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European Social Fund Plus

Helping Romania’s vulnerable through tough times

Helping Romania’s vulnerable through tough times
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A Romanian project has introduced support measures and services to combat poverty, helping vulnerable individuals across the country to manage the cost-of-living.

With funding from the European Social Fund, (ESF), the ‘integrated community services’ project provides support services to over 100 marginalised communities. The project aims to remedy low levels of education and reduced access to social and medical services by offering school counselling, career guidance, community nursing and social services.

Roman Covaci describes how the project has transformed his life: ‘I can honestly confess that without the help of the integrated services team here in Lazareni, I wouldn’t have made it.’

‘With their help I finally received the state allowance for Alex, my grandchild, as well as a social scholarship for him,’ he says. ‘The biggest accomplishment is that Alex is now attending school regularly, where he receives empathetic support from teachers.’

The project’s support proved transformative for Alex as he went from a withdrawn child to one who ‘grew up to be very communicative and sociable, eager to spend time with children his own age.’

The project provides school counsellors and mediators to prevent vulnerable children from dropping out of school. Adrian Covaciu is a school mediator in Lazareni. As part of the Roma community, he feels it paramount to encourage his community towards receiving a quality education.

‘Within this project I want to offer support and change the mentality of my fellow villagers, to make them aware of the fact that graduating school and attaining a training certificate is the only way to end the cycle of poverty.’

The project also had a major role to play during the COVID-19 pandemic. Project social workers assisted with distributing leaflets and monitoring citizens on their return from abroad. They ensured children had adequate resources when throughout the school lockdowns. They also kept people, especially older people, safe by making sure everyone had access to basic medical services.

Thanks to the project, vulnerable Romanians are finding the support they need to manage a difficult environment, giving them a chance to receive education, essential medical services and avoid isolation and social exclusion. Activities will be scaled-up with support from ESF+ in the next programming period to support a further 2 000 communities as part of the European Commission’s Social Inclusion and Dignity programme.

Project details

Project name
Creating and implementing integrated community services
Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education in Romania
124 marginalised communities
Project start
Project end
Contact details
Total budget
EUR 19 817 574
EU Budget contribution
EUR 19 817 574 (ESF)