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A tribute to Manuela, a wonderful volunteer and friend to CHW

A Tribute to Manuela


Written by Catherine Franks

We were so sad to hear the news that Manuela, one of CHW’s volunteers from Brasov, Romania, passed away earlier this month.

Manuela was always very keen and willing to help CHW, in any way that she could.

Before the pandemic, she used to organise collections of items to donate to our local partner organisations in Brasov County. These collections included clothes, books, school stationery, food, hygiene products, blankets, and one time, even sweets for Easter. A couple of times there were larger items too, including a mattress, bed clothes, a cot and a fridge!

Manuela supported a few of our partner projects in Brasov and the one she donated to the most was Refugiu. Robert, the Head of Refugiu, would collect the items and distribute them to the families in a village, where his organisation works.

Here are just a few highlights of posts from CHW’s Facebook page, showing some of these collections over the years:

Facebook Post 1

Facebook Post 2

Facebook Post 3

Manuela was also willing to help with translations too, on the few occasions that we needed any documents to be written in Romanian.

Some of our volunteers and Trustees, who visited the projects in Romania, met Manuela in Brasov.

A few years ago, Gabriela, who worked at one of our partner organisations in Argentina, volunteered at the projects in Romania. Gabriela had wanted to see some cultural sites around Brasov, and over two weekends, Manuela took the time to show Gabriela and me various places around the city.

Manuela and Gabriela

Gabriela and Manuela at the steps leading to the White Tower in Brasov.

I first met Manuela when she was running an internet cafe in Brasov. We began talking and she was interested in finding out more about CHW. These were during the early days of the charity, so Manuela was one of our first volunteers. Manuela later became an English tutor and continued to give her time to help CHW.

Manuela was featured in a Facebook post on one of CHW’s anniversaries here, and a collection she ran was mentioned in our report for a previous project on GlobalGiving here.

Manuela had such a big personality. She had a great sense of humour and she was very witty. I had many wonderful, and entertaining, conversations with Manuela.

Any time I visited Brasov, I would meet up with Manuela. It is hard to believe that I will never see her again. Manuela had let me know during the year that she had health problems, but even then, she went forward with a practical and positive attitude.

Manuela and Catherine

Meeting up with Manuela a few years ago, in front of the big Christmas tree in Brasov.

I will also miss the messages I used to receive from Manuela. She knew that I always liked learning more words in Romanian. No matter the subject of the message, she would often add a Romanian phrase at the end, with a translation, so that I could learn more of the language.

I am very grateful that Manuela was part of CHW. Her enthusiasm, dedication, kindness and humour will be greatly missed.

Manuela will stay in the thoughts, memories and hearts of each person whose life she touched.

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