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Globalworth Foundation and United Way: educational response to COVID-19

The Globalworth and United Way Romania foundations have joined forces to help children to continue their education at home.

The unexpected effects of worldwide pandemic have changed our lives. In these difficult times, when millions of school-aged children, have their education interrupted due to the suspension of educational activity as measures against the spread of the virus, Globalworth Foundation, together with United Ways Romania, continue the "Nesting a Brighter Future For Children" national program, which takes place in 12 day-centers in rural areas from Prahova, Călărași, Giurgiu and Timiș counties. 

All the 800 children enrolled in the Globalworth Foundation-funded program receive the much-needed help. First, they make sure that all the children and their parents are safe and that there are no cases of illness. Then, they cover some basic needs such as food or social tickets, and the pedagogues, social workers, teachers, and volunteers have adapted their methods, keeping in touch with children and offering the educational tools needed.  

The teachers and volunteers found a solution to mitigate the impact of school interruption and continue their education such as:

- Teachers created WhatsApp groups to be in constant contact with children and their parents;

- Teachers send (online and offline) papers to children with texts, images, books, magazines, brochures, courses, documentaries, and experiments;

- They use learning platforms (like www.learningapps.org) for online interactive educational activities;

- The specialists approach parents with different themes from the parental education course, integrate these themes in an attractive and interactive manner so that they are more easily accepted by the parents (for example “Cafeneaua Părinților 2020” - a Facebook group);

 - Teachers distribute educational materials online and/or printed, board games, and books to children.

Currently, 376 families receive food or social tickets packages, and 37 specialists and volunteers are involved, visiting and helping the children and their families.

One of the students studying remotely is Andrei, 9 years old, from Sinandrei village, Timis:  

We need to be more creative and inventive at home. I learned to weave and sew. All the activity papers that the pedagogue gave me are very interesting and useful. I got relaxed by coloring, sticking, and cutting paper. I can’t say I got bored, but I am looking forward to returning to school, I really miss my buddies.”

 Elena. S, one of the parents from Masloc village, Timis says:

“These days, when the economy is down, the help is more than welcome, especially when you have children. The tickets received are very helpful, thanks to them I could buy food and even presents from the Easter Bunny! Special thanks to everyone for your advice, for your help, for making the impossible possible! “

Only education has the power to break the cycles of poverty, violence, and injustice. Therefore, the two foundations provide crisis-affected children with the strength, tools, and hope they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their community.

About "Nesting a Brighter Future For Children"

Since launching the program in 2017, the intervention of the two foundations, Globalworth Foundation and United Way Romania 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 project develops an integrated model of intervention, intended to generate a lasting change in the community. The purpose of the program 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.

The program provides financial support to children and their families, covering their basic needs, medical services, school supplies, warm meals, clothes, visits to museums or theatre, 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.

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).