November 2nd, 2010
On October 30th, Policy Center for Roma and Minorities attended the 6th edition of the Halloween Charity Ball organized by NGO partner Ovidiu Rom, at the Parliament Palace in Bucharest. Members of our organization handed excellence awards to public figures involved in actively promoting equal access to education to all children regardless their ethnicity or their socio-economic background.
Within the framework of the REACT campaign implemented in Romania by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities and supported by the European Commission, these awards mark the first edition of the Social Inclusion Gala, an event aiming to reward and encourage the involvement of celebrities in supporting causes such as equal access to education (Școala te face mare campaign) or social inclusion through sports and political activity. The awarded celebrities: Andreea Esca (famous anchor-woman at one of the most renowned TV stations in Romania), Dana Deac (journalist, TV producer and moderator), Margareta Pâslaru (famous Romanian singer and actress), Andreea Marin Bănică (UN Goodwill Ambassador), Cristian Mungiu (Cannes awarded film producer), reinforced the necessity to address the situation of children from disadvantaged families who must be encouraged and stimulated to go to school.
Awards for their many contributions for promoting equal access to education to children in Romania were also presented to the following personalities who were not able to attend the event: Ethan Hawke (American actor who performed in one of the clips promoting education, translated already in several European languages, including Romani and available on the European Commission web-site), Radu Muntean (film producer), Cabral Ibacka (TV presenter), Dan Bittman (famous Romanian singer and TV presenter), Damian Draghici (Roma jazz singer), Horia Brenciu (singer and TV presenter), Narcisa Cumpănă (a Roma mother who attended school as a result of Ovidiu Rom’s intervention in her community; she is currently a teacher in Bacău).
A special award for promoting social inclusion through sports was presented to Daniel Prodan from the Romanian Football Federation. The commitment of the Federation in supporting the cause of equal access to education regardless ethnicity or socio-economic background will materialize through their support for the production of 2011 School makes you big clips.
Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Teodor Baconschi expressed his support for Ovidiu Rom’s mission and pointed out the need to make people aware that lack of access to education is one of the main difficulties the Roma community is currently facing. Mr. Teodor Baconschi presented an excellence award to European parliamentarian Mrs. Livia Járóka, the only Roma Member of the European Parliament, for her political activity in promoting the social inclusion of minorities. Mrs. Járóka raised the necessity of a common European answer necessary to tackle the issues faced by the Roma community.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Járóka said it was a privilege to receive the award in a time when Europe seems to finally recognise that the social exclusion of Europe’s 12 million Roma community is a common European issue which demanded a common response. She emphasised that receiving the award was a remarkable message that fostering the social inclusion of Roma was one of the most important strategic challenges that Europe faced. Mrs. Járóka said she was glad that the event had been hosted by an organisation that supported the integration of disadvantaged children into education at an early age, since skills obtained during kindergarten affects the later course of life and that early childhood education was therefore essential for their further development.
The special guest of the Halloween Charity Ball was Hollywood’s Oscar awarded actor Nicholas Cage who expressed his support for the cause promoted by Ovidiu Rom and its partners.
The Gala reunited famous public figures who dedicated their efforts to promoting social inclusion. The event aimed not only to honour their involvement, but to also encourage others to do the same.