Improving trust through education
“Both children and parents alike get to know each other through the project. This creates a stronger sense of trust within the local community,” says Andrei Dinu from the Romano ButiQ Association.
Bonțida is a small municipality with around 5000 inhabitants 30 kilometres away from Cluj-Napoca, situated on the right bank of the Small Someș River. Like most communities in Transylvania, Bonțida is ethnically diverse with both a large Hungarian and a large Roma population. While the ethnic relations are not tense, improving trust across ethnic lines is still an issue:
“This is why we in our project focus on three pillars; education for the children, involvement of the parents and anchoring our activities in the local community,” explains Andrei.
The project supported by the NGO fund in Romania involves an ethnically diverse group of 50 children aged 5-11 from Bonțida. The children are part of a creative education programme taking place during the weekends every two weeks and once a month during the week. The activities include painting, singing, dancing and acting. Professionals are hired to lead the activities. The project was launched in June this year when the 50 children went for a five day holiday camp in the Alba County in western Romania, where they could participate in creativity workshops and do sports.
“The holiday camp helped the children to get to know each other better, but with entrusting us their children for five days, it was also the starting point for us getting to know their parents too,” says Andrei.
Bringing together the parents is an important part of the project. They get to know each other while their children are playing and learning. Andrei hopes this will encourage the parents to be more engaged in the local community. He also emphasises the importance of the children coming from different backgrounds:
“We think it is a good thing to mix children from more disadvantaged families with children from so-called ‘normal’ backgrounds. The good thing with children is that they do not care about differences in social or ethnic background. They just want to play and learn.”
Next summer 25-28 June, the children participating in the project will put up a performance highlighting what they have learned. This is when the Electric Castle Festival the Banffy castle takes place in Bontida and the community is full of life.
Emil Carhat, the Mayor of Bonțida, believes the project has a positive impact on the town:
“We are on the right track. Our priority is good stable jobs for the parents and to improve education for our children. This project is a valuable contribution to achieve these aims.”
About the project
The project receives €34 848 from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the NGO fund in Romania, and started June 2014 and is scheduled to end June 2015. The Edusfera Association and S.C K Consulting Management and Coordination participate as project partners.
Creative education for a harmonious community
Romano ButiQ Association
Type of Institution:
Advocacy organization (NGO)
The project aims to stimulate the inter-ethnic interaction, on all levels (meetings, discussions, creative workshops, cultural events) and to stimulate the interes for education of the children in the community, by involving 50 children (Roma and non-Roma, respecting gender equality)in creative program of communication, collaboration and education, including a creative camp and a series of non-formal education workshops, monthly held for 6 months. By involving the children in the Bontida community, but also their families, in common actions within the camp, we build the basis of a harmonious growth and development of the children, creating a new generation which doesn’t accentuate the ethnical differences, but embraces them. By the direct and mediated interaction, the community can find the opportunity to find solutions and instruments to solve their problems, be it inter-ethnical, social or economical.