EDUCATION AND SOCIAL INTEGRATION SUPPORT PROGRAMS

The Education and Social Integration Support programs encourage Romanian children to stay in school so they can learn literacy skills and much more. The programs support the development of social and learning skills crucial to educational proficiency, giving disadvantaged children the chance to become active, responsible citizens and community members.

Why?

According to the Romanian Institute for Statistics, the main causes behind children dropping out of school are poverty, disorganized/broken families, parents migrating to more developed countries for work, and parents’ lack of education. These factors are very much present in the communities we address. In Romania, according to an Eurostat report, the school dropout rate was 18.4% in 2010, 17.5% in 2011, and 17.4% in 2012.

Community Partners

  • Public Middle School 31, Sector 2, Bucharest
  • Ferdinand I Middle School, Sector 2, Bucharest
  • Public Middle School 2, Cățelu-Glina, Ilfov County
  • Public Middle School 1, Glina, Ilfov County

(In Bucharest, the pilot program was started in January 2011 with 10 disadvantaged children. By the end of 2016, our programs reached 200 children in communities throughout Bucharest and Ilfov.)

  • The “Little Innocents” Day Center, Bistrița, Bistrița-Năsăud County
  • Communities in Reteag, Viișoara, Sărata, Slătinița, all part of Bistrița-Năsăud County

(In Bistrița, the Education and Social Integration Program for Rroma children was started in 2008.)

Objectives:

  • Improving school attendance and performance for disadvantaged children
  • Developing their intrapersonal and social abilities
  • Providing daily access to psychological evaluation and counseling for children and parents
  • Facilitating parents’ reintegration into the workforce
  • Ensuring access to educational and material resources for children and their families
  • Increasing awareness of the importance of education within communities

Our Team

The multidisciplinary team behind our programs is made up of social workers, teachers, psychologists, youth workers and trained volunteers.

The entire Inocenți team encourages children to focus on their learning strengths and inspires them, through role modeling and mentorship, to become active and fulfilled members of society.

Activities

  • Individual guidance towards completing homework and achieving literacy
  • Following an informal curriculum adapted to children’s development and learning needs and focused on the development and exploration of independent life skills.
  • Extracurricular outdoor recreation activities
  • Counseling and mentorship sessions organized by trained volunteers
  • Integrating children and youth into their communities through different activities organized in partnership with local schools
  • Individual mentorship and tutoring sessions for high school upperclassmen preparing for their Baccalaureate examination
  • Support groups and periodic meetings with parents designed to encourage responsibility by offering legal, material, and administrative support in preventing their children from dropping out of school
  • The Inocenti team works with members of impoverished communities to raise awareness of the children’s needs and encourage them to engage in Inocenti activities by volunteering.

Notes:

In Bucharest and Ilfov County, beginning October 1st 2013, the Educational and Social Integration program has been running in partnership with United Way Romania, as part of their “Learn to succeed!” project.

Between April 1st 2014 and April 30th 2016, the Inocenți project “I Want To Go To School Too!” was developed in partnership with Bistrița City Hall and the Terre des Hommes Foundation. The project was funded through the 2009-2014 EEA Grants under the Romanian NGO Fund (www.fondong.fdsc.ro).

For official information on the EEA and Norway grants visit www.eeagrants.org.
The contents of this material do not necessarily reflect the official position of the 2009-2014 EEA grants. Responsibility for the accuracy and coherence of the information provided lies entirely with the authors of the website.

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