November 2009: Newsletter

Dear friends and supporters,

Welcome to the Autumn Hands of Hope newsletter! It’s been some time since we wrote, so there are lots to update you on.

Hands of Hope Romania were thrilled recently when one of our Trustees, Sarah White, gained a scholarship award from Edge Hill University where she is presently studying. Sarah was presented with her award by psychologist and broadcaster, Professor Tanya Byron for the charity work she does with Hands of Hope Romania.

The first ‘Walk of Hope’ took place this September. Overall the event raised £1300 for Hands of Hope, and over and above this amount, £1620 was raised for other charities. We hope to make this an annual event in order to fund-raise for Hands of Hope. Time to start training for next year now!

Over the summer Sarah spent six weeks out in Jibou from July to September. For the first week of her stay she was accompanied by our chair of Trustees Karen and later on by a friend from Oaks church in Skelmersdale, Irene. It was Irene’s first visit to Romania and she obviously enjoyed herself as she is looking forward to going back again!

Sarah helped different people in a variety of ways while she was in Jibou, from teaching games to children, advocacy work and financial advice to practical help; she even used her professional nursing skills in administering medical help.

In early August Sarah and Rodica, one of our Romanian volunteer workers, took a young blind boy Marius to hospital to see an orthopaedic surgeon as besides his vision, he is also semi-paralysed. As well as providing financial assistance for the several journeys to and from the hospital, Sarah made sure he had all the items he need for his stay in hospital, such as pyjamas. Rodica and Sarah assisted the boy’s mother to understand what would be involved in the operation by ensuring she understood the medical procedure. Their involvement also helped to ensure the boy and his mother did not experience any discrimination due to being Roma as unfortunately there can be discrimination and prejudice within the health service.

In September Marius had his operation, which thankfully appears to have been a success. Hands of Hope are glad to have been able to support Marius and his family at this difficult time.

Sarah was able to give financial assistance to help an older woman gain medical treatment with severe pressure sores. Sarah acted as an advocate for the woman in gaining medical treatment, and Hands of Hope were able to financially assist to ensure she had medication for a month’s treatment.

While she was in Jibou Sarah was able to see first hand the success of the weekly children’s group, run by volunteers Solomon and Rodica where sometimes there are so many children it is hard to fit everyone in their home! One day Sarah and Rodica took a group of twenty children to the local football stadium where they enjoyed a game of Rounders and a picnic!

During the first week of Sarah’s visit, she met with the local social worker, along with Karen in order to build a greater working relationship between Romanian Social Services and Hands of Hope. They discussed how we could all work more effectively together to deliver aid and support in the most effective way.

Besides the activities over the summer, our other activities continue as usual such as the children’s work run by volunteers Victor and Nadia in villages outside of Jibou, which Hands of Hope supports by assisting with transport costs and costs of children’s materials. The regular food parcel support to widows and widowers continues fortnightly as it has done throughout the year.

It may not be Christmas just yet, but Hands of Hope are working hard to have all our shoeboxes packed and ready to send over to Jibou for the end of November. We hope to send five hundred this year, our most ever. A big thank you to our secretary Jean who has put in such a huge amount of work in working to achieve this target.

Thank You!

The Hands of Hope Team