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The people

The community of Alma Vii is characterised both by diversity and unity. The diversity is present because, ethnically, the village currently comprises Roma of Romanian residents. Unity thought is preserved by the fact that the two ethnic groups live together in harmony and understanding. What in other places may unfortunately still be an idealist goal in Alma Vii is normal everyday life – interethnic conflicts are not at all present. This happens thanks to a well defined understanding shared by the entire community about what is and what isn’t acceptable for a happy cohabitation, regardless of one’s ethnicity.

As such, Alma Vii is a very suitable environment for implementing the Whole Village Project and achieving its objectives. The villagers of Alma Vii got involved ever since the beginning of the project and proved to be reliable comrades during all project phases. Moreover, such a project doesn’t stand a chance to be successful if the local community doesn’t get involved in the implementation and doesn’t accept the necessary changes. Fortunately, in Alma Vii it was easy to conduct activities that required community involvement because residents are proud of their village and want to contribute directly to putting their village on the map. A council of stakeholders formed out of members of the local community has been created and it evolved into an essential partner for the successful projects carried out here. It helped communicating the development opportunities, finding innovative solutions, it passed on the discussions to the entire community and by doing the actual work when needed.

But beyond the context of the current project, the villagers of Alma Vii are hospitable people and happy to welcome guests. Those who visited already can testify about the how skilled the locals are in gastronomy and how happy they are to chat and speak proudly of their village. Recent visitors, a large group of craftsmen from Shropshire Council, UK, came in September 2009 and stayed for two weeks. They taught practical carpentry, masonry to the villagers of Alma Vii. As they told us themselves, they left filled with beautiful memories and close friendships bound to the promise of mutual visits in the coming years.