About Us

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Alexandra Vasiliu - Founder and Project Coordinator

Alexandra is the Founder of Village Life. After studying Business Administration and Humanities at Simon Fraser University, she worked with an international NGO in Vancouver, Canada.

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Then, she travelled extensively through SE Asia and has now returned to her native Romania where she lives and works.

Before I left for Canada, the Romanian village, always at hand, didn't use to be at the top of my travel dreams. Its tranquility, its harmony of people, animals and nature were something I took for granted. However, the longer I spent in the West, and the more I traveled, I began to better understand and appreciate its value and uniquenes. So here I am, back in Romania, trying to fill one need with another. A serious local need for social and economic rural development, with the need that I myself, like so many others we met in our travels, have become so familiar with: that for simplicity and authenticity in a hectic world.

You can contact Alexandra directly at alexandra@villagelife.ro

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Gabriela Mandru - Project and Communications coordinator

Gabriela is a graduate in Local and Regional Development Policies interested in authentic rural life and social entrepreneurship.

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She joined the Village Life team in February 2012.

I began volunteering for Village Life out of an unexplained attraction towards the rural life and a need of protecting its authenticity and core values: cultural patrimony, community spirit, respect for the nature, profound spirituality. I believe that the latter can be achieved by supporting a sustainable economic and social revival of the Romanian rural areas and I am happy to contribute to the pursue of this objective within Village Life.

You can contact Gabriela directly at gabriela@villagelife.ro

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Roxana Ionita - Board of Directors member

Roxana is an HR professional currently living and working in London. She graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies

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and is licensed in Public Administration. Her passions are: people, arts and village traditions.

I spent most of my childhood in a small village next to the Romanian border with Bulgaria. I know how to milk a cow, how to feed the chickens, and I spent each winter walking through deep snow from neighbour to neighbour, carolling and wishing people for the best. Despite the fact that I am now an adult working with one of the big 4 audit firms in London, I am fond of all my childhood memories and I believe that village life has a special magic and purity which everyone should have the chance to taste and appreciate; on the other hand, I know there are kind hospitable people at the countryside eager to show travellers around.

Romanian villages are different from other European villages and have a uniqueness which is rarely discovered by foreign travellers.

You can contact Rox directly at roxana@villagelife.ro

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Alma Iatan - Advisor

Alma met Alexandra, Greg and Roxana while all of them were part of an amazing student run organization called AIESEC. Since 2004 Alma travelled and worked on two continents

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(Europe and Asia) as a volunteer and also a young professional. These days you can find Alma in London, were she enjoys her time and makes the best out of her career in the financial industry.

I was always considered to be a dreamer but I've discovered throughout the years that dreams can actually become reality as long as you take small steps to reach them. One of my dreams is to help romanian communities live sustainably in an environment fostered by values, traditions but also to innovation and progress .In my travels and while having contact with people from over 30 cultures, I often asked myself why is it that Romania's traditional heritage is far from being appreciated and discovered. Two possible answers are that it's on one hand under promoted and on the other hand people that live in rural communities in Romania don't feel empowered to continue living a life where traditions are kept. I find Village Life to be a first step to address these two dimensions. In addition, the Romanian countryside has always been like a magnet to me, partly because I was raised in an urban environment and never had access to the archaic world, and partly because I am drawn and interested in preserving the authenticity, mysticism and essence of my country's traditional culture and in encouraging communities to strive in today's economic environment.

I feel lucky to be part of this team and look forward to get the initiative growing. You can contact Alma directly at alma@villagelife.ro