Baia Mare is the biggest city in Northern Romania. Although it sounds like the city name is connected with the sea, it means Big Mine – as the city has a long tradition of mining silver, gold and copper. Nowadays the mines are officially closed, but in fact there are still people illegally collecting and then selling copper. In the old social housing buildings nearby the mine lives a gipsy community. They pay symbolic amount of 50 Lei per month for the rent. Daniel, our couch surfing host, told us that during the mining period the river was one of the most polluted rivers in Romania. Luckily it is getting better and environmental balance is recovering.
In Bucharest we met our team member Teona from Georgia, who joined our trip and will continue journey together with us. Bucharest is a very dynamic European city, also facing some challenges and borders. After meeting NGO Romani CRISS, we rediscovered that despite abolishing the official borders, people still create new gaps among them. Romani CRISS is working on the problems of Roma people Romania wide 21 years long already. However, problems are not solved and cases of hate crime and use of hate speech is still very common in everyday life.
Only in frames of one project Romani CRISS had almost 20 000 beneficiaries, but without unifying society around the problem, solutions are still difficult to find.