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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