FDP – Protagoniști în educație
FDP Protagonists in Education (FDP) was established in 1996 to promote the deinstitutionalization of children with HIV and other abandoned children, in partnership with AVSI and with funding from UNICEF. Since that time, FDP has implemented numerous projects to increase the social and educational integration of Romania’s most vulnerable children and youth including Roma, orphans, and children with HIV and special educational needs.
Most recently, FDP has been leading a coalition of various social service organizations responding to the refugee crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine which began in February 2022. Romania shares both land and sea borders with Ukraine. Since the start of the conflict, over 600,000 refugees have transited through Romania with over 80,000 choosing to stay. FDP and partners have assisted over 13,000 people in 5 welcome centers. For further information on our Ukraine response visit our donation page.
FDP In Photos
Children with special educational needs (SEN) face hurdles that prohibit learning without specialized assistance to navigate scholastic requirements, and social and emotional pressures. In Romania, services for children with SEN are almost completely lacking and parents feel isolated and overwhelmed which leads to the children being routinely shuffled from one class, or even one school, to another, leaving children behind in learning.
Further barriers that hamper the inclusion of students with SEN include insufficient preparation of teachers to manage special needs students, shortage of counseling services in mainstream schools (in Bucharest the student-to-school-counselor ratio is a distressing 1,330 to 1), and hostile attitudes of other parents.
In such a setting, students with SEN rarely receive adequate support and are prone to school dropouts, losing the chance to make a good start in life and suffering detrimental long-term consequences.
In 2019, AVSI-USA partnered with FDP and the Ministry of Education’s Center for Education Resources and Assistance (CREA) in Bucharest to establish the Wonder Center, which aims to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and educational services to children with SEN. In addition, the Wonder Center provides counseling to parents so they can better support their children and professional training for teachers to improve the practice of inclusive education. Through the Wonder Center, FDP and AVSI are raising the standard of education for children with SEN in Romania, reducing school dropout and enhancing student participation in successful adult life.
- Open Wonder Center for students with special educational needs.
- Provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and educational services for 50 children annually.
- Rolling enrollment, evaluation, creation, and implementation of Individual Education Programs (IEPs) with individual and group therapies for 50 children.
- Development of a robust, high-level, comprehensive teacher training curriculum of 80 hours of instruction.
- Expanded use of the EDUACCES (https://eduacces.ro/en) platform, a digital library of resources for educators, counselors, therapists, and professionals working with children with SEN to reach professionals nationwide (EDUACCES is especially valuable since COVID made remote learning normal.)
- Strengthen the involvement and support of 30 parents in the education of their children.