Father Tanase

I have  big respect for the work of Father Tanase in Valea Screzii and Valea Plopului. He and his staff, are helping children and others in need  in a way that you seldom see, these days.  The first time we met he said ” Parle la langue de l’amour, c’est tout”. That means ” Speak the language of love, that’s all”.


His warm soul and big heart melts the cold ice here in Scandinavia.  When people come to donate things for OneItem, they also come with their hearts open and we talk about real, meaningful things. What it means to be human, what it means to act in kindness.



3 thoughts on “Father Tanase

  1. Dear Yvette,

    Please stop this donation campaign which only damages Romania’s image.
    As a Romanian, I feel offended and I think your “bright” ideas will only do harm to our image abroad.
    Focus on our positive side-the traditions, the culture, the food. Stop showing the poverty. I understand that you want to show the Swedish superiority and compassion, but it is not necessary. Ok, you live in a rich country. We understand that. Don’t prove it by throwing at us things Swedish people don’t need. We are not your trash bin and we don’t need financial or material support.
    Your intentions may create a wrong impression in Sweden. You will only confirm that we are still poor, dirty, hungry and needy.
    I am fed up with this stereotype. We don’t need help from the enlighted West. It’s degrading and humiliating. At the beginning of the 90s German people would come here and drop the clothes they no longer wore and recycled their trash here. 20 years later you want to prove the mentality is still the same. We are not a second-hand country.
    We can help Romania’s poorest people. We are proud of our heritage and will not accept donations which will only show how weak and helpless we are.
    I think your initiative is not what Romania needs. You are trying to show the world how needy Romania is. For decades, Romania has been seen as a country unable to help its poorest citizens, a country where you can find orphans for sale, prostitutes, beggars and so on. And this campaign doesn’t seem to show that we have changed, we have evolved and we have learned from our past.
    I am sick of this cliche.
    Please, do not perpetuate this negative image in your country. Swedish people will believe we, the Romanians, like to be helped, to be assisted, we are lazy and we expect other people to come and help us.
    Please, bring your gifts to third world countries. We are somewhat civilized, we are not perfect, but we are striving to have decent lives and we don’t need your donations. Try buiding Gaza or try doing something for people that are really poor and suffer because of war, famine or earthquakes.
    You are welcomed here, as a traveller, as a spokesperson. Try to respect us and treat us as an equal partner. If you come here as a superior donor willing to educate the savage people who abandon their children, I think you haven’t understood us and our history. You got it all wrong. Romania overcame foreign occupation, resisted the Ottomans, the Hungarians, the Russians, Romania is about survival, it’s not about pity or helplessness. We are dignified so don’t humiliate us with your gifts, donations and your hypocrite care. We are better than that.

    With great disappointment,
    a Romanian citizen

    1. Dear ” Romanian citizen”,
      First of all I usually don’t even reply when people don’t mention their identity. I don’t appreciate conversations with “trolls”. However, I find it important to reply to a message as you sent. I posted it on the Bucharest Lounge Facebook page as well and we were discussing it there too. You can go and see for yourself what people said. This one is closest to how I feel myself:

      “As a Romanian, I feel that the person that mailed you is full of it. Romania is behind other nations in the EU, and the first step in becoming better is accepting that. Because only if you accept the true level you are at can you actually lift yourself. If we consider ourselves some amazing cookie where everything is perfect, we will never improve, for we will consider we’re close to perfection, and as such we don’t need to do anything to make ourselves better or the help of those “others”.

      The person who mailed you does not actually understand the situation in some parts of the country. Sure, it’s nice being in a lighted house with running water and electricity, isn’t it? Well not all people in Romania live like that.Is it bad? Yes, it is. But it’s not something you hide under a carpet, it’s something you work to improve. You improve with money/food/dedication etc. The people who will get the help and the organizations who organize it all won’t give a rat’s ass if the help comes from Romania, Sweden or from the penguins in Antarctica. What they will care about is how many lives can be improved and in the end, that’s all that matters.

      So, conclusion is that you should keep doing this if the sole reason that you’re doing it to help the people become self-sufficient and start helping others. And if you want, you should tell the person that there’s no shame in receiving help when in need. There is a shame in needing great help yet turning down help offers out of some misplaced pride and sense of being the best, which is what the person who mailed you did.

      And by the way, if we always went by “oh, but that region needed help more, we’d only improve that region and not others, not ourselves either. Yes, Gaza is a hell-hole, and it would also need help, but that doesn’t mean orphans or homeless in Romania don’t need it either. It doesn’t mean the victims of floods in Netherlands don’t need help or the victims of the nuclear disaster in Japan don’t need help. You choose whom to give help too, in the end, you can’t help everyone.”

      I don’t think you know even half of my story that I have with Romania and its’ people, ever since 1985.
      Romania is part of me.
      If you knew you would not even think of writing as you just did.

      You have no idea my level of knowledge when it comes to history. You don’t even know I am a teacher and taught history and languages.

      Also, I am not ” Sweden ” . I am not a country. I am Yvette and OneItem is something that I started to help those kids in Valea Screzii, as much as I can.

      I will not continue a debate with you.


      1. I respect what are you doing Yvette, you are doing a lot more than many romanian people do, but I subscribe to almost everything this guy says. I’m a romanian and I had enought about all this shit. I live in Scandinavia for 3 years already and you guys live a really comfortable life here indeed, but we don’t need to live like you. People around the world need to understand that “civilized” countryes like USA, Scandinavians, Germany, Russia, Arab countries, all of them had and still have a strong interest for Romania and all of them contribute to the coruption and poverty in Romania today!! No goverment really want to help improving the situation! We people fighted with all this scumbags generations after generations and we will never stop!
        Please change the perspective about how you promote Romania and what kind of help we really need, because we really do not need what other people thow! Those kids need schools and good teachers, jobs for their parents and peace! Nothing else, no used clothes or toys, or other crap like that! Please try to really help by solving the problems if you can do that.

        With respect,

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