Romanian Aid Distribution
After the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 the Western World suddenly became aware of the previously hidden problems and poverty in Romania.
Images of children rocking aimlessly in soiled cots, wearing filthy clothing (if any at all) with no possessions or toys in cold, grim institutions could not fail to shock everyone who saw them on TV and in the newspapers. Sadly the scars left by Ceausescu’s regime were not going to be easily healed by the Revolution and despite its best efforts Romania continued to struggle with unimaginable poverty.
ROAD was conceived in 1993 following a visit to Romania by our founder member Nick Mayo. He travelled to Romania with a group of volunteers from Southampton to fit showers in an Orphanage in the town of Jibou, near to Zalau in the County of Salaj, which is in the North Western region of Transylvania – the region ROAD have continued to work in.
Nick returned to Lincoln and his report on the experiences and trauma of that visit inspired him and a number of like minded people to form a group, originally called Romanian Orphanages Aid Distribution or ROAD for short.
The initial work of ROAD concentrated on taking Christmas presents and useful equipment to Orphanages, with group members driving across Europe with a van and Land Rover to distribute the presents.
However we soon became aware of the many needs and great poverty throughout Romania. Many Orphanages were receiving a lot of attention and support by groups from all over Western Europe and beyond, whereas other places such as Institutions for the elderly, hospitals, schools, churches and individual families remained in a desperate situation.
As our work in Orphanages lessened and as the Romanian Government had stated its intention to close many of them down ROAD in 1995 changed its name to Romanian Aid Distribution ( RO being the international abbreviation for Romania conveniently enabled the group to retain its original shortened title of ROAD). We continued to widen the sphere of activities to address many needs throughout the whole community. ROAD became established as an informal group of friends who involved themselves in fund raising activity and collection of useful items, which we then transported to Romania to personally distribute at the point of need.
As our activities grew and more money was raised the decision was taken that ROAD needed to be accountable to those who supported us and so became a Registered Charity with the U.K Charitiy Commission on August 14th 1997.
ROAD members are ordinary people from all walks of life who volunteer and who see that what we do makes a difference. Much of this is due to the fact we take and distribute aid personally to those who most need it and are able to witness the results. We are proud of the fact that ROAD has made a difference to so many people’s lives and yet we are still completely run by volunteers and have no employees. This enables us to be a not for profit charity.