At OvidiuRo’s sixth annual Halloween Charity Ball, held on October 30 at Palatul Parlamentului (“The People’s Palace), its over 650 participants were made aware of the importance of early education for all children and of making kindergarten mandatory by law. The event was broadcast on national television, which spread its message throughout Romania.
Academy award winning actor Nicolas Cage made an appearance at the event with his wife and young son. “Education is the only sure way out of poverty, for individuals, families and nations,” said Mr. Cage, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Foreign Affairs Minister Baconschi noted in his speech that he appreciates “what OvidiuRo is doing to help poor children get a good start in life through early education.”
Livia Jaroka, Member of the European Parliament, stated that since “experiences and skills obtained at nursery level affect the later course of life, early childhood education is essential for disadvantaged children less inspired by their immediate environments. “
“In a democracy, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that all children go to school – it is not just the government’s job and not just big companies’ job, but also civil society’s – and WE ARE Civil Society” emphasized Leslie Hawke, OvidiuRo’s president.
The annual Halloween Charity Ball is OvidiuRo’s only fundraising event in Romania. The Alex Fund also contributes funds raised in the U.S. that are needed to support 1,200 kindergarten children in 20 communities through teacher training, educational materials and food coupons to parents whose children have perfect attendance. The total amount pledged at the Ball was over 500,000 euro.
The Alex Fund shares OvidiuRo’s mission to get each poor child in kindergarten – so they are prepared to succeed in school because “children who start behind, stay behind!”