Children of disadvantaged families around Bacau struggle to find opportunities for education or social play and support. The Glue Clubs are several day centres within the area that provide safe, friendly and engaging educational activities. Each club provides support for a number of children, from 25 at the club in Bacau to 90 in Stanisesti.
The Glue Club model has been in place since 2005 and is carried out in partnership with local communities in dedicated spaces. The initiative has been highly effective due to partnerships with authorities which provide both part of the resources but also legitimation to an approach from coming outside the local community.
The motivation is to reinforce a child’s right to education and support, their right to leisure and recreation and the right to be part of the community. For some, these clubs represent the only opportunity to gain access to quality educational and play materials. The educators choose interactive activities with emphasis on creativity, communication and the discovery and stimulation of each individual.
- Music, dance and painting to encourage creativity
- Introduction to computer use
- Educational videos and interactive games
- Support with homework
- Celebration of public Holidays
Through the clubs, our aim is to give children without a voice the chance to develop their potential and motivate the involvement of parents in the success and progress of the children. The clubs can help raise the school performance of children who otherwise might be struggling. The children form relationships that help their development, and the club actively facilitates interactions between the children from the countryside and children from the city.
Specifically, the problems we help answer within the Glue Clubs are:
To increase the number of children enrolled in a school and decrease school dropout rates. Although in Romania education is “compulsory and free”, in practice there are hidden costs related to supplies, clothing, transport and educational materials, much of which families cannot afford.
End discrimination within education. Children with disabilities or Roma are discriminated against or do not have access to educational, cultural and recreational services.
Bridge the urban-rural education gap. The quality of the educational process varies greatly from one community to another, being much lower in rural areas due to infrastructure, inadequate conditions and lack of qualified personnel.