I had a great couple of weeks.
Daniela – one of the Vice-Presidents of a major bank in Romania – one of the nicest people I know (thanks two other dear friends Anca and Catalina) came yesterday with a huge supply of school materials ( enough for 50 children) to donate for the children at the club. She spent time with some of the abandoned children from the ghetto.
My colleagues at World Vision Romania managed to find the resources and came up with a 5 months plan to help the group of Roma that were evicted in Eforie Sud – see http://blog.worldvision.ro/?p=4522
I spent three days in Strasbourg and I had some of the most pragmatic and efficient meetings with European bureaucrats that I can remember. Very impressed indeed with the new Commissioner for Human Rights – witty and funny but also with the people working on child rights more details at http://www.childpact.org/2013/11/27/childpact-meets-the-council-of-europe-representatives/ . It was also very nice to meet with some of my favorite diplomats the ex Commissioner–Thomas Hammarberg – during an Amnesty Sweden round table 10 days ago.
The European Voice give no chance to Viviane Reding to be re-appointed as a European Commissioner. A dangerously self involved and vain politician that used her DGs often as instrument of self-promotion will be finally out – it might be that finally somebody with experience and will to change something to be in charge with Roma issues in the next Commission.
Unexpectedly I received a confirmation from the European Commission as being recognized as an expert in social inclusion by DG Regio. It feels good and considering how hard I am on the European Commission makes me believe that is worth trying to work on improving the way the EU institutions work.
The NGO ERGO (the subject of a informal blacklisting which I wrote about) received an institutional support from the Commission for the next 4 years – this is great as the organization is focused on grassroots work and has a “big mouth” and never shied away of blasting the Commission when needed.
The local administration of Sector 5 decided to help financially the Policy Center – a sign of normality that might give Policy Center the long term sustainability deserved and might give a good idea to those thinking about the best way to finance NGOs. My belief is that institutional support should replace the profoundly damaging project approach that is predominant at this moment.
Today I am going shopping for winter boots and clothes with three of the poorest children that come to basketball and next week together with one of the people I like the most (Catalina) we will hopefully be able to get another 10-12 children covered for winter.