Romania

A priceless gift – supporting a child to stay in school

Feel the satisfaction of sharing the giving spirit of the season with disadvantaged children

In rural Romania, there are high rates of school dropout–even in primary school–as poverty puts pressure on families to have children working rather than going to school. The Fountain of Hope now has 65 at-risk children attending the after school program and receiving daily free hot vegetarian meals and homework support. Education is a key to breaking out of the cycle of poverty in this rural village, and this program is designed to provide conditions that not only prevent early drop out for these at-risk children,  but actually awaken a love of learning through enriching non-formal learning experiences. Enrollments have increased from 26 in 2010 to 52 last year, and now 65 in 2012 due to the program’s success and popularity. There has been a significant increase in school attendance and none of the children attending the program were held back or dropped out of school.

However, increased enrollments have led to increased expenses and our reserves are steadily shrinking. We need your help to keep this rewarding project going. Regular support gives continuity and stability to the project.  As for many sponsors, it may be more affordable and convenient to give smaller amounts regularly rather than larger donations, we have just made it easy to donate online with small amounts that automatically recur on a monthly basis. Please see the “subscription” button on our online donation page: http://www.amurtel.ro/donate-now  It only takes $25 a month to support a child to receive daily hot meals and benefit from homework support and extracurricular activities.

Below you can find a copy of our annual report from the project, including the project’s financial report:
http://www.amurtel.ro/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/izvorul-sperantei-ro-12-eng.pdf

Thank you!
Didi

 

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Hot nutritious meals

65 children receive a daily hot vegetarian meal when they come to the center after-school. This is a significant economic support for parents, in this economically impoverished rural village, and motivates the children to come to school when they know that they will have something good to eat before making the long walk home (in some cases more than an hour away).


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Loving atmosphere

Larisa, the project director, creates a warm, loving Neohumanist atmosphere. The success of our project leaders is evidenced by the increasing popularity of the center amongst the local schoolchildren, who continue to enroll in increasing numbers.

 


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Fun extracurricular activities

Once they have finished their homework, the children have the chance to play games, make crafts, read books and work on computers before going home.

Fountain of Hope’s growing numbers of children

The Fountain of Hope After-School Center in Panatau opened its doors for its 5th school year this October.  This year has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children applying to attend and receive a free hot meal, homework help and extracurricular activities. While last year the number of beneficiaries had grown from 22-25, this year it has increased to a total of 41 children!

 

This increase reflects both the severity of the impact of the economic crisis in this rural village, as well as the increasing popularity of the center amongst the children. When the project first began, some of the children were teased by their collegues and felt ashamed about going to the center. However, the annual Open Day programs that invite all  of the children from the local school to watch a short video starring the  Fountain of Hope children seems to have helped shift this view – to the point where, if space allowed it, all 200 of the children from the school would want to attend the program.

 

Another event that increased community involvement was a summer volunteer program Club “TIP” (the Clever Kids of Panatau Club) in which local teenagers collectively sculpted and painted mural on the walls of the study room.

 

For more photos go to:
Club TIP – photo album


In addition, the community has had the chance to come in contact with the center as it is rented out for various local events such as baptisms and birthday parties to generate income to help cover costs for various repairs. Recently a group of Swiss students visited the center, and the funds raised were used to buy new wood laminate flooring to replace the myriad of carpets that had covered the bare cement.

 

The Fountain of Hope began in 2007, in partnership with the Panatau Community and The Cooperating Netherlands Foundation. Its main goal was to reduce the rate of primary school dropout in the village, and indeed, none of the children benefitting from the Fountain of Hope’s services have been held back or dropped out. While the majority of such after-school centers in the area closed due to lack of funding, thanks to the involvement of AMURTEL’s international network of sponsors and the local community council of Panatau the project has survived despite severe cuts in social services nationwide.  Please help us to keep it going! We will be needing extra help this year to support the increased costs!

 

For more information on all the projects of Romania go to: Amurtel Romania.