World Day of Prayer and Action for children celebrated by Romanian and Roma children

Sixty children and young adults participated in the celebration of the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children in Bucharest, Romania. The celebration took place at the “Santa Macrina” – ARMS Foundation, a child centre where a hundred children live and/or participate in activities of the daily programme. The main activity of the celebration was a workshop that brought together children coming from different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The participants were Romanian and Roma children aged between 6 and 17, with a good balance between boys and girls. Romania ratified the Convention for the Rights of the Child only ten years ago and a new legislation of child protection was adopted. For this reason it was decided to focus the celebration on children’s rights. The programme included moments of introspection and spiritual reflection followed by activities on child’s rights. Children enjoyed praying with music, poems and painting. A 16 years’ old girl, member of the Santa Macrina Programme, played violin for the other children.
The children prayed for all the children of the earth. They draw their own prayer asking for love, shelters, and toys, parks with flowers, happy families and beautiful schools. In their painting on child’s rights the teenagers talked about good opportunities for development for some children and the many problems that others need to deal with: bad educational conditions, no food, no homes, no protection, no opportunities for disabled children, violence, children forced to work or to beg, poverty, lack of dignity.
When representing children’s rights in an ideal world they found concepts like: proper learning conditions for all children, an attitude of togetherness and mutual support, a clean environment and protection for nature and animals, love and protection for all children, spiritual values, faith.
The drawing and images created by the children as well as their reflections were so profound and beautiful that all the participants in the celebration concluded that the objectives for the Day were fully achieved. The socially disadvantaged Romanian and Roma children, participants in different projects of the foundation, experienced togetherness. They became more aware about their rights in a society that marginalize them and recommitted themselves to continue developing their skills for an independent and dignify life. The celebration also focused on civic education for Roma people in order for them to become full citizens, with their own gifts and contributions, of Romania and Europe.

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