More than 100 local communities from Romania have applied for the competition organized by Ovidiu Rom and the Education Ministry this summer and 14 of them have won USD 150,000 in financing to help them get every poor child in pre-school. The financing came from The Alex Fund, a New York based NGO, which includes actor Ethan Hawke as a member of the board.
The organizers had initially planned to offer sponsorship for only five communities, but have increased the number of beneficiaries and the financing after receiving an overwhelming number of applications. Around 1,000 children will benefit from this project.
“Visiting communities around the country verified that there is an appallingly large number of poor children who have no access to kindergarten. But the good news is that a lot of local mayors, school directors and citizens want to turn around this state of affairs. As a consequence, we increased the number of selected communities from 5 to 14. We expect between 800 and 1000 children will be affected, provided that the local action groups translate their initial enthusiasm into action, " said Maria Gheorghiu, executive director of Ovidiu Rom.
Ovidiu Rom has alloted around EUR 150 for every child between 4 and 6 years old whose family lives below the poverty line. In addition to providing food coupons to the families whose children have perfect attendance, these funds cover teacher training and educational resources.
The 14 local communities selected in the project are: Braşov county: Săcele and Tărlungeni, Buzău county: Râmnicu Sărat, Covasna county: Araci, Hăghig, and Întorsura Buzăului, Dâmboviţa county: Gura Şuţii, Harghita county: Bălan, Maramureş county: Coroieni, Mureş county: Band, Sălaj county: Jibou, Sibiu county: Alţâna, Brateiu, Roşia.
Ovidiu Rom will organize its annual Haloween Charity Ball fund raising event on October 30 at the People's Palace, aiming to raise more funds to send poor children to kinder garden and school.