In Romania, school dropout rates have increased in recent years, even more since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the move to online education, many children from poor and rural areas lost their access to education because families didn’t have computers, phones, or internet—or the financial resources to get these tools.
Given this need, and with overall poverty increasing throughout Romania (especially in rural areas), IOCC and Church partner Federation Filantropia have helped strengthen the connection to school for 35 students in especially impoverished areas.
These youngsters took part in social and educational activities, including creative workshops in sewing, decorating, painting, and singing, as well as academic tutoring. Some who faced an increased risk of bullying and dropout also received counseling, while families and communities learned about the importance of school attendance and the lasting negative impacts of dropping out. In addition, IOCC support provided furniture and educational materials, equipping facilities in two areas for counseling and educational activities so that this vital work can continue even after the project has ended.
Together, IOCC and the local Church are planting vital seeds to help young people in Romania stay engaged with education and to give them the support they need to forge ahead and thrive amid challenges.