Tackling poverty through education

 

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 schoolwork takes second place to household chores.

To make things worse, many parents travel long distances to look for work. 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.

25% of children on FARA’s programme are cared for by their grandmothers.

50% of children have parents who didn’t attend school and are illiterate.

75% of children live in one-room houses without electricity or clean water with up to nine other family members.

In this desperate situation, FARA promotes education as a way out of poverty. It provides – at no cost to parents:

= a daily hot meal
= school equipment and books
= homework clubs and support with learning
= social worker support to promote the whole family’s wellbeing.

Our programme supports nearly 250 children each day in term time, including 60 who receive free kindergarten care.

With every year of education achieved, the chances of a child ending up in poverty reduce by 5%.

FLORENTINA'S STORY

 

The second youngest of seven children, six-year old Florentina often finds herself in charge of her little sister when she gets home from school and at the weekend. Her mother and older siblings go out looking for work harvesting vegetables to provide the family with a meagre income. They are often away from their two-room dwelling for days on end. Florentina’s older sisters gave up going to school as they didn’t have room at home to study or do their homework.

With FARA’s support Florentina has managed to regularly attend school and receives a hot meal a day. This is a lifeline for her. When she was at kindergarten she often missed days as she was always catching colds and having trouble with her breathing. Now she is gaining weight and becoming healthier. FARA's manager in Romania writes:

"Florentina enjoys being at school and is a quick learner. Recently she passed all her end-of-year exams. She loves to attend the after-school club to get help with her reading and play games with other children. She is a cheerful little girl and despite her tough life she manages to dream, drawing pictures of pretty houses covered in toys and sweets. She would love to have a new schoolbag and some new shoes so she doesn’t have to use the well-worn ones her big sister has passed on to her."

FARA urgently needs more funds to give more children like Florentina a chance to gain a full education and the promise of a poverty-free future.

To donate to Tackling Poverty Through Education follow the link to our Just Giving page.

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To find out how you can sponsor a child on our programme, click below: