Adopt a Friend
Even though Romania joined the European Union (EU) on 1st January 2007, the cost of living is virtually the same as in the UK - the elderly and poor in Romania live day to day, week to week, on almost nothing.
If you think we are exaggerating, the best pension we have heard of in the areas we are work is just around£70 per month.
Many elderly rely on family to provide help. Therefore, if you have no family to help, then what do you do?
Most live in a single room with a chair that doubles as a bed and a small wood burning stove that also provides some warmth. Water is mostly by a standpipe outside and toilets are usually still a latrine.
It was for people such as these that in 2001 we set up a project called ‘Adopt A Friend’. This links (supporters) directly to a needy person in Romania. The sponsorship provided is forwarded to our team in Romania and every penny is transferred into food and other basic essentials and distributed monthly. We encourage letters and try to provide regular news on how those being supported are doing
The goods are distributed by the team and, on every visit they make to the families, the individuals and families always tell them how much they pray and thank God for those who sponsor them.
In 2009, we were delighted to have our first Christmas community meal in the village of Carand
With winters sometimes dropping to -20 degrees we try to provide additional money for wood. For example, the beginning of 2012, which took the majority of Europe into a severe cold snap, was very bad for Romania. Snow fell, and settled, quite rapidly and in Carand, the snow fell consistently for 4 days. (See the pictures below). Daytime temperatures went no higher than 0°C, whilst nighttime temperatures dropped to more than -30°C.
At Christmas, each family or individual is given an extra parcel of food. However, the problems remain the same amongst those we sponsor, with extreme poverty due to lack of pension, unemployment, ill health and the Romanian economy.