Many Canadians anticipate winter and what comes with it—relaxing evenings in a cozy house, a fire to ward off chills, hot chocolate, and falling snow. But in Eastern Europe, winters aren’t welcomed with such anticipation.
In Romania, firewood prices are steadily increasing, and many people in poor rural areas wonder how they will stay warm this winter. Will they be able to afford firewood without giving up their food money?
Their options are limited. Romanian law limits the amount of firewood that can be cut and requires a permit to cut it. Wood is available to buy but is unaffordable for many rural families. In some cases, natural gas would actually be cheaper than wood. Unfortunately though, it’s usually available only in cities and larger villages.
To create a bit of heat in the bitter cold, some people save corncobs, dried cow manure mixed with straw, sunflower stalks, or corn stalks. Many of them are able to heat only one room in their houses. They wear heavy clothing and pile on blankets to stay warm.
Ilie Iulian and his wife Liliana have 10 children. They live in rural southern Romania where jobs that provide a steady income are almost nonexistent. However, Ilie wants to do what he can to provide for his family. He does construction and other jobs when he gets a chance. Our staff in Romania offered the Iulian family some funds from the Warm-A-Family program for firewood. This gift will help keep them warm for two to three months, depending on how cold the winter is.
The Warm-A-Family program also helps families in Moldova and Ukraine. Thanks to you, our generous supporters, hundreds of Christian families in these impoverished countries receive stoves, funds for utilities, and firewood to warm their homes another winter.