Even though Romania joined the European Union (EU) on 1st January 2007, the elderly and poor in Romania live day to day, week to week, on almost nothing although the cost of living is virtually the same as in the UK - . The average pension in is £100 – £150 pounds per month but you find a lot of people living on as little as £50 - £100 pounds a month. Many elderly rely on the extended 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.
Even thou Romania had and still has some of the greatest universities in Europe, when you live on a income of £150 -200 a month you often can’t afford collage or universities and there’s no provision of student loans or anything like that.
Starting even in the lower schools parents need to buy all the educational material including the manuals their children study on.
What do we do?
ADOPT A FRIEND. 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.
Improving Education. Especially in the rural areas the schools are forgotten by the government so we are helping in providing 21st century education tools like Laptops and video projectors for classes, lockers and basic craft materials for lowers schools, whiteboards for calssrooms as most of the blackboards have not changed in 40-50 years, toilets so children and staff don’t have to go outside to a latrine +40 degrees on summer and -15 degrees in winter. In addition each year we support local schools and parents with basic educational material and supplies.
Encouraging further education, over the years we encouraged and supported a number of young people to finish universities and colleges. Young people from very poor families which had no future now have better paid jobs, a future and are able to help their families as well.
Building playgrounds for the children most of the children are required by the families to work either the land or look after the animals from a very young age and most of them have no sense of a childhood as we know it or never stepped on a playground. We helped to build a few playgrounds so the children can have a few hours of a normal childhood being able to play.
Christmas for Children
As you may well have read on the 'Adopt a Friend' page, a Christmas meal was organised for (and was enjoyed by) those supported under the 'Adopt a Friend' programme. In addition to this, the children did not lose out as Christmas presents were distributed to children through all the local schools around Carand. We also gave presents to the children who come from poor families in the more rote areas around Carand.