SEPTEMBER VISIT TO MOLDOVA – Delivering Dignity & Hope
26th September 2019
Early on in September I went to Moldova along with our Dutch partner charity to visit projects we support in the country. The trip was over three extremely busy days. I visited numerous projects and families who are supported by Goods For Goods and also distributed goods whilst on the trip.
I visited Olga and her daughter Darya living in the village of Lipovanka, near to Beltsy in Moldova. Darya’s dad left to find work abroad a long time ago. Sadly, he doesn’t support them financially and has lost contact with them completely.
Their home is dilapidated, but spotlessly clean inside. It reminded me of a "Fiddler on the Roof" house, with chickens and geese in the garden. In the winter, where temperatures plummet to -15C, they sleep near to the wood burner to keep alive. Olga is a trained hairdresser, but living in a tiny village, deep in the heart of the countryside, with a 5 kilometres walk from the main road, there is no work for her at all. So this little family is a family at risk. Sadly, one of many. They survive by selling fruit from their garden, and fresh eggs.
Seeing such poverty on this visit with our charity partners, Max & Esther Veenstra, - even in hospitals and a hospice, we committed ourselves to send one truck, every month. To do this we will need to raise £4,000 per truck.
We brought them clothing, wellies, shoes, and large toy bunny rabbit, which she named Rosie.
The goods we deliver are surplus to our UK donor companies’ requirements; taking up valuable space in their warehouses. So, this is a perfect win-win, as we are effectively helping people in desperate need of these items, and also companies who need to dispose of them in an ethical and sustainable manner, fulfilling their zero waste policies and protecting their brand.
Actually, the last time I visited Moldova, nine years ago, and it was to deliver three Renault passenger vans for the community centre. How thrilled I was to see those vans in use last week, bringing elderly and disabled clients to enjoy the warmth and care of their local community centres and also delivering the essential goods that we send from the UK, which are donated by our fantastic UK partnering companies.
We love our company donors, who donate overstocked goods to our cause. David & Sara Sanders-Smith of Result Clothing, together with their shippers, Simarco, have been supporting our charity with stock for several years now and recently supplied us with caps and sun-hats for adults and children in Lesbos, following our SOS to them. So, I was truly thrilled to personally distribute some of their unwanted merchandise in Moldova on this trip, and to see the light and joy in the recipients' eyes.
Working with reliable and trusted charity partners overseas, we are able to deliver practical help; dignity and hope. We are able to reach the most vulnerable people who have no financial means to buy clothing, footwear, blankets, hygiene products, or toys for themselves and their families.
A few facts and figures about Moldova:
• Moldova is a small nation, it has 3.5 million residents (UN, 2016).
• It is experiencing a 'brain drain', this occurs when skilled workers leave a country and seek employment abroad.
• 9.6% of the population was living in absolute poverty (UN, 2016).
• Around 19% of rural Moldovans live in poverty compared to 5% who reside in urban areas (UN, 2016).
• 0.1% of the population live on £1.53 a day in 2017 respectively (World Bank 2017).