CERI partners with a broad array of public and private entities to improve current and future conditions for thousands of vulnerable women, children, and families. For the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) program, CERI partners with Project Ruth, to implement educational and economic advancement programs for impoverished Roma (Gypsy) families in Bucharest, Romania. Project Ruth is headquartered in Bucharest and has worked in the community for over 20 years, focused on assisting the Roma (Gypsy) population which has historically suffered from ethnic discrimination and abuse.
The partnership between CERI and Project Ruth officially began in February of 2012 with the funding and inception of this program under the women's economic empowerment initiative of a global oil company. Four years of implementation have been successfully completed, and the program will soon begin its fifth year in April of 2016. Independently of this grant, Project Ruth operates a fully-accredited primary school, the Ruth School, where 240 students from impoverished families in Bucharest receive an education.
The beneficiaries of the WEE program are Roma women and children of the Bucharest District Nr. 5, the poorest sector of the city, in the Ferentari district, an area infamous as a Roma ghetto. The services offered are geared specifically toward vulnerable women and youth: