The area of Romania that our team will visit is on the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca. Roma communities continue to be subjected to social exclusion and discrimination from wider society. This, along with the lack of state support, has displaced the Roma community to the city rubbish dump, leaving them physically and socially living on the edge. Similar to many other Roma communities, the people living on Pata Rât settlement, fondly referred to as “Dallas Village” are unable to build proper houses and roads, resulting in makeshift houses built in a haphazard fashion. Most of these houses lack basic amenities and adequate insulation against the harsh weather. In the winter the temperature plummets, in the autumn the areas are flooded and in the height of summer the smell is almost unbearable.
GAiN has been working in partnership with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to support the long-term development among a number of Roma communities in Romania. In Cluj, the team will be working alongside ProRoma. This organization has been working with the community for more than 20 years to improve the living conditions, education, and health of the Roma people. During the project students will be serving the Pata Rât community for two weeks through practical work and encouraging young people. The team will be aiding the community through the construction of houses and community facilities.
“I’m excited to see the work that GAiN has been doing in Romania and to be able to help in the Pata Rât community. What I’m most looking forward to is interacting with the children at the community centre. Getting to see the layout of the English classes and community events falls in line with my course at University. It will be great to see what I’ve been learning in practice.”
-Megan, Student from Newcastle