Dear friends and supporters
It doesn't seem a moment since it was Christmas does it and now it's Easter! Just thinking back to Christmas for a moment we want to thank you for all the support given that enabled us to provide 520 Christmas gifts for children. The majority of those children would not receive anything other than the gift that came from Hands of Hope and most of the children were from Roma communities who are among the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in Europe. We need to say a big 'Thank you' to Victor and Nadia our Romanian volunteers, who organised the buying of the items in Romania and distributing them in Jibou and the surrounding villages. It had been planned that Karen and a colleague Sue would travel to Jibou in December 2015 to help, but due to ill-health Karen had to pull-out at the last moment and the trip was cancelled but all being well she plans to assist with Christmas presents in December 2016. Please consider if in the coming months you could raise some money towards presents for next Christmas (Only nine months away!) Staying on the theme of Christmas we were also able to provide some additional seasonal items for those who regularly receive monthly food parcels such as chicken, oranges and cake for the Christmas period. Due to the donations we received we were also able to provide 25 new families with a food parcel for Christmas and as with the children's gifts most of the families were Roma.
Now, looking forward to the future, Sarah plans to visit Jibou at Easter with a friend Derek: they are hoping to complete some practical tasks while they are there (using Derek's decorating talents!) as well as catching up with everyone. Sarah also hopes to use some money that has been donated to buy some wood for widows as most of the Roma widows in Jibou use a wood-burning stove to cook on; imagine that-having to ensure the stove is cleaned out, up and running for a while before you can make a hot drink in the morning never mind cook breakfast. Needless to say a constant supply of wood is necessary. It is this very practical type of support that Hands of Hope likes to give where we have the resources; please consider whether you could support us on a regular basis so we can do more things like this.
We are always keen for people to see first-hand what we are doing in Jibou so if this is something you would like to do please get in touch so we can discuss it further: Just to let you know those travelling to Jibou (Including Sarah and Karen) cover their own travel expenses but we can provide you with somewhere to stay. The next opportunity would probably be December 2016 so please give it some consideration.
Thanks once again for all your prayers and support; your assistance is vital for Hands of Hope to keep moving forward and serving those children and families who have so little in comparison to us here in the UK.
Karen(On behalf of the Hands of Hope team)