News from Asociatia Neemia, November 2021

A load has been dispatched from the Swansea warehouse and preparations are well in hand for a second load to be dispatched from Billingshurst in the near future. This load will be a joint venture between the English and Welsh teams; we expect to send it in early December. The procedures for sending aid seem to have stabilised now and we anticipate more frequent loads next year. It is good to hear that the stocks are building up again in our warehouses, and we trust that any new anti-Covid restrictions will not compromise our ability to pack items and load lorries.

RoAF is one of the charities supported by this year’s Harvest service at Horley Baptist Church. We are grateful for the donations received and for an opportunity to publicise the ongoing needs in Romania.

RoAF is not actively promoting the Christmas gift box scheme this year as the bulk distribution via schools and churches is no longer appropriate. There is an alternative arrangement whereby the most needy families will receive a donation of food purchased in Romania. See the RoAF website if you would like to help.
We can accept a limited number of boxes specifically for named persons; they need to be with us by mid-November before the departure of the next lorry.

Romania continues to be in the grip of the COVID pandemic. Official figures published at the end of October showed an infection rate of 10·6 per 1,000 residents (the UK equivalent was shown as 8·5). These are national figures; areas of greater population density are generally higher. There is widespread scepticism about vaccines and, in the absence of a stable government, it is left to local authorities to enforce such restrictions as they think appropriate. Additionally, the concentration on COVID has diverted resources from treating other health conditions. Several people known personally to members of the AN team have died recently.

In addition to the health crisis, Romania is experiencing severe economic problems. Food is plentiful after the harvest but it is becoming increasingly expensive, with some items now costing 50% more than last year. Energy prices are out of control and unemployment is rising. These factors combine to ensure that there is no shortage of people asking AN for help. We are grateful for the loads received recently and are in a good position to help people with clothing and other household essentials. We can offer food including rice sent by the team in Wales and other food items acquired locally but firewood – essential for most rural households – has become difficult to obtain legally.

Not surprisingly, there are many requests for financial assistance. Items for donation remain free of taxes but items that are intended for the shop now incur an import duty. This, together with increases in AN’s own operating costs, means that our ability to help is very limited.

Update for our Knitters, November 2021: Please could you prioritise knitted blankets, including the ones that are made from small squares, for the next year or so. We would like the squares to be knitted together into practical blanket sizes as it is no longer practical for this to be done in Dorohoi. Please continue with scarves and hats for adults as well.

This month’s featured photos
  • A Load from Swansea
  • Preparing the Next Load
  • Knitting from Hull Knitwits

Prepared pallets Loaded pallets Stacked boxes
Prepared pallets Prepared pallets Prepared pallets
Knitted blanket Knitted jumper Knitted hats

Last month’s performance statistics

These statistics give a snapshot of our aid-related activities last month.

Categories October
Same month
last year
% Change
year on year
Registered Beneficiaries:
joiners / leavers
21 / 50 21 / 47
Beneficiaries this month: 159 205 -22%
Number of Donations: 185 233 -21%
Total Value of Donations:
(£ equivalent)
2,221 4,275 -48%
Exchange Rate,
5·8373 5·3757 9%

Stats notes:
– Joiners are new registrants this month, Leavers are are those whose latest recorded donation was 12 months ago.
– Some households may receive more than one donation during a month (eg, repeat donations of food).
– Items shown as 0 or as “…” are awaiting final returns for the month.

Previous month’s news, October 2021

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