There are scores of forgotten villages in Romania. Post-communism shanty towns, where the children barely get to eat or wash and going to school isn’t a priority.
In the deeply rural district of Suceava in northern Romania, whole communities struggle to find regular work. Life is tough. With many families living in one or two roomed houses with little heating or lighting, living a hand to mouth existence on a day by day basis.
Too many of the children living in these villages have parents who did not receive any education. Poverty has been the focus on their lives. The only work they can do is seasonal manual labour, which often takes them away from the family home for months on end.
Coupled with the stresses of living in extreme poverty in a very small space, this can lead to family breakdown, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. As a result, school dropout rates are very high.
If children don’t own essentials such as a coat, shoes, warm clothes and books, they’re unable to attend school. As a result, many will go without an education, and so the poverty cycle continues.
FARA promotes education as a way out of poverty. It provides, at no cost to parents, an educational outreach programme across six rural schools in Northern Romania.
Children attending school in Romania don’t usually receive school dinners. Yet FARA understands the difference a simple and nourishing hot meal can mean to an impoverished child. We provide a daily hot meal to those children who usually go without. By doing so, parents are more likely to send their children to school as they know they will have five days a week when they will go to bed not feeling hungry.
FARA also often helps families with medical care, by supplying warm clothing and sometimes even with building repairs for the family home; anything that will keep the family together and enable the child to attend school.
Another important part of the work we do is to educate parents on the importance of schooling for their children.
FARA supports families so that:
• Each child receives a daily hot meal • Children have the school equipment and books they need • Support with learning through Homework Clubs • Social work support to promote the whole family’s wellbeing