My grandmother used to say hat when she was a child going to school was a luxury, that only children from rich families could afford to go to school while poor children had to go to work and earn money for the family. You would think these are old tales and that nowadays education is a basic right for children everywhere in the world. To me it seems that 80 years later the situation in Romania has not changed as much and as fast as it should.
What the numbers are saying
A UNICEF study shows that thousands of children in Romania do not go to school. According to the report between 37-40% of 15 year olds can barely read, write and count. Those who are more likely to have little access to education and are more likely to have bad performance or even drop out are children from very poor families,Roma communities, rural areas and children with disabilities. Education for children is not only a matter of rights and values that can propel the Romanian society further but it also has economic implications as international studies show that just one extra year of school increases earnings by 8-9% and decreases the likelihood of health problems by 8%. This translates in a loss of12-17 billion EUR in the next 10 years if we do not start investing more in primary education.
On the bright side even if the Romanian government is not investing that much in improving education, there are non-governmental organisations that took it upon themselves to support children’s access to education.
Our organisation is one of them. FOR Children was established in 2007 by a diverse group of Romanians and international friends. We are a small organisation, in Amsterdam formed by 8 volunteers working hand in hand with two Romanian NGOs: Asociatia Christiana and Copii de Cristal. for more than ten years FOR Children hasorganised thematic events, applied for grants and supported 38 children’s access to education through 38 devoted sponsors. We are proud to say that seven of the children we have sponsored are now university students continuing their stride towards a better future.
They say, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”(Nelson Mandela)
What we do today will have a great impact for our future and the future of our country. My challenge to everyone out there is: What are YOU doing today to make Romania a better place for its children?
You can find more details about FoR Children on our website: www.iforchildren.org
UNICEF, Cost of non-investment ineducation in Romania:
EUROSTAT, Government expenditure ineducation: