The Globalworth and United Way Romania foundations have joined forces in the “Nesting a Brighter Future For Children” programme, to help children at risk of school dropout. With a duration of five years and a total value of two million euros, the programme contributes to the development of communities throughout the country through educational projects.
Since launching the program in 2017, the intervention of the two foundations has helped 1,900 children go to school, has provided 145,000 warm meals for children, counseling for 1,500 parents, and support for 188 teachers, all with the help of 1,700 volunteers.
The “Nesting a Brighter Future For Children” national programme takes place in 12 day-centers in rural areas from Prahova, Călărași, Giurgiu, Cluj and Timiș counties. The project develops an integrated model of intervention, intended to generate a lasting change in the community. The purpose of the programme is to reduce the number of children dropping out of school by improving relations in the community-school-family circle, and by focusing on the real needs of the children.
“We are pleased to see how well the project has evolved in its first three years of implementation and that, thanks to the United Way initiative, almost 3,500 children and parents have received the support they needed to continue their studies and thus have the chance of a more comfortable and meaningful life. Romania has the third highest rate of early school dropout in Europe, and by setting up the 12 community centres we intend to make a change. People are a central pillar for the Globalworth Foundation, and our goal is to support projects that make a difference where there is the greatest need: education and health”, said Georgiana Iliescu, Chief Executive Officer of Globalworth Foundation.
The programme provides financial support to children and their families, covering their basic needs, medical services, school supplies, warm meals, clothes, visits to museums or theatres, and non-formal educational activities, as well as counseling and guidance. The Parent Academy also offers parenting and professional counseling courses, and the Teacher Academy holds meetings and runs courses on working with children.
“Due to poverty, many children in our country are forced to interrupt their education early, thus being sentenced to a hopeless future. United Way Romania believes in an integrated approach to education through long-term programmes, and the Globalworth-funded project is changing the lives of thousands of children, their parents and their families. Every destiny changed for the better is a great victory for us”, says Adriana Dobrea, Chief Executive Officer of United Way Romania.
The 12 community centres supported by United Way Romania, through funding from the Globalworth Foundation, are located in Urlați, Băicoi (Prahova county), Jilava (Ilfov), Pădureni (Giurgiu), Fundulea (Călărași), Cluj-Napoca (Cluj), Timișoara, Șemlacu Mare, Mașloc, Carani, Sânandrei and Bucovăț (Timiș).
Jilava brings to mind the penitentiary and a poor and marginalised community, set in a grey landscape, right next to the Romanian capital. The community centre in the “Education – Centre for community change” program, however, has driven away from the grey and brought colour into the lives of children from Jilava. Equipped in a classroom within the Middle School, the Centre witnesses some of the most illuminating scientific experiments, reading classes, drawing classes and many other non-formal education activities. All this brings joy to the eyes of children who come with pleasure and forget about their worries at home.
The Jilava Community Centre is just one of the examples of change that the “Education – Centre for community change” programme brings to children’s lives. Over its five-year life, the program aims to provide support for 3,500 children and 2,800 parents. The partnership between the United Way Romania Foundation and the Globalworth Foundation aims to generate a positive and sustainable long-term impact on the lives of children with limited opportunities.