Educational support programme for Roma children in Romania
In Romania, the Roma are also an unpopular marginal group. Many Roma children hardly ever go to school and accordingly have no education or qualifications. On the one hand this is due to the impoverished circumstances of the approximately two million Roma in Romania, and on the other hand their social status prevents them from taking part in public life. Without education it is however almost impossible to escape poverty. So countless children grow up with no perspective for a life with proper employment and social integration. Added to this are the lack of attention and care shown by many parents, and some children are abandoned by their parents and left to the care of older siblings or grandparents.
The project enables socially under-privileged Roma children to gain a minimum of basic schooling and education and thus gives them the chance to escape the spiral of poverty and to gain a foothold in society. In addition to the opportunity to learn, the participants are given a warm midday meal as well as care and attention by those in charge. It is not rare for the volunteers to be responsible for teaching good behaviour as this is neglected to a large extent in some families. The children are grateful and glad about this opportunity. Three days a week the children come to the church premises after school for a midday meal and sometimes bring their siblings with them. Afterwards the children are given assistance with their homework. Special attention is given to problem cases. The volunteers also feel it is important to contact and consult with the children's head teachers and teaching staff as well as with their family members.
In the summer the children spend a week-long holiday together with many activities, games and Bible instruction. When school starts, each child is provided with a school bag and the material needed for lessons. At Christmas all participants are given a Christmas parcel as part of the project "A GIFT BOX FILLED WITH LOVE", a visible sign of the love and care of God.
Because of the overwhelming response, the programme has in the meantime grown in number to include about 50 children. Many of the children also attend the children's club at the church, and through the programme quite a few have come to faith in the living God.
Response to the project
Parents and grandparents have thanked us, saying: "No one has ever done anything like this for our children and families!"
Antonie, an eight-year-old boy, came straight from school and ran up to a volunteer, hugging her and saying: " I missed you so much and could hardly wait to see you!".
A teacher said:"It is amazing what good progress the children have already made."
Project costs: Total costs per year: 16,000 € (almost exclusively costs of materials)
As a guideline:
The cost per child and day is 1.50 €
The cost to equip a child to start school (school bag, pencil case, pencils, exercise books) is 30 €
The project is funded exclusively by donations.