Asociatia Neemia – monthly news

This page contains news from Asociatia Neemia in Dorohoi, in the far north-east of Romania. These articles first appeared in our monthly Prayer Notes but here they are compiled and expanded for the benefit of those supporters who prefer a more secular format.
 

Construction sign

This page is a new feature and is in the process of being developed … In the meantime this month’s Prayer Notes can be accessed via the link above.

 

Asociaţia Neemia – October 2018

Summer is over (apart from the occasional flash-back), schools are back in session and the time left to prepare for the coming winter is passing quickly. Historically, Autumn can be quite short in northern Romania and already some areas have experienced frosts and even some snow. In rural areas the last of the crops are being gathered in, the firewood is being chopped and those who have the luxury of a winter wardrobe are giving it an airing. The comprehensive load which arrived recently included several tons of oil, rice, flour and sugar, plus a stock of fleeces and other clothing which will be available to address two of these needs. However, restrictions on the cutting of firewood are making it increasingly difficult to acquire legally and therefore more expensive. A typical retired couple in an old village house might use some 5 cu mtr of wood for cooking and heating during the winter, at a cost equivalent to two months’ pension.

For those following the progress of Isabela, the girl born with a severe heart defect, there is good news. An examination last month showed that the previous operations had been successful and that she has no need for further intervention. Her parents have described this as a miracle; many thanks to those who prayed for Isabela and supported her family.

Recently a young couple who had been living in poor quality rented accommodation had the opportunity to buy a flat for themselves. We have known them for a long time and were happy to help guide them through the negotiations and the legal procedures.
 

Our featured photos this month:

- Oil, rice, sugar and flour from a charity in west Wales.
– Duvets and bedding ready for transport from Billingshurst.
– Chopping firewood warms you twice.

Food deliveryDuvetsWarming work
 

September 2018

Maria Condrea has worked with Asociatia Neemia for some 17 years, acting as our office manager and undertaking the day-to-day practicalities of responding to those in need. She built up an encyclopedic knowledge of our beneficiaries and honed the ability to handle those whose demands exceed their fair entitlement. She has turned in her keys and is looking forward to a more relaxed retirement. We welcome Alexandra Ungureanu who has been Maria’s understudy for a couple of months and has shown herself to be a worthy successor.

School starts again in mid-September and now families are coming to ask for help. Officially, school is free but there are many obligations with regard to stationery and dress codes. AN has stocks of school bags, pens and paper for the children as well as suitable clothing. We also have craft materials, larger toys and furniture for donation to kindergartens.

Two fatal accidents in a period of seven days have deprived two families in the same community of their fathers and principal bread-winners. In the first case, a man returning from working in Italy fell asleep just a few miles from home; his car left the road, hit a tree and overturned. In the second, a local man was bringing in the last of the harvest when the tractor he was driving rolled over and he was crushed by the cabin. Romania has a poor road safety record – often considered to be the worst in Europe – and accidents such as these are a daily feature of the national news broadcasts.

Our featured photos this month:

~ Maria ~ Alexandra ~ Craig.
MariaAlexandraCraig

More details in the RoAF photo gallery

 

August 2018

Unlike much of the rest of Europe, this area of Romania has been experiencing above-average rainfall. We have not yet had the excessive temperatures of other years and the warm wet season has brought a prospect of good crops – the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye. However, this is not without its problems as the strong growth and moist soil tend to complicate the use of heavy harvesting machinery and once again the small-holder with his horse-drawn cart does rather better.

Of course, the abundance of crops is of limited help to those who have no land to work or no money to buy them. This year to date, we have given out over 6 tons of food to families and individuals. Most of this food has come from donors in the UK but some has been grown on land at our warehouse and at Casa Neemia. The construction of the polytunnel has increased the productivity of the garden and some of the residents have become competent in the various tasks involved. They do not eat all the vegetables and that leaves a surplus to be donated. An offer has been received from a person willing to show interested residents how to preserve some of the produce for consumption during the winter.

The recent inspection of Casa Neemia resulted in some additional work, primarily related to changes in legislation during the construction period. The main requirement was additional fire-resistant under-cladding to the ceiling of the upper floor; this work has been completed and procedures are in hand to obtain the final approval before the end of this month.

Our featured photos this month:

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July 2018

It is three years since building work started on Casa Neemia and a lot has been achieved through hard work and God’s repeated demonstrations of His ‘just in time’ provision. Now, documents have to be found, certificates have to be signed and inspections completed but, concurrent with the publication of these notes, the formal construction period should come to an end. Our thanks go to all those who have been involved with this project, whether by physical activity, financial contribution or prayer support.

The most difficult part of fulfilling the vision now begins – establishing the house rules and finding someone to take on the management of the house and its residents. Ideally we are looking for a mature couple with pastoral experience who can befriend the residents and work with those who are already building relationships with them.

Turning to our regular activities, we currently have good stocks of clothing, household goods and rice, and, to a lesser extent, oil and other food. We continue to help people who need these items. However, statutory increases in the minimum wage have resulted in higher business overheads and widespread price rises. Whilst this means increased operating costs for AN, the impact is most keenly felt by those who have no wage to increase. We do not keep records of those whom we are unable to help but the perception is that more people are asking for assistance with bills and other expenses, and more requests have to be declined.

Our featured photos this month:

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June 2018