The SVASTA Foundation
20,000 people are behind bars in Romanian prisons. Fathers or mothers of innocent children who unjustly bear a punishment: precarious economic situation, social exclusion and the imminent risk of school dropout.
Civil society can and must act so that these children do not repeat, over a generation, the fate of their own parents.
The project, located in the poorest areas and communities in Romania, proposes a set of support measures for their educational, professional and social integration.
The poorest Romanian counties: Giurgiu, Teleorman and Vaslui, GDP per capita about 5.000 EURO.
The 3 target counties are characterized by a mix of factors with negative social effects: high unemployment rate, increased infractionality, high school dropout.
The issue of supporting children with imprisoned parents is often ignored at the local level. In the case of families with a precarious economic situation, these children without the presence of one of the parents face an imminent risk of school dropout. The project aims to bring together local actors with social responsibilities: mayorality, school, NGOs.
Recidivism after a generation, by repeating the fate of their own parents is the main threat to these children.
The project propose a package of measures through which the local community and civil society can intervene in support of this innocent children of guilty parents!
The social integration through education of these children is first and foremost a responsibility of society. The concrete actions are a mission of the local community.
Democracy means equal opportunities, and in order to ensure this equality, active citizenship at the community level is needed with following actions:
Making a list of cases of children at imminent risk of school drop out. Involved: NGOs, the National Administration of Penitentiaries, the School
Involvement of the local community in identifying a customized set of measures for each case
The support measures, for which the necessary resources have been identified, shall be applied for a period of at least 2 years with the participation of the whole community.
For each county will be identify 7 children with parents in detention an imminent risk of school dropout.
Three local actors will be involved: County Council & City Halls, County School Inspectorate & Schools and volunteers from the local communities.
Volunteers are key players.They come from the respective counties and were in a similar situation in the school time, having also their parents in detention. They received a scholarship from the Foundation which allowed them to successfully complete their studies. Today they are young engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, economists and are actively involved in the Foundation's projects.
The empathy of these young volunteers and their ability to communicate with the children in the project target group is the main asset of this project.
Our approach, based on the experience gained in similar projects means following main steps:
- Contacting penitentiaries, presenting the project to the detainees and obtaining contact details for the interested families;
- Field visit by the family to know the real situation and the support needs;
- Each case will be assigned to a member of the project team who will take on the role of mentor for that child;
- Elaboration and implementation of an individual support plan for each case structured on 3 parts: material, educational and psychological;
- Competitions between the children to stimulate school results, as well as personal development efforts;
- After the project completion, 2-3 children from each county will be selected for receiving a scholarship from the SVASTA Foundation.
Expected result: 21 children with imprisoned parents, at imminent risk of school dropout, will be able to continue their school successfully.
The success of this project can mean for initiators: a number of 2-3 students from each county, who will be awarded by the school in their community, based on learning outcomes.
It will be also a prize for us!
What is changing? These 21 children have a perspective ahead, a way they will follow in life. And near them will be a friend - the mentor, and a community that understands and continue to support them.
The community will realize that it is own responsibility to change for the better, the fate of these children. And by participating in the implementation of the project, they will be able to learn what they should do.
This project aims to apply examples of good practice used in other European countries.
The issue of supporting children with imprisoned parents was addressed in Romania for the first time through a joint project implemented by the SVASTA Foundation Bucharest with the VELUX Foundations, Denmark, 2015-2018.The proposed project used these experience.
At the same time, it is intended to capitalize on some examples of good practice regarding the involvement of civil society in supporting the children with imprisoned parents. In the recent years, the SVASTA Foundation contacts more European NGOs, whose experience can be useful.An example: the NGO ”For Fangers Pårørende, FFP” Oslo which was visited in November 2019, on which occasion they were to identified an important cooperation potential.
The idea of this project is important not only for me as the founder of the SVASTA Foundation, but also for the entire project team, made up of young volunteers, former or current scholarships of the Foundation. The motivations for this social involvement, both in initiating and also in implementing the project, are based on personal reasons.
For many childrens of Romania, the road to school is long and difficult.
From this social reality was born the mission of the Foundation: "Along with you on the way to school".
And also this project!
Funding requested from Civic Europe
- Direct cost, target group related 37,000 EURO
- Travel cost 3,700 EURO
- Personnel cost 7,000 EURO
- Communications cost 2,000 EURO
- Office expenses 2,400 EURO
- Project management cost 4,000 EURO
- Public relations cost 3,000 EURO
- Administrative cost 1,900 EURO
Total idea duration:60 months (of which 14 mths Civic Europe and 18 mths own resources SVASTA Foundation)
We are interested to receive comments, best practice, succes stories, advocacy about how the act of the civic initiatives is solving social problems focused on the educational issues for disadvantages families.