Happy things – Christmas 2012

A video with most of what happened last week – some very happy children here . The images from school 148 and from the UK Ambassador’s residence are  the ones missing.

The president of the Romanian Football Federation (RFF) and people in the RFF management spent a few hours with some of our children from Ferentari. Mircea Sandu , Dumitru Mihalache (director), Adrian Pigulea (grassroots manager), Emil Sandoi (coach of the Romanian National Team U21) were among those that watched their show and cheered for them. The president served the children, helped them with their food laughed with them and made fun of himself.  Gave them gifts – really nice ones. We had some very happy children there.

This year we did some good things with the RFF. Some of the best known Romanian Footballers played with our children. Over 100 of them watched the Romanian National team playing on one of the nicest arenas in Eastern Europe against Netherlands and Belgium.

The Dutch and the British Ambassadors helped a lot as did many others that volunteered for us during the year.

The guys at ARDOR (Romanian Debate Association) were great (thanks Monica and Bianca) as were the dance trainers from Trouble. Gianluca our Italian basketball coach as well as the Artesania Basketball club – Bogdan Lavric – amazingly kind people. UEFA’s guys William and Patrick as usually sent us equipment and whenever we needed they did their utmost to help . Alex Varzaru from Kamikaze is making a difference too.

The year was a tough one. We struggled as our funding was cut to a third compared with the previous year but the team stayed together. Salaries are crappy but people are great. Passionate, nice, great sense of humor and an amazing ability to put up with stress and situations that have hardly any resemblance to normality. They also somehow manage to put up with me. The volunteers were great and I wish I would know to show better how much we appreciated their help.

The end of the year was good. Three great shows in the schools we work (136, 2 and 148) one at the residence of the British Ambassador, one at UNICREDIT one at BCR and the one at the FRF gave us the opportunity to show off how great the children are. The guys at METRO as were those at BRENNTAG were also very kind and gave us gifts as they did in the last years. More than 170 children most of them from the ghetto received gifts due to the kindness of everybody mentioned above.

The children live in one of the worst areas of Bucharest. Most of them lived trough things that most people cannot even think about. Abject poverty, drugs, violence, parents in prison, no parents, begging, abuse, garbage, syringes and rats everywhere…

People used to tell us when we started that there is no hope that what we do will have any good results. Less than three years passed; nowadays they think differently.

I am tired of people telling me what we cannot do. Saying that nothing changes. That Romania is a crappy place. That things are bad and there is no chance for change.

Sure thing there is nobody perfect. But there is lots of good in people around. It takes patience and hard work to build enough trust for people to dare to show their goodness. It is well worth it. You should try it. Happy holidays !

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