IREX Romania is the lucky organization that was chosen by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to plan for a program to provide public access computers with Internet access in Romania’s public libraries, as it is stated here. This is a five year program and we are approaching the end of the first year.

As a mean of communication with librarians involved in the program and not only, a web page, a forum and blog were developed. After a couple of months of healthy conversation on their forum  IREX Romania decided that critical messages are not welcomed there anymore. Four of my messages are gone and at least two other people experienced the same treatment on biblioteca.ro.  While trying to find my posts I managed to come across a reply that was posted on the blog by veveritablonda, a critical voice on biblioteca.ro.  Because there is no public access to that message anymore I will post it here.

This is very nice, Shannon, finally somebody who appreciates the progress we’ve made and the potential we have. Still, because the title of your post is “Return to Romania” (taking from another famous project initiated by IREX Bucharest) I would be curious to find out how many Romanian graduates who studied in the US, are working now for you, in this Global Libraries Project. As far as I see, none. Don’t you guys put your money where your mouth is? Is IREX now the cemetery of old employees coming from USAID, CHF, WORLD LEARNING and so on? It is very disappointing to see how all our youth emigrates, because at home nobody needs them, not even those who trained them to be “the future of Romania”. Don’t you think this situation is very sad and proves rather poor strategic vision in terms of investment return? Why is the US training so many Romanians, who come back with stunning degrees, when none of them is needed in your own organizations? 🙂

As you can see there were several questions asked on this reply from May 2008.  Not only that nobody answered them but they cannot be accessed anymore. I do not have any kind of prove to sustain veveritablonda’s statement but it sure sounds interesting. Since it got such a reaction from IREX team…it must have touched some sensitive problems. Don’t you agree?

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