Oana Livadariu, OvidiuRo’s beloved PR specialist and a gifted and respected journalist, died of brain cancer at the age of 34. Oana was a passionate advocate – and practitioner – of using the media to shine a light on the wide disparity between urban progress and rural decline in Romania. In her honor OvidiuRo created a special fellowship to encourage young journalists to document Romania’s rural, largely invisible poverty, that keeps far too many children undernourished, uneducated and without hope for a better future when they grow up.


2016

34 journalists, reporters & photographers applied for the 2016 Livadariu Fellowships. 15 teams were selected by journalists Viorel Ilișoi and Andrei Crăciun, photographer Cosmin Bumbuț and OvidiuRo cofounders ):

  1. Alex Nedea –  VICE România
  2. Diana Meseșan & Andrei Becheru – DOR (Decât o Revistă): Animale sălbatice, în drumul copiilor spre grădiniță
  3. Andrada Lăutaru & Delia Marinescu – VICE România
  4. Patricia Iftene & Vlad Bâscă – VICE România
  5. Iulia Roșu & Ioana Epure – Adevărul
  6. Andreea Pocoțilă – VICE România
  7. Gabriel Sandu & Maria Cîrstea – VICE România
  8. Mircea Oprea – RFI
  9. Mircea Barbu – Adevărul
  10. Gabriel Kolbay & Vali Kozak – Viața Liberă Galați
  11. Diana Mitrache & Ilie Pintea – Cronica Văii Jiului: Aninoasa, viața între două marfare
  12. Cătălin Hopulele – Ziarul de Iași: Flăcara olimpică mocneşte în noroiul din Oproaia
  13. Sebastian Olaru – Agerpres: Valsul ursuleților de pluș
  14. Ana Dănescu – Gazeta de Sud
  15. Mihaela Vlădescu – Ziarul de Vrancea

2015

Last year, in remembrance of Oana Livadariu, The Alex Fund made it possible for Asociatia OvidiuRo to award fellowships to five reporter/photojournalist teams to investigate rural poverty and its repercussions on children.

We got back five detailed slices of rural life among Romania’s poorest families. These stories – of a village in transformation; of the huge role that chance plays in poor people’s lives; the importance of role models – both good and bad; and the long-term game-changing effects social programs can have when they reach strong, tenacious people – all provide a snapshot of both the hardship and the personal heroism to be found in abundance in rural Romania.
You can link here to these articles as well as blogs written by public personalities who were Teachers for a Day in Fiecare Copil in Gradinita kindergartens in 2015.

This year, The Alex Fund will sponsor fifteen $500 Oana Livadariu fellowships to local Romanian journalists to document the implementation process of Law no. 248/2015 and the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță legislation package which could potentially benefit up to 111,000 children.
“After turning the central mechanism of the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță program-food coupons – into a national state funded program, we need to know the impact in communities across the country.  Now that food coupons linked to  kindergarten attendance is available throughout Romania, the struggle lies at the grassroots level. We’re calling on every pair of eyes and ears in all counties to help us find out where the bottlenecks are and what needs to be done so that every impoverished child has a real chance to a better life.” Maria Gheorghiu, OvidiuRo Cofounder