Together for a better life project – Social and Economic Inclusion project of the Roma Community of Satmarel

©Kristen Poels


In Romania, more than 40% of the population and more than 49% of the children are at risk of living in precarious conditions due to difficulties in accessing health and education services, lack of information, exclusion and discrimination. There is a wide gap in access to education between rural and urban areas, with school dropout rates among young people under 14 years of age that are 25% higher in rural areas. In addition, the quality of education is lower and there is an even greater shortage of qualified staff. Further analysis by the Romanian Ministry of Education shows that out of a cohort of children followed for 8 years, almost 30.4% dropped out before the end of cycle 2 (14 years) and only 56.9% obtain the average in the national evaluation exam. 374 inhabitants, including nearly 165 Roma children, now live in Satmarel, an outlying district of the city of Satu Mare, which has become the largest slum in the region. The majority of these families have been living there without official permission for more than 6 generations. Their living conditions are extremely precarious: insalubrious housing, road infrastructure in very poor condition, difficult access to public services, limited access to electricity, running water, gas etc. They face difficulties in accessing education, health, social services and assistance and employment.

Project objective

Our project – carried out in collaboration with the Romanian association, STEA, promotes the social and economic inclusion of families living in the Satmarel shantytown. It acts, in particular, for the access and retention in school of children aged 6 to 14 years by improving the quality of education, among other things. The project also plans to work with parents in order to increase their involvement in education and make them more autonomous in their efforts to access rights. Finally, through the creation and maintenance of a solidarity garden, it proposes to increase the employability and skills of young adults.


CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Departmental Centre for Resources and Educational Assistance, Directorate of Social Assistance of the City of Satu Mare, Directorate of Public Health, Departmental Directorate for Youth and Sport, Directorate General of Social Assistance and Child Protection of Satu Mare, Octavian Goga School of Satu Mare and its branch in Satmarel, Swiss Foundation, Grenoble Isère Romania, School Inspectorate of Satu Mare County, Satu Mare Town Hall, Secours Populaire de Roubaix, Solidarité Enfance Romania, STEA.

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Project location / Romania - Satmarel, Satu Mare district
Region / Europe
Area / Access and quality of education, Lifelong and Livelihood Education, Vocational training
Duration / 2018 - 2022
The project covers / In 2019, 48 children in the 6-16 age group, 13 parents and 6 young adults in the process of socio-professional inclusion have benefited from this project (activities organised at Satmarel School, day care centre and the STEA Garden). With regard to the component on the “improvement of the conditions of health and mediation for access to rights”, our intervention targeted the whole of the marginalised community of Satmarel. Thus, in 2019, 248 people benefited from financial assistance for the purchase of medicines; 26 people were provided support to obtain/renew their identity documents; 14 adults of Satmarel were given our support in their search for employment and in their medical and administrative procedures for employment.
Project manager /
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