Not that far away…

Today we learned how to dance Hora, a traditional Romani dance. Every step we made brings us closer to the Romani culture and history.

Visiting Potocelu school at Dambovita county, by Sanja Tisljaric, IKEA Zagreb

The benefits that Save the Children made with the IKEA Foundation for a better life for Roma people here in Romania are huge, but still they really need much more support and resources so that they can continue with good changes. Reach every child in every family and bring them a better future through education and more opportunities—that is what Save the Children in Romania want to achieve.

The schools we visited today and yesterday at Damovita county have many difficulties that they are dealing with. Many children dropped out of the school because a lot of parents go to work abroad, so they have to stay at home. Some of the schools do not have heating, so the children sit there with hats on their heads. The furniture and equipment is mostly very old. Also there is a problem with the home to school distance; children have to walk more than 7 km in one direction to get to school.

School Merisu, learn without hitting, by Sanja Tisljaric

But difficulties are not only what we saw during these days. We also learned what it means to be truly happy, even if you don’t have special reasons. Maybe those children do not have many things, but they gave us the most precious things they have: sincere smiles, warm hugs and many positive feelings.

Children in Potocelu school prepared some dances for us, by Sanja Tisaljric

Sometimes we forget that happiness is inside us. It is not about what we wear, what car we drive and how nice our house is. These children showed us that. They are grateful for small things. So what we can do for them?

School Merisu, Cristina Tanase, Project Coordinator for Roma pre-school children at Save the Children, playing with the kids, by Sanja Tisljaric, IKEA Croatia

Maybe some of you will say: “It is far from me, I do not care.” If you think that, you are wrong. Nothing is too far, if you are willing to help. “It is far from me” is just an excuse for doing nothing.

Maybe some of you will say: “I can send to them new shoes, toys, blankets…” And you are right—they need all those things, and that was also my first thought. But then I realized that in this way we can help only few of them in the short term, and what about hundreds of others­­? What about their future­­?

This is how some children live in the 21st century in a Roma community near Brashov, by Sanja Tisljaric

It is clear those children need changes that can bring a better life for all of them, and only education can accomplish these changes.

Each of us can be messenger that will help the authorities, companies following the example of IKEA and the whole world understand that these children really need our help.

If you are part of authorities and you are reading this blog, please act.

If you are a leader at some company and you are reading this blog, please act.

If you are an individual, and you have some ideas how to help, please do that.

Not because you have to do that, but because you are a human and you want to help, and because you believe these children deserve a better future.

Visiting community, Dambovita County, by Kevin Salvaggio
    Sanja Susnjara