There is a very real crisis affecting thousands of children in the poorest rural areas of Romania at present.  Their families are caught in a cycle of under-education and poverty, and the children do not have sufficient opportunities or assistance to break out of it.  In short, for many poor village children, education is inaccessible, living conditions are practically unbearable and the chances of a decent future life are extremely limited.

FAVOR’s humanitarian aid deliveries have brought us to scores of the neediest communities in județul Bacău. We have personally visited and spent time in discussion with hundreds of poor families. We encountered so many children with little to no hope for their future, lacking even the most basic necessities, attending school only sporadically and often dropping out entirely by the age of 13 or 14, abused as cheap labor for local landowners. Often, when we met these children at their homes, we felt as if they were crying out to us to give them a chance. All of this birthed in us a strong desire to establish a place and a program through which we could work towards changing the trajectory of some of these kids’ lives.  

Major studies from many organizations, including UNICEF and Save The Children, have singled out educational challenges as the most pressing issues to resolve for Romanian children in rural poverty. Through our personal contact with these households, as well as extensive discussions with local authorities, social assistants and child protection officials, we have drawn the same conclusion. Education is the best tool available for these children to eventually be able to break out of the cycle of poverty that their families are stuck in.

In the villages where we are working, schools only go up until the 8th grade. To study further, a student must be admitted to and attend a high school in the city. This means first of all having grades good enough to be accepted by a high school and secondly having the money to either travel back and forth to the city or to live in a dormitory. Parents in most of these families have virtually no cash income. Most of these parents have very little education themselves and some are illiterate, so they cannot help their own children with studies at all. Therefore, many are resigned to the “fact” that their children will not be able to study beyond the 8th grade

Growing up in this environment, most of the children have come to accept this situation as their fate. They also have the examples of many other young people, their neighbors and older siblings, without high-school education, who have remained in the village and just do whatever they can to survive. Dropping out early is considered normal and expected. As a result, many of the children don’t attend school more than half of the days. Some hardly attend at all and are passed along from year to year by teachers who themselves have come to have very low expectations. Lots of kids in the 5th and 6th grades can hardly even read

We knew that in order to impart to these children a vision for school, we would first of all need to inspire them. We would also have to address and compensate for some of the other very real challenges they face. Children are not inspired to learn when their stomachs are empty, so we planned to offer them a good midday meal. We would also make sure that they had sufficient good clothing to be able to attend school, as well as backpacks, notebooks and the other materials needed. We would create a fun, pleasant atmosphere where the children would feel welcome. We would offer them love and encouragement to build them up emotionally and help them overcome inner lacks and hurts.

We shared this vision with mayors from a few different townships with whom we were in frequent contact. Three different locations were offered to us. When we saw the old building in the Mărăști school yard, with plenty of space around it, we knew it was the place.

In 2012, the building was was completely renovated and furnished. Once a damp, dilapidated structure, the building is now a bright and welcoming environment, consisting of two spacious classrooms, bathrooms and a modern, fully equipped kitchen. The ample grounds outside provide space for recreational activities and events. In the spring of 2013, a large playground was installed in front of the center, to the delight of all the children. This is only one of its kind for many kilometers around.

Children from grades 1- 8 arrive at Centrul Curcubeu after school in two shifts, where dedicated teachers aim to inspire, motivate and encourage them on the path of learning. Activities involve tutoring in basic scholastic skills and homework help, arts and crafts, character-building games and activities, introduction to computers, and instruction in personal hygiene. Since many of these children are undernourished and come to school hungry, the center serves a nutritious meal daily.

The basic goals of this after-school program are as follows

  • To help some of these very needy children break out of the cycle of poverty and under-education which their families are trapped in.  
  • To envision the children with the value of learning and the greater possibilities available to them through education. 
  • To equip them with scholastic skills adequate for success in further education and life thereafter.
  • To help them discover their personal potential, to grow in faith and confidence, to know that they are each loved and important.

How can we help

Charity through Material Support

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Charity through Encouragement

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Charity through Love

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utility of Rainbow Center

Progressive, non-formal educational methods contribute effectively to children's social skills and personal development, while making learning fun. FAVOR strongly believes that if these children are given the necessary skills, vision and opportunities, they can succeed in life, and can continue to make a positive contribution to the world.

FAVOR Association programs are designed to combat early school leaving of socio-economically disadvantaged youth in rural areas. Some of the main factors that contribute to children’s early school dropout are lack of parental support, lack of basic material needs and family conflict.

At the Rainbow Center, children are covered for most of their material needs, including food, clothing and supplies. They also receive a lot of encouragement and emotional support, which helps them believe in their ability to overcome challenges.

Last but not least, the constant loving atmosphere in the Center, where many of the children feel part of a family, helps to heal many of their emotional wounds.

At the Rainbow Center, special attention is paid to school studies. Most of the children attending the center were far behind in school for their age when they came to the Center. Many of them were illiterate. With a lot of individual attention, a lot of encouragement and progressive teaching methods, they all managed to learn. Some rose to the top of their classes.

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