Facing reality – awakening moments

At the third day we started with a short trip to a kindergarten called GRADINITA ESTIVALA SALVATI COPIII in the city of Bucharest. We started by having a Meeting with parents, teachers and we also met the children. Compare to other classes, this one had kids in different ages – between two and twelve years.

Girl in kindergarten with Con Con Law from Hong Kong by Stephanie Beer
Girl in kindergarten with Con Con Law from Hong Kong by Stephanie Beer

After we painted with the children the parents told us about their situation. Sometimes they can’t join the summer project or get health support, because they don’t have identification papers. There are many complications  and many obstacles to overcome. For example some kids don’t know how to use a toilet or other simple hygienic things, like to properly wash their hands.

Family we visited with a sick father who can't get medical help by Stephanie Beer
Family we visited with a sick father who can’t get medical help by Stephanie Beer

Another difficulty is that the traditions often prevent that children can go to school. One girl could not finish the program because two weeks before it ended,  her parents returned from abroad and married her to a man. The first priority in Romania is tradition, that the children stay at home and marry and it often seems that the education comes last and is not considered a priority at all. But the teachers are fighting for education with a lot of passion, you see it in their eyes when they are talking, and they hope that this will change things in the future.

We heard an emotional story about a twelve year old boy, who had eleven sisters and brothers. The French teacher told us that this boy sometimes slept in the school because at home there was not enough space and they had to share one bed. His turn to sleep in the bed is at 3.00 am in the morning. We can’t even imagine how this can be possible.

The living situation of the two families we visited later in their homes was shocking for all of us. They lived in the city but with less than the minimum. In houses without windows and built with unstable and non-insulating materials. The kitchen is outside and a toilet doesn’t exist. It must be horrible to endure winter this way.

Young Girl is sitting on the doorstep of her home by Stephanie Beer
Young Girl is sitting on the doorstep of her home by Stephanie Beer
Visiting a Roma family in Bucharest by Ildiko Valko
Visiting a Roma family in Bucharest by Ildiko Valko

So many things need to be supported more and further and its very important that we stay tuned and help!

To improve the situation here it does not only need materialistic support and money, but also people like Diana and Cristina, who we met from Save the Children Romania.  Their work is admirable.

Diana Stanculeanu (l.) and Cristina Tanase (r.) from Save the Children Romania by Stephanie Beer
Diana Stanculeanu (l.) and Cristina Tanase (r.) from Save the Children Romania by Stephanie Beer

Also on this third day we received many lasting impressions of the life of children in Romania. I hope we all can take something home with us, which brings us to think.

 

English
    Stephanie Beer