Trying to make the future of Romania without rubbish!
`A Future Without Rubbish` is meant to be an educational process to assist locals to realise what great opportunities they have in a clean Transylvania
It was a pleasure to drive up to, and across, Transylvania with Luke Douglas Home, trustee of the multi-award winning Mihai Eminescu Trust charity (MET) www.mihaieminescutrust.ro , and also leader of Clear Public Space Ltd (CPSL) www.clearpublicspace.org .
Their plans are to help enable a sea-change, towards a cleaner Transylvania; for it to become a place without rubbish.
Their project "Un Viitor Fara Gunoi" means in English, "A Future Without Rubbish" - it is meant to be an educational process to assist locals to realise what great opportunities they have in a clean Transylvania. The locals’ biggest assets are the historical, and present, culture / environment of Transylvania; and these are damaged by the dire rubbish situation.
The background story is that his mother, Jessica Douglas-Home started the MET after first visiting Transylvanian Villages in the late 80's. She found out about former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's plans to destroy the Saxon Villages, and she started MET to save them ,and she became part of a Europe-wide movement to stop the ‘systematisation’ of Romanian villages, under Ceausescu. Alerting Britain’s Prince Charles in this instance in 1986 she might have started his love affair with Transylvania!
Anyhow, MET did a great job in the villages and many of them are now saved and regenerated with the great help of MET- the MET restores buildings, it trains villagers in building, craftsmanship and cooking, and it funds new, independent businesses.. The finest example, because they have worked there longest – for well over 20 years – is Viscri, the small Saxon village in Transylvania. It is a good example of their success: it thrives - it has twenty times more bathrooms in the village than it did twenty years ago. They hope the same future awaits the 12 or so villages they work in – Alma Vii taking centre stage at present. That is where they are throwing most time, money and energy in 2015 and 2016.
In February 2016, Luke Douglas Home and I toured Transylvanian villages to analyse the rubbish situation there, so he could establish a model that villages might adopt in 2016.
He discovered and thought of a workable way forward and will be presenting this to the Romanian National Tourist Authority.
After he returned to London, I asked him:
- “What do you think will make a better future for Transylvanian Villages?”
- “The future is so bright for these villages. And this is not for any ONE particular reason: the environment or the historical buildings, or even their amazing history and people….. or even the food – which is becoming really good now that people are discovering that what they have and grow is valuable and delicious: rather than what they buy from shops and supermarkets, is what we all love – so, not for any one reason, but because of the combination of all. And now that the political situation is really improving the higher ground of success will be achieved ….. for the long term: adherence to the rule of law etc.”
Luke had meetings with friends, local authorities and Mayors in Brasov, Biertan, Valea Viilor Sibiu and Cisnadie. He discussed with teachers from the local schools and met the kids from Viscri ,Vallea Viilor, Cisnadie. All this was in order to have a clearer, more local image about what MET/CPSL can start for the future generations in (and visiting) Transylvania. "Un Viitor Fara Gunoi". “A future without rubbish!”
We will watch with interest their next moves! It was a ‘rubbish’ tour, but great! :)
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