Adela Popescu and Connect-R like to know: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Împreună” Agency for Community Development in partnership with UNICEF Romania launched at Reader’s Café “What do you want to be when you grow up?” project.
The project is a component of UNICEF School Attendance Initiative “Hai la Școală!” which aims to promote education among Roma children to fulfil their potential in life. With the help of fifteen Roma successful role models, who had to face similar problems to what children encounter nowadays, a documentary film was made in which the Roma role models narrate their life story and educational experiences. During the event were presented: a trailer of the documentary, a brochure containing excerpts from the collected life-stories and an exhibition of portraits with successful Roma role models realised by Geraldine Aresteanu.
The project is supported by renowned actress and singer Adela Popescu and Roma singer Stefan Mihalache, known as Connect-R.
"I come from a family of teachers and I grew up in the rural area together with children. One of my childhood friends, who was also my neighbour, was of Roma ethnicity and I remember how we walked to school together. No matter ethnicity or race, I believe strongly that all children should have role models and should be encouraged to go to school. In this way they will have access to opportunities that otherwise would have never dreamed of", said Adela Popescu.
In his turn, Connect-R added: "Access to education is very important, as well as supporting children and making sure they are not discriminated are essential in their development. I am proud to be Roma and show another side of the Roma community. [...] Be proud of who you are, do not take into account bias, prove how wrong they are and constantly work to fulfil your dreams! You can be whatever you want when you grow up, just believe in yourselves! The role models presented today are only a couple of examples, but many people, unknown to us managed in life because they had an education. "
Among the special guests at the event were: Badea Oana - Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports, Ilie Dinca - President of the National Agency for Roma and various personalities representing the government and civil society.
"What do you do when you grow up?" project will continue with a caravan presenting the documentary film and the photography exhibition in 30 schools in the counties engaged in the school attendance initiative “Hai la Școală!”; meetings and discussions with children and successful Roma role models will be organised.
At the end of the project the following results are expected: creating awareness among 600 Roma and non Roma children about the role of education in their professional development, creating awareness among teachers in the 30 schools regarding difficulties that vulnerable children face in the process of integration and dismantling stereotypes regarding Roma in the targeted communities.
About school participation campaign “Hai la Şcoală!”
The school participation campaign was launched in 2010. The campaign was initiated by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport (MERYS). The campaign is implemented in 141 schools in 37 counties with over 500.000 children. Interventions are made at family, school and community level. At school level the aim is to make school a more welcoming place for children, training school mediators, principals and teachers to adapt their methods to each child’s learning capacity. At family level the aim is to strengthen the bond between parents and school, to involve them in school affairs and support parents through counselling and individual discussions. At community level, the project attempts to influence and mobilise the members of the community to get involved and support families with children at risk of abandoning school.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. In Romania, UNICEF promotes child rights and supports child health and nutrition, quality education and the protection of children from violence, neglect, exploitation and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
About “Împreună” Agency for Community Development
"Impreuna" Agency for Community Development is a foundation whose mission is to preserve and assert Roma identity through research and the dissemination of studies, as well as through the elaboration and implementation of social policies aimed at the Roma. "Impreuna" Agency was established as a legal entity on 24 September 1999. Its main objectives are: to develop the Roma community and the development of processes, in the context of civil, social, political and economic rights and to develop cooperation and partnership with national and international public or private associations specialised in the research and implementation of social programs targeting the Roma.
For futher information please contact:
Codruţa Hedeşiu, Communication Officer UNICEF Romania, Tel.: 021.201.78.64, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gelu Duminică, Executive Director "Impreuna" Agency for Community Development, Tel.: 021.210.05.39, email@example.com