International Roma Day
You have to be careful what you read in the news. It can give you a very unbalanced perspective on things. Today as I sat in a multi-agency round table meeting to discuss Roma issues in a village school near Jajce I caught myself thinking: I can't imagine this happening in France. I'm aware this is probably very unfair to all the un-xenophobic French whose views are not presented in the British media. However I was struck with the contrast between reading recent stories of deportations and sitting in a room with representatives from the local social services, local government, OSCE, EUFOR and others discussing issues around education with a group of Roma parents. Here were people trying to make life better. That, at least, is the optimistic view. Listening to the realities of the struggles this community faces it's easy to wonder if life will ever change. This evening I read a less than hopeful article about the future of the whole country. With such big problems in need of fixing it begs the question why worry about the little ones. But as a friend said this morning: you have to start somewhere. Where people have started they have made a difference, and when people stop to think about it they recognise that and are thankful. That's the encouragement. There may still be a long road ahead but, one step at a time, life can get better.