The Gypsy’s have lived in Romania for hundreds of years, but have always been outsiders. They are not integrated because of widespread discrimination and prejudice, a stigma that is exacerbated by higher than average levels of poverty, crowded living conditions, unemployment and poor levels of education.
There is a disturbing rate of illiteracy among gypsies and reluctance within the communities to allow children to further their education by attending secondary school. The principal cause for this disinclination to improve is due to access to pre-school education or a failure of the gypsy children to keep up with kids of their own age.
These photographs are part of an ongoing documentary series about the gypsy children and community of Urvind, which lies in the North West corner of Romania. It is a village made of shipping containers homes and crude breezeblock buildings.
The Romanian charity people 2 People offer support to the community. Both children and adults are benefit from a purpose built schoolroom where additional classes are held each day. There is also a program of integration for the younger children who attend the local primary school and with the support and guidance of a specialist teacher are encouraged to socialize with pupils of their own age from the local village.
This facility has the potential to offer the children an opportunity to advance their skills and impart some of the support children from a conventional home in Romania might receive.