Ambassadors of the European Year

Leslie Hawke

Leslie Hawke

Romania

 

English text

 

Fiecare Copil in Scoala in patru pasi : o propunere de politici publice pentru reducerea decalajului educational intre copiii din Romania, cu accent pe importanta educatiei prescolare si scolare mici.

Consider că onoarea de a fi Ambasador al Anului European este o foarte bună ocazie de a aduce în atenţia publicului importanţa incluziunii educaţionale a TUTUROR copiilor din România încă de la o vârstă mică – pentru bunăstarea economică şi socială a tuturor românilor.

Întreaga societate are de câştigat de pe urma creşterii nivelului general de educaţie. Şi reciproca, întreaga societate are de suferit de pe urma declinului acestui nivel. În prezent, rata alfabetizării în România este în scădere, pur şi simplu pentru că numărul copiilor afectaţi de sărăcia extremă este în creştere şi nu există o strategie naţională pentru prevenirea pierderii lor în sistemul educaţional actual.

Misiunea Asociaţiei Ovidiu Rom este de a este de a ajuta copiii săraci să meargă la grădiniţă, să înceapă şcoala la aceeaşi vârstă cu ceilalţi copii din familii mai înstărite şi să aibă rezultate şcolare bune. Fiecare Copil în Şcoală este iniţiativa noastră naţională pentru îmbunătăţirea ratei de succes şcolar în România. Singura şansă pentru ca România să devină un membru important al Uniunii Europene este ca elita noastră politică, mass media, comunitatea de afaceri şi publicul larg să ia această problem în serios – şi să o rezolve.

English text

I consider that this honour of being Ambassador of the European Year provides me with a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of educating ALL of Romania’s children from an early age – for the future economic and social welfare of all Romanians.

Everyone in society benefits from an increase in overall education levels. And everyone is damaged by a decline - and today, the literacy rate in Romania is declining - simply because the number of severely impoverished children is increasing and there is no national strategy to ensure these children do not fall between the cracks of the education system.

The mission of our organization, Asociatia Ovidiu Rom, is to help impoverished children attend kindergarten, enter school at the same age as their more affluent peers, and to succeed in school! Fiecare Copil in Scoala is our national initiative to raise the educational attainment rates in Romania. The only way Romania can become an important EU member is if our government leaders, our media, the business commu-nity, and the general public to take this issue seriously – and address it.

Leslie Hawke came to Romania as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in 2000. With Bucharest-born teacher Maria Gheorghiu she initiated the Gata, Dispus si Capa-bil (“Ready, Willing & Able”) programs for marginalised women and children in 2001 while working as a Peace Corp volunteer for the Fundatia de Sprijin Comunitar, a lo-cal NGO in Bacau. The GDC Mothers Program was based on the award-winning Ready, Willing & Able work training model for homeless men pioneered by the Doe Fund of New York.

Following her Peace Corps service, Hawke and Gheorghiu founded the Romanian NGO, Asociatia Ovidiu Rom, through which they expanded the Gata, Dispus si Capa-bil programs to Bucharest in 2004. Hawke had 25 years’ experience in educational publishing and non-profit fundraising and program development before coming to Romania. Her career includes 15 years with the CBS Professional Publishing Division in New York, five years in NGO man-agement and five years in scientific online publishing. Alumni of the University of Texas and the University of Connecticut she has done graduate work in public policy and elementary education. Formerly the director of development for The Princeton Center for Leadership Training and marketing director for Ovid Technologies (NY) she was on the board of trustees of The Doe Fund from 1997-2003. In 2000, she founded The Alex Fund, a U.S. 501(c) (3) charity that raises funds in the U.S. for Ovidiu Rom’s programs. Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1952, Hawke now lives in Bucharest, Romania.

In 2005, USAID awarded Hawke its “Outstanding Citizen Citation” for "the development of the Gata, Dispus si Capabil programs for the benefit of impoverished Roma children and families." GDC also received a “Best Practices” award by the Pro-Child Association for innovative local fundraising and a special jury award for excellence at the American Chamber of Commerce’s 2003 "People for People" Gala as well as the 2007 Avantaje Award for work in Children’s Rights and a USAID award for “Best Practices in Programs Addressing Roma Issues”. Ovidiu Rom was cited as a model in developing community services for disadvantaged children in the June 21, 2008 issue of the Economist. In 2009, Ovidiu Rom received a Sustainability Award from the Global Fund for Children, based in Washington, DC and the Civil Society Gala’s Special Prize for the “Scoala te mare” campaign (‘Premiu Special Extraconcurse’ din Gala Societatii Civile, 20 Mai 2009).

Associated link