The Buciumeni Buftea Community

In Buftea, a relatively well-off town near Bucharest, the Buciumeni and Flamanzeni are two pockets of extreme poverty, where most of the families – over 300 of them – live on social support, mainly on their children’s allowance. School number 3 in Buciumeni (most of our children attend this school) and school no 4 in Flamanzeni had 351 students in 2019 – 2020. More than 250 of children come from extremely vulnerable families.

Most of the children in difficulty have Roma ethnic background, live in disorganized, single parent families, with many children, in very poor housing conditions: many families living under the same roof, often in the same room. Children do not have their own space appropriate for studying, they generally have a very low interest in education and school and tend to adopt the educational model they inherited in their families, meaning that they do not count on education to get them out of poverty. As a consequence, the rate of school dropout is high and less than 8% of the secondary school graduates go beyond their 8 years of study. There is no other day center in this community, no social canteen for children, no other „after school” programme to help children.