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Frontpage News 2016 Together against poverty

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An after-school programme is one of the activities taking place at the two new community centers in Iasi and Ploiesti, Romania with support through the Norway Grants. Photographer: Kristianne Marøy / Krigsropet

Together against poverty

Supported through the Norway Grants, two new community centres in Iasi and Ploiesti in Romania work to provide vulnerable families with better access to basic services in education, health and social protection, including an after-school programme.

“In many poor families, parents are forced to send their children to work instead of sending them to school and continuing their education. Through this project, we aim to help ensure that children receive an education and that adults get work,” says Simen Mørstad Johansen, Project manager at the Salvation Army.

The Roma are disadvantaged in terms of access to housing, healthcare, social services, employment and education. With the aim of removing barriers to school attendance and to the job market, the Salvation Army in Romania has opened community centres in Iasi and Ploiesti, together with the Salvation Army in Norway. The centres provide deprived residents, many of whom are Roma, with basic welfare and education services.

Over 80 children are enrolled in after-school programmes at the centres where they also get help with homework. Children who are not enrolled in school also receive simple reading and writing lessons. The centres offer access to medical consultations and health education. The project also funds a mobile health clinic providing services for homeless adults and children in Bucharest.

The project also includes Salvatex – a separate business of charity shops where used clothing and other goods are resold, based on the model run by the Salvation Army in Norway. Its offers work experience for unemployed people, helping them to build their skills and improve their chances of finding a job.

The project is one of seven initiatives supported through the €20 million ‘Poverty Alleviation’ programme financed by Norway. The programme aims to address poverty in the long term through education opportunities, including vocational training, and health and other social services.

Results at a glance

  • 47 Public and private institutions cooperating
  • 150 People benefiting from social and legal services
  • 230 People received assistance to obtain identity documents
  • 28 Youths involved in vocational training programme

Read more

Read more about the programme

Read more about the EEA and Norway Grants to Romania