I, You, He and She – We stand up for ourselves! Press release

Association “ We Draw your future!”( Desenăm Viitorul Tău) in partnership with other two Associations “Life Education for All” and “Federeii – Association of Adults from Children’s Homes” are implementing form January until May 2016 the project” I, You, He and She – We stand up for ourselves!”.

The project is financed by the Civic Innovation Fund, a program developed by the Foundation for Civil Society Development in partnership with the Romanian-American Foundation, Trust for Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe and Raiffeisen Bank, covering the counties of Cluj, Bucharest-Ilfov, Bihor, Satu-Mare and Timis.

Within this project, 150 young people from the social assistance system, aged 16-26 years, will benefit from a training program aimed to develop their public speaking skills. This will help them to sustain their points of view and to represent themselves in relation with the state institutions. One of the most important and innovative results of the project at national level will be the establishment of the  Council of Institutionalized Young People that although it will have only an advisory role, it will make possible for these young people to organize themselves, to become responsible and to get  actively involved  in the issues faced within the social assistance system.

The need for this project is vital in Romania, given that according to official statistics of the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption there are currently about 60,000 abandoned children and young persons. Even from the `70s until today, it is estimated that a total of 500,000 people lived in the former orphanages and children’s swings, now known as the current foster care centers. A lot of them died in these institutions due to inadequate treatments they received, due to the indifference of the system and the society in which they were raised.

By pursuing the goals set in our project we want to give voice to these young people to mobilise them to improve their current situation, to know their rights and responsibilities and to develop the necessary skills to live an independent life.

Eu, Tu, E, Ea - Noi ne reprezentam

(logo designed by Cristian Bogdan, a young person from the social assistance system)

“We want the new Council of Institutionalized Young People to develop a mechanism that will constantly monitor the activity of Social Assistance and Child Protection Institutions, so that the law is enforced and the children’s rights are respected. Our initiative will contribute with a real input regarding the needs of institutionalized children and young persons  so that it becomes the most important dialogue partner in the consultation mechanisms that affects them. This self-representation, even just at an advisory level,  as the Romanian legislation allows it for now,  it is needed because these young people will have a “voice” and an advisory role in public policy and legislative initiatives affecting them. “- states Vişinel Balan, Manager of this project.

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