Rada Pădureanu is a Law and Humanities Program beneficiary from Moldova. She graduated from Moldova State University in Chisinau, and is currently completing her master’s degree in law. Rada has been a REF scholarship recipient since 2013. When she is not studying she works as a judicial assistant at Chisinau City Court.
Rada believes that schools and kindergartens play an important role in addressing discrimination issues. She insists that while children do not necessarily know the difference between race and ethnicity, parents and teachers play a big role in shaping their minds. In her daily interactions with her classmates and teachers, Rada tries to encourage them to rethink their views surrounding Roma.
Working in the judicial system, Rada would like to help her community to not only know more about their rights, but to fight for the rights they have. “The person who knows her/his rights is looking for arguments and questions. Once the person doesn’t know her/his rights they are blamed and not considered to be an integrated member of the society. A big number of Roma people don’t know their rights and, as a result, they become victims of human rights violations.” She believes that her example could be considered an inspiration for upcoming generations. Rada advises young Roma to not give up and to not change their attitude towards things they believe in just because the mainstream society has a different perspective.
She believes that mentoring and volunteering are the best way to help younger students from the Roma community. She explains, “when you see people fighting to bring positive changes in their lives, when you see disadvantaged people trying to find their place in the society and when you know your own challenges and experiences, you don’t have doubts about being involved in volunteering. You just go and do it as you know that there are people waiting for your support and help.”