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St Helena's Education Project (combating truancy)


In August 2010, after months of work behind the scenes CID finally launched in association with partners, The Commune of Sarulesti; The Association Vasiliada and Arges County Child Protection Department, a  project specifically designed to entice school truants and refusers back to school. School refusal is an increasing problem in an economy where every hand no matter how small might be needed to help feed the family; where parents are forced to work away from home; grandparent carers simply cannot cope; and schools discriminate or are disinterested in poor academic achievers; or their school curriculum and teaching methods do not inspire the young to thirst for education or stay in the education and training system.

The priority groups are children from rural areas, the socially and economically disadvantaged; Rroma children and those with disabilities or social/educational challenges.

Currently over 285 children are enrolled and a range of teachers, social workers and educational psychologist and specialists are involved as part of their personal and professional development.

The project team use a full arsenal of activities and support to bridge the gap back into education and to share their experience with those at the chalk face; in classrooms; lecture theatres; school corridors and playgrounds. This project is as much about changing and broadening teaching practice and counselling parent as about inspiring young people to see education as a key to a better future. 

The Regional Operations Programme for Human Resources Development (POSDRU) felt the project merited considerable support which is why it funded the project for the next thirty-six months. The success of the programme is measured in the fact that each centre in Sarulesti, Curtea de Arges, Oesti, Albesti and Lipovu has many more children that originally envisaged. In all, at present 258 children, 561 parents or family carers participate and the numbers particularly from the very poor families could double if we had the funding.  In addition the mayors  Oltenita, Lehliu, Gurbanesti in Calarasi and Gavanesti in Buzau and the poorest neighbourhoods in Bucharest are desperate to be included in the next programme    This  project is already out performing expectations and CIDRo have been invited to put together other projects, one of which will be specifically focussed on the needs of Rroma children and families. This would require CID providing 2% of the total costs and the charity urgently seeks the £15,000 of initial funding to make that possible. Education is for many the best and only means to escape squalor and grinding poverty, this project  does only teach the 3Rs  it offers the chance of a better tomorrow for generations to come, an investment with infinite return.


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