In Romania, 1 of 6 children drops out of school every year. The main causes for this phenomenon are poverty and the lack of social services. Child focused NGOs in Romania like World Vision have created afterschool programs to demonstrate that school dropout and children’s social problems can actually be prevented.
I visited school 126 from sector 5, Bucharest and talked to children benefiting from this program, parents and teachers. A few days later, I took a long journey (about 15 hours by train) to Vaslui county, one of the poorest areas in Romania, to see the same model of afterschool services applied in the rural areas.
Experts in the field widely agree that such programs should be made available at national level to all children and families in need. The after-school programs can also help children whose parents have emigrated abroad for work.
My travel companion was Giorgio Comai, who has actually written more extensively about this topic on Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso. You can read his feature story here.