Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is supporting the latest visit to Romania by volunteers from the Hands of Hope charity, as they distribute aid, food parcels and Christmas shoeboxes.


Hands of Hope was established in 2005 to provide aid to communities in an area of Romania approximately the same size as the Island. It is a small organisation with four volunteer trustees who work with partner charity Lumina Pentru Copii (Light for Children) in the eastern European country.


The charity was formed after Ruth and Chris Baker, who are trustees, visited a Romanian orphanage in 2003 and decided they wanted to help families living in poverty. Volunteers have visited the country several times a year since to deliver aid, spending several months at a time Dorohoi.


The Steam Packet Company is supporting their latest visit to Romania by helping with the costs of travel for the volunteers and their vehicle between the Island and England. They leave for Romania on November 10th.


‘Unemployment is high and many of the families are trapped in a cycle of poverty,’ Ruth explained. ‘We hope that by enabling the children to get the best education possible that, as adults, they will have a better chance to find employment and support themselves.


‘On this journey we will be taking approximately one tonne of aid, including clothing, shoes, educational equipment and toiletries. As well as overseeing the general work of the charity, our time there will be spent distributing aid, food parcels and Christmas shoe boxes.’


Ruth added: ‘Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has continued to generously assist us, which has been a great help as we pay for travel personally, not from charity funds. I’d like to thank them for their continued support.’


Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Hands of Hope does important work assisting families living in poverty, and we are pleased to be able to play our part in helping the charity continue to deliver essential aid and support.’