Tuglui is a municipality that consists of two villages, located 15 km from Craiova in Romania. Many Roma families live here, and many families have at least one member who works abroad. This is where Cristi lives, he is four years old and lives in Tuglui with his parents and paternal grandfather. They live in a house with two rooms and a hall. The house has electricity, but heating comes from a stove and water is only available in the yard.
Cristi came into the world when his mother was only a minor. His parents quit school early and married young. They have no proper jobs did not have a lot of knowledge of how to raise a child. Quitting school early made them to not value education. However, Cristi’s grandparents want him to go to school and learn and together with the social workers from Save the Children Romania, they convinced Cristi’s parents to let him attend Summer Kindergarten to prepare him for enrollment in the regular state kindergarten.
He was brought to a summer kindergarten which is run by Save the Children and supported by the H&M Foundation. When Cristi started there, he was unhappy and had communication problems; he did not want to talk to anyone and could for instance not communicate his need to go to the bathroom. He also lacked basic skills, for example using cutlery when eating.
“After the months in summer kindergarten provided by Save the Children, he is braver, he has more confidence and he has accumulated a lot of knowledge.”Cristi’s mom
In the summer kindergarten program, Cristi took part in a variety of activities in order to prepare him for regular kindergarten. By using play, he learned fine motor skills such as writing and coloring and gained a richer vocabulary though songs, poems and stories. He learned to wash his hands properly and although he still has some difficulties using cutlery, he has learned to eat on his own. He has also learned how to communicate with his teachers and friends, how to play and he has even mustered up some courage and to start dancing with the other children. Oana Camelia Mic, who is the local coordinator at the kindergarten, is very impressed by Cristi. “Cristi first and foremost needed self-confidence. When I met him, he was very shy and didn’t trust people. Now he has the courage to say what he wants, he interacts with others and he laughs”.
Cristi’s parents are also happy with his progress and has understood the importance of sending him to kindergarten for his development and happiness. “After the months in summer kindergarten provided by Save the Children, he is braver, he has more confidence and he has accumulated a lot of knowledge. I’m so grateful he was included”, his mom says.
At the beginning of September, Cristi was registered in A regular kindergarten in Tuglui.