is that after the traumas of exiting
the warehouse in Salfords, we do have stability and since our Smallfield home
has grown in proportions we do have space.
RoAF goes national
Supporters have saved, sorted and packed for RoAF from all
over the UK for years; the number of towns and villages that have a RoAF
presence has included Northern Ireland, Cannock, Bracknell, villages in Essex,
Isle of Man, Lossiemouth Scotland etc. Apologies to you if I have inadvertently
excluded you; but now we have storage facilities elsewhere as well. In Lampeter,
South Wales, Richard and Linda Burgess have acquired a redundant artic trailer
and are using it to store aid as it is packed by the RoAF team in Lampeter. This
is particularly useful because at times, aid has to be collected and stored
immediately and with the loss of the Salfords depot we were not sure how this
could work in the future. Problem solved. Perhaps in the future we may see other
packing and storing centres springing up in other parts.
Richardís 25th trip to Romania
In May, Richard Burgess, who drove our first lorry to Dorohoi
in 1992, made his 25th trip with aid. The following is a cutting from
his local Lampeter paper:
Temple Barís Richard Burgess has embarked on
a gruelling 5,000-mile journey to Romania, to deliver
humanitarian aid collected by a local church to the small town
of Dorohoi. The journey has become a regular trip for Mr Burgess, who is
completing his 25th trip to Dorohoi since the Emmaus Fellowship Church began collecting aid in 1992. He said
"The people in the Lampeter area are very supportive of our charity, the
Romanian Aid Foundation, and help to make these missions
possible by giving a variety of aid. Our church helps
to finance the trips, with each one costing around £2,000 for all the things
involved. Poverty is still a very real issue in this
remote area of Eastern Europe where unemployment is in
excess of 85 per cent and the only industry is agriculture, so the need is just
as great as in 1992 when I made my first visit."
links between the Lampeter Church and the Dorohoi Baptist
Church have seen the much-needed aid taken to the area over 14 years, as well as
the employment of a full-time worker who helps distribute the aid and run
projects in the area.
The aid includes a variety of clothing,
blankets, duvets, food and medical supplies, toys and computer and school
equipment which filled the 40-tonne articulated lorry from Preston. Richard left
on Tuesday for Romania but when he returns he will not be sitting on his
laurels, with planning already under way for another trip in the autumn to
deliver shoeboxes to the families in Dorohoi in time for Christmas.
The first snow in Romania for the coming season was reported on 30th
August!! There is likely to be a warmer spell before the real
winter comes but this does act as a reminder. If you are
thinking of treating yourself to a new winter outfit then we know
someone who could use the old one. Check out our list of Priority
Items elsewhere on the site.
in a Box
Once again last Christmas we had the
privilege of distributing the gift boxes that many supporters had been preparing
during the previous six months. This year the main consignment is due to go
at the end of November so that will be the deadline for those who are planning to prepare
boxes this year.
If you want further information about the gift box scheme then
please see our website at www.roafan.org.
good times together
The 2006 RoAF Duck Race took place on
the River Mole on Saturday 17th June. All the ducks were sponsored and
over £500 was raised to help with the distribution of aid in northern
Romania. Many thanks to those who helped make the event such a success,
plus congratulations to George and Annette Didon who won dinner for
two at the Six Bells. The 2007 Duck Race is
planned for Saturday 16th June.
Hickman Jazz Quintet features Dennis Hickman at
the piano and Des Ward as vocalist. The group gave a wonderful
concert at Oakwood School in May, which set many a foot tapping in the
hall. Proceeds from the evening have been used to help with the
costs of transporting aid to Romania.
The annual harp
concert by Keziah Thomas, the highly skilled London harpist, will be held on Saturday
25th November at St Francis's Church, Balcombe Road, Horley.
This is always a delightful evening -
the programme is due to start at 6:00 pm and this year it will include a light
buffet during the interval.
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
179 Albert Road,
Horley, Surrey RH6 7HS, UK;
Aid Foundation is UK Registered Charity No. 1060828.
Spiru Haret nr 9, Dorohoi, Botosani 6850, Romania.
0231 610059; email: Beni_@_roaf.org
This newsletter is
Romanian Aid Foundation, September 2006.
Link to previous
newsletter: Spring 2006