All Roma children must attend school; this is the only hope they have to a better future

Education is the only hope for a better future

Roma boys from Vulcanesti, Nisporeni
23 October 2018

During the school days, the mornings begin very early in the house of Sapescu family from Vulcanesti village, Nisporeni district, a small locality populated by Roma ethnics. The children, Panfil and Simion, hurry to grab the school bus which takes them to the secondary school from Cioresti, the neighboring village, situated at a distance of 3 km. Although they are twins, the brothers are very different. They have a common purpose – to study, and their parents encourage and help them the best they can.

"When I was younger and went to school from Vulcanesti, it was winter and the snow was thicker, my dad was going ahead with the shovel and made our way. And at the end of the lessons, our father or mom took us home, because there were many dogs in the village." Panfil, 16 years old.

The mother of the boys, Liuda Sapescu, wants her sons very much to have a profession. She sacrifices a lot for them to study. When they moved to the school from the neighboring village, she went with them for weeks and waited patiently for them to finish the lessons and took them home.

"We were walking through the forest, at that time we didn’t have any transportation mean. It was very difficult but I am glad that my sons are studying in a good school”, says the woman.

Panfil and Simion were in the 5th grade when they came to the secondary school from Cioresti, but their level of studies was corresponding to a 2nd grade level student. So, they had to work a lot in order to fill the educational gaps they had and the teachers supported and helped them every time they needed. Gradually, with lots of work and patience, the two brothers succeeded to reach the level of the rest of the students from their class.

Now, the teenagers prepare intensively for the graduation exams at the end of the 9th grade and they are sure they shall succeed. They advice all children from their village to come to school because this is the only hope to have a better future.  

"We are inspired by mother’s brothers: one of them is history teacher and the other one has worked many years in the local administration. They are a good example for us”. Simion, 16 years old.   

After they graduate the secondary school, Sapescu brothers will continue their studies in Chisinau. In the same time, they want find a job in order not to be a burden for their parents.  

In Vulcanesti village, Nisporeni district, out of 85 Roma children, 70 attend school and have good academic results, due to local initiative implemented by UNICEF Moldova and Youth Resources Center DACIA. Last year, when the project was launched, only 7 children were attending school.

The results of the initiative are in line with the UNICEF Moldova priorities of improving the access to quality education for all children and with governmental objectives settled in the National Program for Development of Inclusive Education for the years 2011-2020 and Action Plan to Support Roma Population in Moldova for the years 2016-2020.