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The Romanian Aid Foundation Newsletter

May 2003


Spring in northeastern Romania

Spring came late to the Dorohoi area of northeastern Romania. After a long and harsh winter with temperatures below –30C, the spring lasted about a week and then the hot dry weather of summer arrived. This means that the time for preparing the ground and planting has been too short for many people, with the implication that the harvest will be poor. This area urgently needs rain but so far the rain has been too little and extremely localised.

Tons of beansDuring the spring we were able to deliver some 55 tons of clothing, food and other aid to Dorohoi. This included many tons of clothing which have been prepared by the packing teams during the winter period. It has been more than six months since we were last able to make a delivery. In the UK warehouse these goods have been stacked up to 15 feet high whilst the warehouse in Dorohoi was empty, with many people waiting for this aid to arrive. Now the shop has been restocked and the distribution of aid has resumed. The deliveries also included 21 tons of tinned beans (beans and pasta shapes were very much-appreciated last year) which will help people to feed themselves until this year’s crops are ready.

Many thanks to those who have helped to prepare the aid items, sorting, storing and loading them, together with those who have helped to sponsor the vehicles to deliver the aid. Once again this has been a magnificent team effort with each individual contribution helping to make it all possible.

Last month's "Raise the Roof" table-tennis marathon netted over £1,250 towards the replacement roof for the warehouse in Dorohoi. Again, many thanks to the players and, of course, their sponsors.


Beni writes from Dorohoi ...

We thank God for His help as we still could help a lot of desperately needy people. It has been the longest and coldest winter in the last 35 years in Romania. It was very hard for Romanians to cope with the cold and we had many people coming to the office applying for food or money to buy wood for heating, many people needed medicine. Most of the people from the town couldn't heat enough their houses and many children have got chest problems, also with the long winter the immunity of people become very bad. We still had tinned beans to give to people from the last year, which has been very appreciated. Every morning when I came to the office there were already 40 - 50 people waiting for having some tinned beans.

We are very happy because this month we received another load of clothes, bedding, etc from RoAF and could start again helping the families we registered. Because of very many applicants we could register only the families which did not receive help from us in the last one year. Also we started to make some flour from our corn harvest of last autumn and donate to the families.

Biro-tica (Office Equipment)Laurentiu with computer monitor

Laurentiu has prepared some computers, which we donated to some people. Also we have donated one computer to a school. We have been able to sell some stuff through the shop, which I think works very well. He has done also some repairs to fax machines, computers and the photocopier from the office.

Farm Services

Nelu has done all the repairs to the tractors and other equipment with his father and was able to start the agriculture work campaign of this spring. He has brought some income and already has done some work for free to some families. Hopefully with the new engine of the combine harvester he will repair the combine and be able to use it in the summer.


The shop has done very well all these months, the stock of winter clothes that we had left in the warehouse for the shop and some pieces of furniture helped very much in keeping the shop supplied during last months. This month it has done really well and we hope that having always stuff to put in, the shop will continue to do well. Florentina (the new person who is now in the shop) learned the job easily and I'm pleased with the work she does.


The warehouse is kept well organised by Cornel and Iulian. We had a lot of water coming through the roof in some places, but this has not made any damage to the goods. We will try to organise the warehouse, so there will be enough room for the goods that will be brought in May. I started to do the paperwork for putting the roof on the warehouse, hoping that we will be able to put it on this year. The plot of land has been ploughed, disked and seeded with sunflowers. Some of our trees have been broken by the neighbour when he disked his land. We hope to be able to put the fence to the land this year so we may protect our plot of land and the harvest.

We received always very good things from you; I realise that it involves a lot of work and a lot of time. I want to THANK YOU in the name of all Romanians who receive these goods and all those who receive a comfort from your work.

May God Bless You!

        ... Benoni Mirauta, for Asociatia Neemia 


The Centre of Hope in Dorohoi

Asociatia Neemia works closely with the Centre of Hope in Dorohoi, and we normally include the latest newsletter from Peter, Lesley and Helen with the mailed copy of this newsletter. During May the Centre of Hope has hosted the 2003 RoAF supporters’ visit. This was a very successful week, and we hope to include some individual thoughts in the next newsletter.

Joy in a Box

The Joy in a Box Appeal for Christmas 2003 has been launched. Details of how to become involved have been posted on the gift box website at and the information packs have been sent out to those who have been involved in previous years. These packs are available on request for those who have missed out on the mail shot. Several schools and individuals have registered their intention to send boxes and, indeed, we already have some boxes ready for dispatch in the autumn.

Focus: Farming Services Project, Tataraseni

The farming services project was set up to help villagers to get the most from their land by offering access to mechanical farming methods without having to pay commercial rates or relying on cultivation by horse or hand.

During 2002 the project was able to help some 60 smallholders with the preparation of their land during the spring and autumn periods. In the spring, some 35 hectares were prepared by harrowing and drilling ready for the growing season, whilst 48 hectares were ploughed in the autumn. This generated a significant level of income for the project and helped to support the work of aid distribution in Dorohoi. This spring some 40 hectares have been prepared for regular customers whilst a further 6 hectares have been worked for those unable to pay.Combine engine being loaded

During previous summers the project has also had the use of a combine to help with the harvest. This is often the most productive period of the year, with tight time-scales, but last year the combine engine proved unserviceable. Thanks to some diligent effort by one of our supporters, we have been able to acquire a replacement engine for the combine and, hopefully, this essential piece of equipment will be operational again by the time that the next harvest is due.

The farming services project is run by Nelu Pricopi, with voluntary assistance from his father as mechanic and second driver, whilst his sister Anca undertakes the bookkeeping and helps to distribute aid within the villages of Tataraseni and Balinti

Opportunities to help.

RoAF continues to value the work that is being done by our growing band of supporters. However, there are still opportunities for others to get involved. More packers are needed in order to keep up with the increasing amounts of clothing and other items that were are receiving. Packers can either join in with the team at Horley Baptist Church on Friday afternoons, on Saturday mornings at the warehouse or take sacks of clothing home to pack at their leisure.


This newsletter is published on behalf of the Romanian Aid Foundation and Asociatia Neemia.  For further information or to be added to the newsletter mailing list please use our response page or write to us using the contact details below: 

The Romanian Aid Foundation

179 Albert Road, Horley, Surrey RH6 7HS, UK; 


The Romanian Aid Foundation is a UK Registered Charity No. 1060828. 


Asociatia Neemia

Str Spiru Haret nr 9, Dorohoi, Botosani 6850, Romania.  

Telephone 0231 610059; email: 



This newsletter is  © Romanian Aid Foundation, May 2003.  Link to previous newsletter:  February 2003


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