Bucharest, September 13, 2018 – The Vodafone Romania Foundation will continue to provide support to the 13 „School after School” centers from rural communities and small towns in the country, by providing a an additional funding of 220,000 EUR. The funds are provided under the fourth edition of the National Strategic Program „Investing in Rural Area”, which will run from September 2018 to July 2019. In total, 500 children will benefit from the services provided by the 13 centers from 12 counties in Romania.
By the new funding round dedicated to this program, the Vodafone Romania Foundation continues its collaboration with the two strategic partners selected in the previous round: the Princess Margareta of Romania Foundation, which co-finances eight „School after School” centers from Bistrita Nasaud, Neamt, Teleorman, Constanta, Maramures, Ialomita, Ilfov and Alba, and the World Vision Romania Foundation, which supports, within the partnership, the other five centers, located in Valcea, Dolj, Ialomita, Cluj and Vaslui.
“School abandonment is one of the main risks the rural schools are confronted with. The excellent results of the 2017-2018 edition of the program, during which the children enrolled in the 13 School after School centers reached a school attendance of almost 100%, are a strong motivation for us to continue to finance this program. The real benefits of the program are noticeable not only in terms of school children attendance at classes, but also in the improvement it has brought in the lives of their families. Moreover, starting from the previous edition, we have been also supporting the training of teachers and of NGO education professionals. We are happy to continue this year an initiative that has proven to bring such positive changes”, says Angela Galeta, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
Before they were enrolled in the program of the 13 centers, the school children had had an average absenteeism rate of 40%. Besides the educational activities dedicated to the children, the previous edition of the program also included a training module, in which 34 teachers and education professionals from NGOs attended and graduated from special training courses, designed to cater for the actual needs of the children.
Through another component of the program, more than 500 parents attended the „Parents’ School” courses and participated to counseling sessions to improve their communication with children and to become more aware of the importance of child education and of the need to improve the parent-child relationship.
According to the study „Investing in Education of Children in Rural Area„, over two-thirds of the rural schools are confronted with at least one educational risk factor, such as poor results at the national school children performance evaluation exams, school dropout, high rates of school absenteeism and class repetition, plus one or several socio-educational risk factors such as pupils coming from economically disadvantaged families and inadequate or poorly equipped school facilities.
The activities of the 13 „School after School” centers to be supported under the new round of the “Investing in Rural Areas” program include educational activities, non-formal activities, regular teacher’s training sessions and parenting classes for parents. The support will also include the equipping of the centers with IT equipment and teaching materials and providing hot meals for the children at the centers, depending on the needs.
From its launch in 2015, the “Investing in Rural Area” program of the Vodafone Romania Foundation has supported more than 65,000 physically, economically or socially disadvantaged people, by total investments worth over 1.5 MEUR.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental charitable organization, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the Vodafone Romania SA’s business. During its 20 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,104 programs run by 706 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had a total of 2.7 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people and physically, socially or economically disadvantaged people. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested over 28 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ si www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.
500 children from 13 „School after School” centers to benefit from support under the „Investing in Rural Area” Program