FROM GRAVES TO CRADLES

€2,440 of €15,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 71 months
Vandana and Daniel saved Florence's Swiss-owned, so-called 'English' Cemetery in Florence. It had been abandoned. They gardened, restored its ironwork, cleaned its tombs, and earned enough in five years to build their home in Romania, with three rooms and four windows, on land they bought. Vandana, Daniel, their daughters, Alexandra, Elena and Gabriela, and Vandana's mother, Amanda, are Romanian Roma, who were slaves of the nobles and monasteries from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century when Uncle Tom's Cabin was translated into Romanian, and family members were killed in the Holocaust. We called our project 'From Graves to Cradles', as the two parents also made a cradle for their new born, Gabriela. Then disaster struck. The land and house, registered with the city, was taken from them by the rich owners who had had it before Communism. No compensation. They lost everything. They had to return to living in one room with three daughters and the grandmother, paying rent. Vandana is in hospital, unable to speak as I write. Can we make a home possible for them again in time to give Vandana the hope she has lost, she has earned?
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See http://www.ringofgold.eu/house.html and http://www.florin.ms/ChapterLast.html for the story. We find it is not Roma who steal our babies but we who steal theirs. Just as the U.S. Army burned the tipis of the Plains Indians (which were made and owned by the women) so do we Gadge carry out genocide by insisting on housing that is at a standard Roma cannot afford or earn if they are allowed to keep their children legally, while bulldozing what is below standard, which is what they can afford to cobble together for shelter from the elements. Somehow we need to strike a medium between favelas and approved code building while at the same time not dispossessing these people of everything they have, including and especially their children, because they are poor.
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Thank you! Thank you! This is such a difficult story. First they lost the land and house they built themselves, then, renting one room, on Holy Innocents' day Social Assistance and the Police came to take their four daughters, one new-born, because their housing was inadequate. Daniel paid a lawyer €1200,00, all he had, earned from last year's work, to not lose his children and won the case this Monday, but yesterday the Swiss, while saying they would advance the money for building the house, said he would only be paid €5000,00 for a years' work. Thus no income beyond the half for the house materials for a family of six in exchange for the best work I have ever seen done restoring the tombs of our famous Abolitionists in this beautiful cemetery.
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Tourists are annoyed by Roma women begging in the streets of Florence. The Roma women have to leave their babies with ill grandmothers because they would be imprisoned if they begged with them but they have to beg because the roofs of their homes leak or they must pay rent for one room. We seek seed money to start a cooperative amongst Roma families for building prefabricated roofs that can support heavy snow and with drainpipes to protect the walls from water damage. We already have funds for our project of library schools in the homes of young mothers with a stipend so they don't need to beg and to counter the widespread, even adult, illiteracy. But we need this second project also to protect the books and materials from water damage. These are Europe's poorest and largest minority, who, in Romania, were enslaved for centuries, who suffered the Gulags and the Holocaust, receiving no reparations. But who have excellent manual skills now lost amongst most of us. See http://www.florin.ms/ChapterLast.html and http://www.ringofgold.eu
Roma women gardening
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You posted a new update message:

At first we thought Daniel and Vandana could buy a new house instead of renting their one room. But that would have been €25,000,00, which we did not have. Instead, they are buying land for €11,000,00 on which to build a house. At present the six in the family are renting and living in one room for €150,00 a month. Soon we hope this changes. Thank you, all of you!
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Kristina Amadeus
71 months ago

Such devoted work vy Daniel and Vendana deserves support and recognition. I hope they are able to rebuild their home. Blessings!

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€2,440 of €15,000 goal

Raised by 19 people in 71 months
Created January 12, 2013
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HF
€50
Heather Formaini
59 months ago

Thank you, Julia.

€15
Anonymous
59 months ago
KG
€30
Karen Graffeo
59 months ago

Lets us now praise the Roma

€50
Mark Ashley
59 months ago

That a cemetery could support so much life!

PW
€20
Pen Wilcock
59 months ago

God bless his Roma children in Italy.

KA
€150
Kristina Amadeus
59 months ago

Blessings on your good work!

Kristina Amadeus
71 months ago

Such devoted work vy Daniel and Vendana deserves support and recognition. I hope they are able to rebuild their home. Blessings!

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