Journalist Laura Oniță has released a short film on the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to positive growth and a good education that Roma children face in Romania. The extreme poverty, hunger, deprivation and racially-motivated, systemic prejudice experienced by Roma children daily prevent them from either entering the formal education system altogether or from performing well, graduating and moving on to the next levels. When they are not out working to support their families, the two thirds of Roma children who do attend primary and secondary school find it difficult to catch up with peers who do not miss meals, live in nurturing environments and are not put down daily because of who they are.
The second part of the documentary highlights Policy Center’s alternative education program as a one-of-a kind opportunity for Roma children to learn and grow in a positive environment, while gaining the confidence that they, too, can achieve excellence. The personalized academic support, individual attention and care afforded to the children by the Alternative Education Club’s staff and volunteers work wonders for the children’s progress and self-esteem, as documented by Ms. Oniță’s camera.
Laura Oniță lives and works in London as a freelance journalist.