In this section we try to answer frequently asked questions about SOS Nachbar.
Do you have a question not answered here? Please send us a short message.

Are you paying expenses or wages?

NO we do not pay anything for administration. 100% of your donations go to Moldova. All expenses for bookkeeping, website maintenance, travel, office material, etc. are paid by the executive committee members


Why is your name SOSNachbar?

Moldova is a European neighbour country and in need of help. We want to express active neighbourhood help with our SOSNachbar (neighbour) as our name.


Can I help in local Projects?

We or our partner organisations are always in Moldova. Just come with us and get started right away. The journey must be financed by yourself.


Do you collect relief supplies?

Would we like to! Unfortunately, this is not possible for a variety of reasons.

  • Initial Situation – There is a great need for second hand donations. Schools, kindergartens and the hospital could use a lot of goods.
  • Implementation – Unfortunately not possible. We have noticed that the bureaucratic hurdles are so great that it is almost impossible to send used goods to Moldova.
  • A partner organization even advises us against it. For example, the penalty for importing second-hand shoes is € 30 per pair.

In the next paragraph we describe the necessary formalities for the importation of relief supplies.

  • The German Foreign Office has published an easy-to-read “leaflet Moldova”. The purpose of this publication is to assist organizations in the delivery of humanitarian relief supplies.
  • Quotation: When carrying out humanitarian transports …. problems often arise, partly due to ignorance, disregard or arbitrary interpretation of import regulations.
  • The most important contact point in Moldova is the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family Protection – Department for the Distribution of Humanitarian Aid (hereinafter referred to as Ministry).

For border crossing the following requirements must be met:

  • Certificate from the Ministry for the Distribution of Humanitarian Aid
  • A detailed list of transported objects must be prepared (type, name, technical characteristics, pharmaceutical form, expiry date, weight, price, dose)
  • All required certificates (depending on the type of goods)
  • Deed of donation (with mention of the donor and the recipient)
  • Exporter registration documents
  • Exact name of the border crossing point
  • Official license plates of the vehicles
  • Customs papers
  • Quality certificate for all goods
  • A detailed list of intended recipients
  • For clothes, a certificate from an official disinfection center must be provided
  • Certificates for all electrical devices (This could be very difficult with used devices)


Important additional regulations:

  • Forbidden are second-hand shoes, used children’s toys, used clothes for children up to 3 years, as well as goods of inferior quality, food whose shelf life is less than 3 months, etc.
  • Special regulations on import of “potentially hazardous” equipment (such as heaters, boilers, appliances) they require a certificate from the “National Institute for Standardization and Measures”
  • For medicines, medical devices etc. is a certificate from the Ministry of Health required
  • Customs procedures for the import of relief goods are to be carried out through special “brokers”.

Update from 22.10.2016: The Moldavian Embassy in Germany points out that import regulations for relief supplies have been relaxed. We will check if this will affect us. http://www.germania.mfa.md/zollbestimmungen.


How can I find out more about SOSNachbar?

We try to update the section “Latest” on regular base and hope to offer you interesting articles on what is currently going on. The Projects section contains what is needed right now. For further information, feel free to contact us.


How are you going to inform about usage of funds?

SOSNachbar will provide detailed information on the funds received and how they where used in future annual reports. We plan to publish a final report in the field of news at each project conclusion.


Ich want to help: How many hours per week should I plan for?

In principle, any help is welcome. As a donor, you have the opportunity to participate in many fundraising campaigns and to assign your time according to your needs.

Members who work in projects: We noticed that there must be a meaningful balance between coordination effort and effective work. We recommend that you are able to provide more than 5 hours per week.


I want to help as an intern / trainee

Unfortunately, we can not offer internships.


ZEWO Certification

Zewo is setting standards for Swiss charities. These standards cover the following aspects: ethics and integrity, corporate governance, efficient use of funds, results, true and fair accounting, transparency, accountability as well as fundraising and communication. ZEWO monitors charities against these standards and award those organizations, which meet their standards with the Zewo-seal.

At the moment we cannot and do not want to spend your money for a ZEWO certification. Certification would require all the cash we currently have on our bank-account. We believe that it is better to use these resources among the needy. Our association was audited by the tax authority Aargau.


Does the board also donate?

Of course, but we do not talk about it. Please note that we regularly travel to Moldova to get first hand insights. We will pay for all travel expenses ourselves.

Observations of a Swiss guy

In this section we want to discuss the cultural differences between Moldova and Switzerland.

Public Transport

It has a bus network in Chişinău, a trip costs 3 Lei most buses are much too small to cope with the rush of passengers. There are no timetables at the stops. The whole thing seems to work randomly. There are taxis, but it’s a matter of luck if you can get one in the outer quarters. Stephan has already experienced twice that there was no taxi, then there is only to walk to the next bus stop, so far and to hope that also a bus with some space comes. This makes it impossible to plan a day as we know it in Switzerland.

Taxi from Telenesti to Chişinău = 1000 lei
Taxi from Chişinău to the airport = 250 Lei
go out for a meal

There are many more women in the restaurant than men, larger groups of women at the tables are the rule. Many men work abroad.

Weather in October

Moldova in early October is a country with large temperature differences. During the day it can easily be up to 19 degrees. At night, however, temperatures fluctuate between 2 and 8 degrees. In Switzerland the heaters would have been in operation for a long time, not so in Moldova. None of the apartments I visited was heated. Wood and coal are too expensive. It applies the rule that it must have 3 days consecutively minus temperatures, then the heating is switched on.

The biting wind, on the other hand, turns a sunny and warm day into a cold nightmare. Now we both have a cold and suffer from a sore throat. Taking a windbreaker with you is good, but having it with you every day is even better. No matter what the weather forecast says. Sweaters and thick wool socks have to be with us, too, otherwise the evenings in the unheated at home are a bit unpleasant.

Drinking water

The water pipes are corroded almost everywhere and have exceeded their maximum service life for a long time. Water is mixed with sand and is not suitable for drinking. Drinking water must therefore always be bought from the shop.


Normally nothing for sensitive noses. In the villages outdoor toilets are the rule. Otherwise the usual toilet rule applies as in most southern countries, poor sewerage and lack of water pressure do not allow toilet paper to be thrown into the toilet bowl. Please always use the available buckets for disposal.