Transylvania - Giving something back

Giving something back

Nicolae Ceauşescu sucked the lifeblood out of Transylvania with more vicious enthusiasm than any vampire. The ruthless megalomaniac’s excesses, which lasted for almost a quarter of a century, drained the country of its physical, spiritual and national resources. With his warped ideas about modernising the country and paying off the massive national debt, he made ordinary Romanians live in terribly difficult conditions.

The weakest members of society, the sick, elderly and unwanted minorities such as the Roma, suffered the most. Ceauşescu’s regime rationed electricity, relentlessly persecuted the ethnic Hungarians of Transylvania and, like all communist regimes in central Europe, damaged the environment with greedy, short-sighted factory projects and wasteful collective farms.

After the 1989 revolution, many charitable organisations were set up with local or foreign initiatives to restore society to something resembling normality, improve the environment, give advice and support to addicts, or help the long-neglected orphanages where many children were infected with HIV through a bizarre and tragically misguided theory about blood transfusions. The region still needs a lot of help and advice. Many of the charities are faith-based and as such have quite strict criteria for acceptance.

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