CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPEAN MINISTRIES LTD (CEEM)
UK Registered Charity (No: 1122115)
The CEEM Team consists of: Directors – Mike Day, John Law and Terry Rugg.
We are a charitable trust which was formed from the former Footprints East organisation so we could better help in the supplying of practical and humanitarian aid to the poor and needy people in the former Soviet block countries. In recent years this has almost exclusively concentrated on Moldova, which is by far the poorest country in Europe. We do this through the local Baptist churches as this makes sure that the goods and services are delivered to the people in the greatest need. We are also looking to build up the local economies so that in the long term they can become self-sufficient. This can be through help with Agriculture, Medical and Education and other local industry.
We have been involved with several inter-linked projects summarised in the chart below, those in bold type have been our priorities.
Many people living in villages have large areas of land and spend much of the summer months growing food to store for wintertime. We have helped them by testing and introducing new varieties, distributing seed from the UK and Moldova, supplying polythene tunnels (courtesy of NIAB, Cambridge), trying to introduce new crops and holding an annual seminar to discuss varieties and growing techniques.
The population of Moldova is only around 3 million and of these approximately one million are working abroad and sending money back to Moldova to support their families. Children are often left with aged relatives who can struggle with ill health of weakness and may not be able to look after the youngsters very well. UNESCO used to run schemes to support these children but several years ago this support was stopped and the care passed to village mayors or churches.
In two of the villages we support the churches run after school care called "MEAL DEAL". Children come to the churches after school and are helped with homework, given a meal, play games, enjoy craft activities and are taught Bible lessons. This might be the only good meal of the day for some of these and the poorest even take dried bread home for later.
In Burlacu, one of these villages this work is headed up by Ghenadie and Anna who have recently finished Bible College and backed up by two or three ladies cooking. They have 60 children attending each session and a waiting list of similar length.
CEEM have supported this project for several years and have been encouraged that another "MEAL DEAL" has just started in Hirtop about 30 minutes away.