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Romania outreach for Roma kids a bust

Alin, one of the three subjects of Our School, is a rambunctious, carefree Roma child who's seen as "a problem" when he goes to the big, Romanian school in town. Photo: Mona Nicoara

Our School/their school

Romania's building new schools to educate the children of the Roma, which sounds like a good thing for a population that's been scorned as gypsies, and ghettoized in Europe for generations.

But there's not much good about it really.    

The courts said Romania's history of enforced segregation is illegal, so the European Union put up the money to integrate Roma kids in 30 different towns. But it's flying apart. 

Filmmaker Mona Nicoara wanted to know why. So she's made a documentary she calls Our School. It features three Roma kids in a small town in Transylvania, where their prospects for a better future are being slowly snuffed out.

Mona, with Rick in our studio

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The January 5/8 Dispatches program 

Our School was shown last month at the Lincoln Centre in New York, and screening later this month, at film festivals in the Swiss town of Soleure and Trieste in Italy.

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