Alina Călin is the first Roma intern in the surgery clinic of the Emergency Hospital in Iași. Her colleagues and teachers describe her as an extremely passionate and responsible intern. Alina comes from a large family, with four brothers, a home mother and a father that works as a long way driver. The decision of becoming a doctor also came from a family event, when one of her brothers had a car accident and needed urgent medical care and surgery. That is how Alina decided to be a doctor.

It wasn’t easy for her, as she encountered a lot of obstacles: at home, and also at school, everyone doubted that a Roma girl can become a doctor. But this only increased her ambition to work harder in order to prove that she is at least as good as the others. Not even her parents thought that she will make it, but they supported her and she succeeded. Today, her parents can barely hold their tears when remembering how hard Alina has worked to get here. The scholarship program was a big help, even helping her to assume her ethnicity and to understand how important her role in the community will be, once she becomes a doctor.

Alina always returns to the Roma community where her father grew up and where she also spent a lot of time when she was a child. She stays in contact with the people there and she always tries to motivate them. She knows that her roots are there and she is sure that other people from the community can follow her example and can break the stereotypes about Roma people.

Roma Health Scholarship Program supports young Roma to build their education in the medical field. More than 600 Roma students received academic scholarships so far (2008-2016). They were assisted by mentors, attended camps advocacy, volunteering activities and medical congresses. The scholars are encouraged to actively assume their Roma identity.

Roma Health Scholarship Program is developed in Romania by Roma Education Fund, ActiveWatch, The Association of Resident Physicians and Roma Center for Health Policy – Sastipen.

a movie by Anelise Sălan
produced by ActiveWatch
with the support of Open Society Foundations

ActiveWatch / CC BY 3.0