On March 21, we celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Children’s Balloon in Herăstrău Park, where 100 children of different ethnic backgrounds (Romanian, Roma, Hungarian, French and Middle Eastern) participated in team games for several hours. The event, which was organized by Terre des Hommes in partnership with UEFA, Policy Center for Roma and Minorities and other organizations, promoted a spirit of communication, understanding and unity among the children through games and other activities focused on cooperation rather than competition.
The group of children from the Alternative Education Club at School 136 performed three songs while being applauded by the entire audience: “Ever Higher” (“Tot mai sus” by Guess who), “Ando Vurdon” (“In the Cart,” a traditional Roma song) and a ballad. Other children from the Club who were not present were still able to communicate their feelings—joy and sadness, hope and worries—through the photo exhibit “Beyond the Ghetto,” which was featured at the event. Produced by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities in collaboration with the National Council against Discrimination, the exhibit contains snapshots of day-to-day life in Ferentari taken by the children themselves.
Sports and cultural celebrities came to the event to make a clear statement that artificially-constructed barriers between ethnicities prevent us from realizing the beauty and full potential of diversity, which we can only achieve together. Among those present at the event were Olympic fencing champion Laurea Badea, football stars such as Daniel Prodan, Miodrag Belodedici (who is also a UEFA Europe League ambassador) and Dan Ionescu, as well as young Romanian actors of Turkish and Roma backgrounds such as Aylin Cadâr, Doinița Oancea, Zita Moldovan and Sorin Sandu.