CERI and Project Ruth recently marked their fourth year in partnership, operating the Women’s Economic Empowerment program in Romania. Since 2012, the two organizations have worked to empower Bucharest’s Roma women through counseling, employment and vocational training, educational support and child development.
In its fourth year, the program exceeded its goals in nearly all of its five service areas: sewing club, counseling, tutoring, steps for independent living and child development.
|SEWING CLUBForty-four women participated in the Sewing Club, completing sewing projects that would benefit their families, learning how mend clothing and create new pieces. The Sewing Club held 222 sessions in the last year, and since its start four years ago, has convened more than 700 sessions, completing goods like aprons, skirts, purses, tote bags and scarves that can be sold at local festivals and markets. The women earned a combined income of over $13,500 from the sale of their products.|
|TUTORINGThe Tutoring Program was immensely successful, serving nearly twice as many students than organizers originally anticipated. More than 100 middle and high school students attended 165 tutoring sessions in the last year, increasing the likelihood that these students will further their education in high school or college.|
|CHILD DEVELOPMENTChild development takes place in the afterschool childcare program. Children are guided through fun activities and games, and provided a healthy snack. Forty-four children were enrolled in the afterschool childcare program, providing a chance for parents to extend wage-earning hours, and obtain academic support through learning activities and homework assistance.|
The Roma community is one of Europe’s largest, most disadvantaged minority groups, living in poor, highly concentrated urban and suburban neighborhoods. Roma children do not attend school regularly, leading to high illiteracy and dropout rates. Many Roma adults and families suffer from unemployment and poverty. CERI and Project Ruth work together to provide Bucharest’s Roma population with enriching programs and services to help them advance their education, employment and self-sustainability.