Educating children to better protect them

by Terre des hommes | Terre des hommes (Tdh) - Switzerland
Tuesday, 8 April 2014 14:18 GMT

@Tdh/Marchina Jean-Luc

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Educating children to better protect them

On 8th April, International Roma Day, Terre des hommes (Tdh) took the opportunity to talk about this important community. The Foundation has implemented a number of projects in several European countries to improve the living conditions of this vulnerable population.

In countries where they decide to live, as well as in their country of origin, the Roma struggle to be recognised and accepted. They face stigmatisation and discrimination and live in precarious conditions. Children, often uneducated, are very vulnerable and risk suffering the worst forms of exploitation.

“Many children cannot go to school because they have to work. They live an adult’s life.”says Claudia Rinda, child psychologist. It is therefore imperative to work on educating Roma children as well as preventing and reducing their rate of dropping out of school so that they can build a better future. The Foundation is devoting a large part of its work to the most marginalised communities, including the Roma in Romania (, Moldova (, Albania ( and Kosovo (

Tdh’s commitment to the Roma community

Because knowledge empowers the most vulnerable (, it is essential to educate these children. Later on, this knowledge will pave the way for them to work and therefore give them the possibility to lift themselves out of poverty. On the Takeoever Day, organised by the Tdh delegation in Romania, Romanian children were made aware of the importance of education as a route to a profession. Within a day, Marius, almost 12 years old, became an air traffic controller on the ground in the largest airport in Bucharest. Delighted with his visit to the cockpit, he said, “I would like to become a pilot but I know that you need good grades and to study hard.”

The Foundation also helps parents obtain birth certificates for their children, which are valuable documents that allow children to be allowed to go to school. In addition, after-school classes have been set up for children who have failed at school. Finally, teachers have been made aware of the important role they play in promoting inter-cultural education integrating different communities that have been brought together.


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