News from Asociatia Neemia, September 2023

Another month is struck off the calendar and for many of us the holiday period is coming to an end. The start of a new school year is often a time of stress, not just for the pupils (and the teachers) but also for the parents who often face large bills for uniforms, stationery and the other peripheral items that are essential despite ‘free’ education. In Dorohoi we do still have some limited quantities of stationery and craft materials which we can pass on to kindergartens, reducing a little the expenses that teachers incur from their own resources.

The end of the summer also reminds us to start the preparations for the coming winter, beginning with tidying up the warehouse in Dorohoi and its grounds. Several of the residents at Casa Neemia helped with this task.

As regular readers will recall, earlier this year regulations were implemented which restricted the import of hand-knitted items. We did have some knitted items still in stock in our UK warehouse which we were able to pass on to a charity working in Uganda, where the items were warmly received. Not the outcome that our loyal band of knitters expected but a worthwhile cause non-the-less. Due to the productivity of our knitters in previous years we still have in Dorohoi some more blankets and knitwear which we will be able to distribute during the coming winter.

A particular matter for concern is the reduced level of income from the shop. The income from our shop underwrites most of the expenses of our aid distribution work; without it, costs such as fuel or salaries are more difficult to meet. We are no longer permitted to sell some items that were popular previously, such as toys, and the reduced range of merchandise together with the increased cost of living means that the shop has to compete more aggressively for the limited resources of our customers.

As is the case in many other parts of the world, Romania is suffering from increases in the cost of living. The national minimum wage is currently 600 Euros per month and an unusually high proportion of the private sector workforce is, officially at least, paid at that level. Directives from the European Commission are intended to raise food and energy prices to closer to western levels but policies to raise incomes are scarce.

Some low-income households do receive state subsidies for food, medicines and electricity but there are many who do not receive them. We continue to receive requests for help with living expenses but our ability to help is very limited. However, we are still able to provide clothing, stationery, bedding and household items from the UK together with some locally sourced food and crops from our land, all of which can help by reducing demands on a household budget.

Finally, a reminder that this week the packing team at Horley will be resuming their Friday packing sessions at Horley Baptist Church and Saturday activities at the warehouse in Billingshurst.

This month’s featured photos
  • Knitted items get a warm reception
  • Autumn tidy-up at the warehouse

A happy girl Knitted blankets Knitted bears
Sweeping the warehouse Garden duties Cutting the grass

Last month’s statistics
Categories August
Same month
last year
% Change
year on year
Registered Beneficiaries:
joiners / leavers
10 / 28 17 / 41
Beneficiaries this month: 113 163 -31%
Number of Donations: 133 182 -27%
Total Value of Donations:
(£ equivalent)
2,000 2,966 -33%
Exchange Rate,
5·7526 5·6541 2%

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, August, 2023

This Month’s Prayer Notes

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Link to this month’s Prayer Notes

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