Romania is home to almost 4 million children. Poverty, a lack of medical services at the local level and inadequate education still affect too many of them: Half are at risk of childhood poverty and social; 400,000 children are out of school; 60,000 are separated from their families, mostly as a consequence of poverty, violence or abandonment; every year, 10,000 children are separated from their parents; One in 10 mothers-to-be is a teenager; One million children are hospitalized every year. Such statistics do not appear overnight. They expand with every child who doesn’t go to kindergarten, with every class skipped. For many children, school is too far away, their families struggle with poverty or need them to stay home to look after their siblings. Some children feel discriminated against or excluded by teachers or classmates.
The situation of European Roma communities continues to be critical. Roma remain one of the most disadvantaged minority groups in Europe. The highest rates of unemployment and the lowest levels of education, widespread poverty and social exclusion characterize the large part of Roma living in the EU.
This work was done for UNICEF. UNICEF Romania‘s programme aims to ensure that all children start school at the right age, stay in school and learn to their maximum potential, to be prepared for life and employment. To achieve this, they developed a school-family-community partnership for child participation and support. Though it is designed for all students and schools, it focuses on the most vulnerable children and most disadvantaged schools. Their intervention focuses on: * training school managers and teachers to better support each child; * providing better teaching methods and skills; * partnering with families and supporting them to improve their parenting skills; * strengthening children’s self-esteem and raising their educational aspirations;* improving parents-teacher communication; * enhancing community support for education.