British ambassador in Bucharest Paul Brummell swapped the bed for the sleeping bag, spending Friday night outdoors as a volunteer to a fundraiser for homeless people organized by the Casa Ioana Association. Brummell and about 20 volunteers slept out rough on cardboards to mark World Homeless Day.
Fifteen minutes before 22:00, the diplomat, equipped with sleeping bag and roll-mat, entered the venue of the event – a cafe in downtown Bucharest – went past the tables on the terrace where the customers were enjoying the mild autumn evening, and joined the other volunteers.
This is the second year when the ambassador participates in the event organized by Casa Ioana, which has been holding for two decades now fundraisers for people without a roof overhead.
Sharing a memory, the ambassador said this was the sleeping bag he used for travels as a geography student, 30 years ago.
“I am happy that the weather is very good today. Last year it rained all night; I think this will be a much easier night”, the diplomat said.
Speaking about the purpose of the event he volunteered to, Brummell admitted that in a way such an event is contrived, but underscored that in his opinion, it is important to remember that there are 5,000 people without a roof here in Bucharest, spending every night outdoors, including in the middle of winter, and that they don’t have it easy. He added that homelessness is a “global” issue.
“This is an issue both in the UK and in Romania. The solutions are not easy, there is a link between homeless people and social problems”, the British ambassador pointed out.