STEA Association monitors the situation of street children, homeless youth and other people who face severe social inclusion issues since 2004. Assessments made in recent years by the mobile unit of STEA Association show an increase in their number, tere are more and more families with children who have come to live in Satu Mare in dysfunctional backgrounds, unsanitary spaces, in difficult conditions, being in situations of social exclusion that drives by itself a number of problems with major impact on the community: begging, prostitution, abuse of alcohol and other drugs, delinquency.

In recent years, the number of vulnerable people has increased continuously. The economic crisis has aggravated the situation. There are increasingly more families with many children who have no stable source of income: parents either became unemployed or can not find work opportunities on a daily basis as in previous years, and some of them use their children to obtain resources (through begging, prostitution and theft), these children spend most of the day on the street.

The situation of the population facing severe social inclusion problems in Satu Mare has evolved over the past few years, becoming increasingly complex. On the one hand, former street children in period 1999 - 2000 become adults who are having no their own children, and most of them continue to live in extreme marginalization. While previously their parents before reaching the street went through the experience of life in society, now we are witnessing the birth of new generations directly in the street. These children are lacking basic parts of life in society, because their education is linked since the beginning to the lifestyle in street conditions and most parents do not think about integrating them into some form of education for various reasons: lack of identity documents, lack of resources (food, decent housing and hygiene, clothing), parents' low educational level and lack of interest in education. On the other hand, other people and families, the majority belonging to Roma communities from deprived areas of the city and surrounding villages, are living in very difficult conditions. They lack of ressources to cover their basic needs given that they have servere difficulties in getting a job due to their very low level of education and the lack of vocational training. The situation is particularly worrying especially from the perspective of children in those families whose basic needs are not satisfied and whom are not properly supported and educated within their  families in order to be able to step out of the vicious circle of poverty. They do not attend kindergarden or dop out of school very early so they are very likely to propagate the same pattern of life as their parents deepening increasingly more the existing gap between them and other members of society.

People who are facing serious social inclusion problems are facing reduced life expectancy, health problems, discrimination, isolation and barriers to access to basic public services. A high percentage of people have problems with identity documents and civil status. Whether they have lost or their documents or its have been damaged or its have expired (especially provisional ID cards are valid from 30 days to 1 year) and some of the children they have never had birth certificates. Getting ID / civil status documents involves steps that most of these people have no chance to achieve without support. The main reasons are related to illiteracy or a very low level of education which implies difficulties in reading and writing, combined with a lack of information and understanding of what to do and a poor development of problem solving skills, orientation, communication in relation to public institutions.

Analysis of the situation of people who are facing serious social problems shows that they have no acces to conventional social and economic strategies to lead a normal existence. Lack of decent living conditions associated with poverty is aggravated by the lack of educational resources and social risk factors such as disease or disability.

Most vulnerable groups at local/regional level are:

-          street children and youths,

-          homeless peoples / families

-          people begging or involved in prostitution

-          individuals / families experiencing difficulties generating serious problems of social exclusion and / or living in disadvantaged areas of the city / county.

Population living in conditions of social marginalization and groups related to crime, has little chance of social evolution and is more likely to develop anti-social behaviors and social integration issues.

People in disadvantaged areas with health problems caused by social conditions in which they live, require a multidisciplinary intervention.

STEA Association worked with over 140 children and young people aged 0 to 35 years in 2012 facing daily difficulties that threaten their development and sometimes even their lifes: cold, hunger, disease, misery, lack the most basic hygienic conditions, sexually transmitted diseases, discrimination and marginalization by the community.

Deprived of appropriate forms of support they live from day to day from begging (24%), labor by day (11%), waste management (44%), prostitution (5%), which often are their only sources of income. In addition, 67% of them are addicted to alcohol and drugs (glue).

It should be noted that over 90% of peoples facing serious problems of social inclusin that STEA Association has worked with in 2012 are Roma and they are facing the specific problems of this minority, especially a high degree of discrimination in the community. An important factor of this discrimination it is the low level of education of Roma peoples generated by high school dropout rate, which reaches 87%. Due to this reason, 70% of children and young people aged over 10 years are illiterate[1].Thus, we are dealing with a vicious circle that perpetuates itself. For their effective school integration, a necessary condition is that their basic needs to be covered.

Children and young people who face serious social inclusion problems are victims of poverty, loss of traditional values, domestic violence, physical and psychological abuse. They did not have the secure family environment or educational support necessary for normal development. Living conditions have a serious impact on mental and emotional balance, the education and health of children and young people, often results in the emergence of a developmental delay and mental problems.

People who are facing serious social integration problems often have serious health problems caused by social conditions (TBC, hepatitis B and  other sexually transmitted diseases).

In this context, with over nine years experience working in the region of Satu Mare, STEA Association proposes to develop intervention focused on supporting the social inclusion of these vulnerable groups through a socia intervention system that aims to deal with the following issues:

-     Lack of identity document, school dropout / illiteracy, health problems associated with inadequate living conditions, lack of skills and independent living skills, begging and prostitution; 

-     Increasing numbers of people who are facing serious problems of social inclusion and ehich can't cover their basic needs: support in the preparation of identity documents, providing information and support to achieve social rights, counseling / mediation and social care;

-     Lack of monitoring during pregnancy and poor preparation for parenting of mothers who face serious problems of social inclusion

-     Poor assuming of parental roles and the failure of ensuring optimal physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and social development of children in families facing serious problems of social inclusion

-     Problems of school inclusion of children due to a retardation of development compared to other children of the same age, accumulated by the lack of adequate stimulation in the family and not attending nursery or kindergarten

-     Failing to attend school by children

-     Lack of empowerment of vulnerable groups on their rights and responsibilities in the community and their awareness about their affiliation to the local community .

-     Poor development of skills and life skills necessary for socio-professional integration of young people who face serious problems of social inclusion.

-     Discrimination and lack of awareness of the community about the potential of disadvantaged people to become productive members of society and their difficulties in social inclusion, namely the lack of opportunities for positive interaction between people confronted to serious problems of social inclusion and other members of the community.

[1]              Star Association Database


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