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05.07.2014 ZdravenMediator.net
   Campaign of the National Network of Health Mediators

   Mutual Action Targeting Racism, Intolerance and Xenophobia

   Who could tell us who are the good people? 

   The tragedy in Varna, Asparuhovo neighborhood, happened on 19 June 2014 - due to heavy rainfall tidial wave swept away houses, cars, people, animals, took victims... 

   In the first hours after the tragedy nobody mentioned that Roma people are among the victims. Media and “influential” journalists flooded on television and internet with well-known conclusion: Roma are the main villain - they cut the forests illegaly, they build illegal houses, etc. This surge of staggering lack of empathy, sensitivity and compassion for the victims showered us from both - computer and TV screen at the same time. 
Later, the producers stilled the cynical behaviour on the screen and hid it behind a mask of compassion. They probably hoped that wandering spectator won’t notice this change of the masks. However, it was late - we were flooded by mud and silt although we were hundreds of miles away from Asparuhovo, sitting in our comfortable couches. 
   In the meantime, while polititians and local authorities blamed each other and media induced our society against Roma, Health mediators from Varna were saving lives. No one will ever know about them. They acted immediately, without thinking about the risks, their own children and relatives, whithout suggestion that while they were saving lives, someone had the audacity and cynicism to blame them because they are Roma too. 
   Traditionally Roma are guilty for all bad things that happen in Bulgaria (from time to time theis blame is shared with refugees and foreigners), but at the same time Roma people saved lives. Are they tha same Roma - who is a bad and who is a good Roma? 

   Wich famous journalist or speaker will share with the wandering spectator the criteria to discern good from bad Roma? 

   Are those who blame randomly feeling comfortable? 

   Are the listeners of this irresponsible speech feeling comfortable? 

   Jeman is Roma, Health mediator, who - without thinking about the comfort of the speakers and listeners, the cynicism of media and politicians - was saving lives during the disaster. He was saving peoples’ lives without asking who is bad and who is good. His coleagues from all over the country are Roma too. They are educated Roma. They are decent Roma. They work hard each day and are trying to deal with the chaos in the health system. They are trying to bring the the health care system closer to the people in need. There aren’t advertisment campaigns, articles in the media for this kind of Roma. There aren’t praised for their work. They, the Roma Health mediators all started joint, voluntary action to help people - quietly, without publicity, but with real actions. 

   Meet the Health mediators, seek them, speak with them and decide whether they are guilty for the disasters, unemployment, illiteracy, crimes. Anyone who meet Jeman, Velcho, Natasha, Sasho, Eleonora, Petar, Anife, Rusi, Beihan, Asen, Milyo, Valyo, Gergana could learn something from them! Journalists, politicians, representatives from local authorities could learn a lot from them too! 

   Jeman is not an exeption. There are more than 150 Health mediators - Roma like him. There are a lot of students - young, well educated boys and girls, who are not an exeption. There are a lot of Roma - decent, working, educated, empathetic and compassionate. The journalists, speakers and polititians are not familiar with them - so they are not supposed to accuse frivolously Roma people for all evil things in the world. 

   There are a lot of people like Jeman! 

   He is not an exeption! 

   Open your senses and accept them! 

   Open your senses and support them! 

   Open your senses! 

   The campaign WE ARE NOT AN EXEPTION is realised within the project ROMA MATRIX. National Network of Health Mediators is a partner-organization jointly with other 20 organizations from 10 EU countries, where 85% of Roma people in Europe live. All partner organizations are united in a common cause to stimulate tolerance and fight against xenophobia. The project ROMA MATRIX is funded by Programme “Fundamental Rights and Citizenship” of the European Commision.


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