Improving access to basic education for vulnerable children in Romania

Many children in Romania never gain access to education. Poverty combined with the lack of literacy among parents hinder many children from ever going to school. The H&M Foundation and Save the Children have joined forces to make sure children have better access to adequate education.

The Romanian educational system has several serious challenges, proved by the low results of students in literacy, mathematics and sciences, as well as the significant social-economical discrepancies between rural and urban schools. In Romania, tens of thousands of children experience exclusion from school since they have never been included in the education system, or are absent during longer periods, frequently change schools or completely drop out of school. The children who face the biggest risk of exclusion are the ones from disadvantaged communities, children with parents who have left the country to find work abroad, children with disabilities as well as children with families that do not have a stable home and need to move frequently.

Education for vulnerable children

With the support from the H&M Foundation, Save the Children continues the efforts that have been carried out since December 2014 in order to improve the situation for marginalized children in Romania. Since the project start 200 children (ages 4-7) have attended Summer Kindergartens and therefore have improved school readiness. 400 children (ages 6-11) have participated in After School Programs which reduces the risk of school dropout. Furthermore, 2,400 people of disadvantaged communities have improved awareness regarding the importance of access to education and available social services.

The purpose of the collected efforts is to contribute to a culture of inclusion where all children enjoy equal access to education, are welcomed and valued for their diversity.

In a second phase, H&M Foundation and Save the Children continue to support the children previously reached by the project and take on a broader approach by including children in the final grade (grade 8) in compulsory school, i.e. including the age group 12-14 (normal age range) who are in need of support. Our joined forces will continue to influence the attitudes and abilities of professionals. Information and training sessions will be carried out for teachers, social workers, psychologists and officials from local authorities (social work and education). The focus will be on sharing good practice and to foster good collaboration between different professions (e.g. teachers and psychologists) and different divisions within local administration (education, social welfare and health) to ensure that resources and services are well coordinated and supportive for the individual child.

Moreover, a baseline study measuring the number of out of school children in targeted locations will be created in order for the local authorities to take action to ensure that all children are enrolled and attend school. The study will also be used for the strategic advocacy work to influence the duty bearers to take their responsibility for all children and their parents and grandparents.

The purpose of the collected efforts is to contribute to a culture of inclusion where all children enjoy equal access to education, are welcomed and valued for their diversity and have their needs met in appropriate teaching and learning environments.

Expected Results

1,125

children have access to summer kindergarten and after school programs to increase school readiness and reduce school drop-out rates.

100

professionals, such as teachers and specialists, will be trained to support inclusion of vulnerable children in school

1

baseline study, measuring the number of out of school children in targeted locations, is available.


  • Total donation: 6 million Swedish krona
  • People reached by 2017: 3,000
  • Partners: Save the Children

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Getting back on track

In Romania, the school dropout rate is as high as 19%. It’s mostly vulnerable children from families with low social and economic status who drops out. Marius could have been one of them, being the youngest of five siblings with both parents too sick to work. However, through a project with Save the Children and the H&M Foundation, Marius and his family were supported and he’s now back in school with his grades getting better and better.