The OvidiuRo Association has started the campaign ‘Without education, dreams disappear’, aimed at promoting pre-school education of poor Romanian children and also the fundraiser for the “Fiecare Copil la Gradinita” –FCG (Every Child to Pre-school) programme during the 2015 – 2016 school year, though recurrent text message donations.
With this campaign, OvidiuRo is inviting anyone who wishes to support the pre-school education of a poor child to activate a 2 euro monthly donation by texting the word ‘gradi’ on 8844. (Every month, the donor receives a message asking if he/she wants to renew the donation). This is the simplest gesture through which anyone can support the Every Child to Pre-school project.
This year, the fundraiser for supporting Romania’s poorest children through pre-school has for allies Seymour Bemstein, famous New York pianist and composer, who used to study with George Enescu, and Ethan Hawke, American film director who has been supporting OvidiuRo’s projects for several years now.
Seymour Bernstein, an outstanding pianist who devoted his existence to raising a new generation of musicians, as well as a fabulous character through his experience and life philosophy, is the protagonist of Ethan Hawke’s film – Seymour: An Introduction, acclaimed at various festivals (Sundance, Toronto) and short-listed by US Variety magazine among the best five cinematographic productions of 2015.
‘The Seymour screening: An Introduction is a gesture of gratitude of OvidiuRo to all those this programme is owed to, those who are already financially supporting it or who will contribute with recurrent donations by text messages.
Perhaps even now, in some poor, secluded Romanian village, there is a future Enescu, Seymour or Ethan. Time will decide that, but what we know for sure is that there are 120,000 3 to 5 year olds in Romania who are poor and who cannot have a future without education, whom we can all help by sending a simple SMS’, said Maria Gheorghiu, co-founder of OvidiuRo.
Courtesy of the two supporters and on the invitation of the ‘George Enescu’ International Festival, there was a public screening – an absolute premiere in Romania – within the campaign Without education, the dreams of children disappear of the OvidiuRo Association, Sunday, 20 September, from 21:00, in the Enescu Festival Square in Bucharest.
‘I believe every child has potential, but it needs to be nurtured starting from very young ages in order to help it grow into talent and skills. Send you children to pre-school and you will provide them with a good start in life!’ said Ethan Hawke.
OvidiuRo – and association co-founded in 2004 by Leslie Hawke and Maria Gheorghiu – wants every poor child in Romania o have access to quality early education and become an active member of the society. Since 2010, OvidiuRo has been implementing, with remarkable results, the Every Child to Pre-school programme, designed around the mechanism of offering social vouchers subject to attendance, with a value of 50 lei/month to poor parents to take their children to pre-school every day. The programme doubles and even triples the number of poor children who go to pre-school in a community and 98% of the FCG graduates then enrol for the preparatory class or the 1st grade. More information on how the programme operates and its results is available on www.ovid.ro.
Every Child to Pre-school is being currently implemented by the OvidiuRo Association in a total of 43 communities in 11 counties, benefiting 2,400 deprived children. The intention on a long term is to make Every Child to Pre-school into a national programme, funded with public money. More details can be found on www.ovid.ro.
Children from economically deprived families, who do not receive pre-school education, start school with a huge educational handicap compared to the rest of their peers. This divide becomes increasingly obvious over time and affects their school attendance and ability to find jobs later on. This handicap can be prevented by early intervention, from pre-school, where the foundation of all learning skills and abilities are built.
What early education and Every Child to Pre-school Programme supporters say
‘The children whose minds are not stimulated by adequate interaction with the adults and their environment pay for those early shortcomings during their entire life – and so does the society’, says Armeane Choski, the Wold Bank.
‘I have always been absolutely convinced that the education of the youth is crucial and it is there where the key to success for any civilisation resides. (…) Giving a genuine chance to education to poor children does not mean a better future only for Romania, it means a better future for Europe’, said former CEO of Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest Friedrich W. Niemann.
‘Giving education to all our children is the most precious gift we can make ourselves’, says Radu Florescu, Centrade.
‘FCG shapes the habit of going to school. And that creates discipline in the whole family’, Princess Marina Sturdza says.
‘There are 60,000 NGOs in Romania. If you support a project for a year and then an entirely different project the following year, you cannot build anything. We need to invest on a long term’, says Pascal Prigent, former CEO of GlaxoSmithKline.
‘Effective early intervention lead to lower load on public services and higher contributions to the state budget’, says UK MP Graham Allen.