Case study in caring—Intro: Budulai
Written by: Clary Estes
To say that Budulai was dealt a difficult hand would be an understatement. A handsome, fit, and outgoing man nearing forty years old, Budulai always has a smile on his face. One might be surprised to find out that he was orphaned by his parents as an infant and had it tough growing up in late Cold War Era Soviet Moldova. Ethnically half Roma, Budulai had an immense amount working against him from birth in a Moldovan society that held little place for orphaned or Roma children, let alone a child who was both.
Yet Budulai has become one of the most effective, compassionate, and necessary parts of the response to the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis. This is in part because his non-traditional arrival to volunteer and non-profit work has given him a subtle understanding of the unprecedented nature of what was happening, but also made him uniquely qualified to solve many of the problems at hand. He has worked quietly, humbly, and diligently without recognition since day one and helped an untold number of people.
Up next, Part I: The long road home