Lazareni is a community in Bihor County, Northwestern Romania with a population of around 3000. Within Lazareni there is a large Gypsy Community with a population of 416 people – made up of 116 men, 118 women, 182 children. Making a community with 86 families units these 86 families are split between 65 houses and the majority average family size in this Gypsy Community is made up of 6 people.
The current employment status of the community is 2% leaving 98% of its inhabitants unemployed. The Roma Gypsy children were originally being educated through a private school that The Caleb Foundation successfully ran from 2002, this school was closed in 2010 due to a governmental/EU decision to integrate the Roma children into state schools to help reduce discrimination and achieve better harmony. Unfortunately this decision has had a negative impact on the Roma Gypsy children who daily face discrimination and resentment from the local non-Roma children resulting in their attendance to the state school dropping to 50%.
Hence, as a result of this Caleb Foundation decided to initiate a number of initiatives to counteract this.
Caleb Foundation as previously mentioned have been working alongside this Gypsy Community for a number of years and the relationship they have developed with this community is irreplaceable. Due to their long standing relationship Caleb is well aware of the need and the demographics of this Roma Gypsy community. Caleb is involved in a number of different initiatives from pre-school education, afterschool programs, up skilling and educating the adults. Caleb are a valuable contributor in teaching many individuals the skills needed to help them look for work and working alongside the individual in a holistic manner.