Escaping the poverty trap

North East Romania is one of the poorest regions in Europe. Children without formal education and elderly people who receive only a minimal pension and cannot afford to buy firewood in winter are the sad order of the day. A Liechtenstein-based organization has been fighting against these distressing conditions for several years. Ivoclar Vivadent has been supporting their efforts.


Antonia Frick travelled to Romania for the first time in 1995. The Liechtenstein national was extremely concerned about the poverty she encountered in the rural areas in particular. She wanted to do something. Consequently, she founded YANA, a relief organization. The four capital letters spell out the guiding principle of the nonprofit organization: You Are Not Alone. In keeping with this motto, the organization has established a number of relief operations in the country. It has helped many people in Romania to regain hope for the future.

One of the organization’s biggest projects involved the establishment of what has grown into four community day centres for a total of 100 children. The centres, which are professionally staffed, provide children (those of Roma decent in particular) with support that cannot be given by their families or their structurally weak municipalities: for example, cooked meals and a quiet place to do homework as well as help and assistance in a crisis. Nevertheless, the centres offer much more. Specially trained staff members are available during operating hours to provide children with individualized support, for example, with speech therapy or study assistance programs.

The efforts of these centres are showing the first signs of success: Several of the Roma children have entered high school. To reach this milestone is rather unusual for young people from the rural regions of Romania. This opportunity is still reserved for only a few. Ivoclar Vivadent has supported this ambitious project in Romania for many years. In the process, we have been able to assist some of the weakest individuals in our society. Our objective is to help children escape the poverty trap by providing them with the necessary tools to grow personally and live independently.

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