Project Romania: Blog One

The time is ticking away and it’s almost time for Montezino to go to Romania. This is her first blog of many that documents her journey. Sit back and enjoy.

stangers

-My first blog piece will be written in honour of the act of kindness found in strangers.

This will be my first addition to the blog of this project, I have barely started and already faced some layers of stigma and ignorance. This discovery has baffled me, and left me wandering the streets of Bergen trying to figure out how to solve this without angrily attacking the world with profanities.

I think art should be embraced in such a sense that it should give a voice to those unable to speak their harsh reality, in order for us to understand. Often, like many others do, I will look around myself and observe. I will notice drug addicts scream out sorrow and frustration on the streets, being ridiculed, because they don’t know how to articulate themselves, crumbling under the pressure of their harsh reality and life stories. I used to always notice this girl with short hair and the saddest eyes I ever saw. Once I was sitting at the bus stop, and she asked a guy for money, he told her to get a life. I think that her day must have been particularly hard on her, because she would always walk away without uttering a word the other times this would happen. But this particular day she screamed, “Come back to me when you have been molested by your father for thirteen years, then we can talk”. She quickly turned and before I could utter a word, she ran down the streets crying. They all have the same thing in common, they don’t get heard.

Why do I mention these things; why should we feel the need to write the truth, why do we feel the need to create art? Why do I want to go to Romania to work with disadvantaged children?

strangers

 

Because these are the people too tired to speak up for themselves, but through their actions they show us why we need the spoken word. Because these children in Romania have enough trying to deal with life. These children are our future and if we don’t step up and do something, then their future will be silenced intact with their voice. If we cannot speak for those who can’t we will feed society with more ignorance and silence. While they drown in a reality that we are so lucky not to live. Don’t ever fool yourself by thinking that silence is a virtue, but rather embrace the intricacy of finding virtue through the art of putting words together.

I realised by going to Romania, I could not do this project spreading the word alone in the way these children deserve it to be done. So talking with the co-founder of PoetsIn I got her full support in going wild writing, and hours on top of hours of this sweet English accent was saying go for it! Go for it! We’ve got your back! Do it! We’re here. And I realised something. All of a sudden, by the support of this sweet being and amazing organisation I had the perfect opportunity to be a voice for those who struggle. I had the perfect opportunity to write the truth. I had the perfect opportunity to show what living under these conditions is like, I had the perfect opportunity to share the changes I as human being will feel when faced with a dose of reality. All of a sudden, I had the perfect chance to create something real for someone who needs it. Not only that, as an addition to educate, I could raise awareness and as a bonus, I did not have to do this journey alone; it kind of turned into a we. I will admit that I am petrified of failing those around me. But five minutes ago I got a donation with the message saying “This charity is just beautiful! Keep doing what you do”. I don’t think people understand that this also provides me with courage and faith. And I don’t think you can do things like this without people around you, saying, “Hey! Go for it, sweet,” English accent or not! Or by kind gestures and encouragement. “Keep doing what you do”. And the fact that this is from the kindness of strangers it’s so touching that I am amazed by the strength and character that is found in people around this world. Which today was really needed.

strangers

I woke up to degrading comments towards this project based on the nationality of these children, and I have noticed some scepticism towards what this project is in forms of small remarks or avoidance, I have noticed people being sceptic towards doing charity work, in the sense that it comes with costs, like the costs are something that defines the value of a human life. What gets to me is how this project seems to give people the “freedom” to be sceptic or straight-out racist. These comments and scepticism made me insecure – wondering what people might think about me, and I felt like I was doing something wrong, then waking up to direct racial comments today, not even worthy of being uttered in words here, I got so sad. I spoke with several people about my frustrations and some of the advice I got was to accept reality and that it’s better to be quiet. Which made me angry because of the conundrum I understand why people feel like that.

I have been one of these children needing the love of someone who was not even mine by blood. So, I have to admit, it got very personal. Because I was lucky enough to be granted these two amazing care-takers that gave me faith in myself and so much love and understanding, that they were able to turn this angry little being that did not want to exist into someone who would come to love life. Which is what I want to give back. By the simplicity of empathy and understanding, they showed me that when we are granted with opportunities and love, we ought to give something back to those who don’t, out of respect and gratitude for what we have. And I know by uttering these words alone it might be part of creating a beautiful chain reaction.

strangers

I have to admit that because I was not able to separate and focus properly I was so frustrated that I had to take a walk. Then all of a sudden my phone vibrated and I saw that someone I don’t really know encouraged people to donate, and share links. The day before he had asked someone if they could help me with Hungarian, just constantly adding nudges that would be of help. I scrolled my list and I saw everyone who liked my posts, hearted, shared my posts, I had missed that in those hours focusing too much on the negatives instead of focusing on the main purpose. I got surprised by the fact that I got so overwhelmed by negativity it almost made me lose faith. In spite of having a clear goal. It almost overshadowed the blessing that comes with this project, to convey something sad to something beautiful, to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. To share this experience together, and to raise awareness. The value of this project I realised was not in the amount of negatives as an opposition to the positives. Because in the end what matters are these children. These innocent beings that need to see that someone cares. Which made me feel a bit silly realising that some stupid remarks and attitudes could take my focus away from those who really deserves it.

My conclusion to this weird day is that I have decided that I will use the vulnerability to be loud and fragile at the same time. I honestly feel that the essence of the truth lies within those pieces of our mind. And I honestly believe and hope that by being open and as honest as I can get myself to be without being ashamed, I will be able to honour you and this project in the best way possible. By allowing myself to feel and face the truth no matter if it comes in form of racism or the beauty of your kindness, I will use these emotions and convey them so they can merge into voices of truth on behalf of those who needs to be seen and to promote the value of the strength of words.

I want to thank all of you for liking, commenting, sharing, encouraging, donating. Because in this, you are all a bunch of voices and sunshine in a place where it’s easy to feel that it’s better to be quiet than to stand up for what is right. Thank you for already being a part of this journey, if you don’t stay know you made a difference.


Let’s use our words
To soar up high
Forever reaching butterflies

 strangers

 

Sincerely Frøya Montezino

 

You can donate to this cause by clicking here. Make a difference, give the silent a voice.

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One thought on “The Kindness of Strangers”

  1. I think the kind of negative behavior you describe often comes from people who don’t have a great sense of agency in their own life, and so seek to exert control on others. They know damn well teaching disadvantaged kids is a good thing, and they are ashamed they are too afraid to do it, so they justify it by pointing out the reasons they think it’s not a good idea for you to do it. You’re being naive, don’t you know those street kids are impossible, your expectations are too high — whatever. They react by trying to edit you — which is probably how they deal with most relationships in their lives. We all know the types. They communicate by criticizing — probably because that’s what their mother did to them.
    I daresay if you haven’t defriended them its because you almost always give people second and third chances. You’re a lot nicer than me, basically. But I also think certain people need to be told: No, what you said is not okay and if you really mean it, then you have revealed information to me that tells me I do not want to be friends with you. I think too many people are not made to pay any social consequences for saying bullshit, and you actually do them a favor by teaching them they are accountable for their words.
    Perhaps they will come around as you report their experience, but I don’t hesitate to call on me. I sense you are confrontation-averse. Me, not so much.

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