- More than 500 countryside school children improved their school attendance and their grades
- More than 500 parents attended the „Parents’ School” and received counseling
Bucharest, August 7, 2018 – a total of 34 teachers and NGO educators have graduated this year from courses specially tailored to the current needs of children, under the 2017-2018 edition of the national strategic program „Investing in Rural Areas”. Participants in the training sessions, teaching modern content structuring and delivery methods, are involved in the activities of the 13 „School after School” social centers funded by the Vodafone Romania Foundation, under the third edition of this program. Course curricula included the development of expressive communication skills in working with children and the use of modern non-formal methods of expressive education.
Thanks to the support provided by the 13 social centers, over 500 children from different rural areas have substantially improved their school performance and achieved nearly 100% school attendance, a rate which they maintained throughout the entire school year. The same improvement is recorded even among disabled children and among children who had failed to graduate previous school years More than 500 parents have attended the Parents’ School courses, under another component of the “Investing in Rural Areas” program, being provided with specialist advice on how to improve their ability to communicate with their children and to better attend their needs, besides receiving information about the importance of education and a proper child-parent interaction.
The 13 „School after School” social centers are located in the counties of Bistrita Nasaud, Neamt, Teleorman, Constanta, Maramures, Ialomita, Ilfov, Alba, Valcea, Dolj, Cluj and Vaslui. Prior to participating in the program, the average student absenteeism rate was 40%. To implement the program activities, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has concluded strategic partnerships with two NGOs that are experienced in developing projects dedicated to supporting children and disadvantaged families from rural areas: the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation and the World Vision Foundation Romania. The funding provided by the Vodafone Romania Foundation to this program amounts to almost 960,000 RON, out of a total budget of over 1.2 million RON.
“Training teachers and educators is a new component of this edition of the program. We believe that focusing strictly on providing direct support to children is not enough, which is why we have expanded the scope of the program to include the training of the professionals working with children, following the conclusions of our countrywide program „Investing in Child Education in Rural Areas”, which have revealed that there is a real need to improve the human resource in the field of education, including through specific professional development programs, dedicated to professionals working with school children living in socially and economically disadvantaged communities. We are glad to see that the preliminary results of our training sessions are proving that we are on the right track with this new area of intervention”, said Angela Galeta, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.
“”At the „School after School” centers we are carrying out activities aimed at improving school performance by supporting school children to master the two basic school subjects, Mathematics and Romanian language, as well as by providing non-formal educational activities designed to stimulate children’s interest in music, sports and art. The children are responding very well to the support they are receiving, and their improved school performance is a clear indicator of the progress they are making”, said Mihaela-Loredana Nabar, Head of Grants Acquisitions and Management Department, World Vision Romania Foundation.
“During this edition, we organized over 200 meetings and counseling sessions with the parents of the children in our centers. Some of the parents were invited to participate in creative workshops and got involved in various activities that enjoyed great success, as, for example, in drawing, painting, do-it-yourself (DIY) etc. Following such active involvement, we noticed a clear improvement in the parents’ awareness of how important child education and child schooling are. The parents opened up and were more willing to discuss about and engage themselves in their children’s school activities”, said Mugurel Mărgărit-Enescu, Director of the Princess Margarita Foundation of Romania.
The „Investing in Rural Areas” Program was supported by 175 volunteers, including 42 elderly people, who participated in the various activities of the School-after-School Centers.
Before the „Investing in Rural Areas” program, half of the participating children had problems understanding math exercises and doing their homework. Almost none of the second grade students knew how to write their names or the numbers from 1 to 10 and how to solve arithmetic exercises with these numbers. As a result of their participation in the day-to-day activities of the centers, 100% of the children have learnt how to solve such operations. Now, almost all the children in the 13 „School after School” centers attend school next day with their homework done. Moreover, a total of 230 children visited summer camps in the period July-August 2018. Seven of the 13 centers have been equipped with furniture and IT equipment.
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/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone
Over its 28 years of activity, the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation has supported projects dedicated to children in dramatic life situations, who are confronted with extreme poverty, school dropout or family abandonment risks, health problems or with social exclusion. A total of 25,000 children and young people and about 2,500 families with precarious living conditions, as well as 650 small local NGOs, have received support and assistance from the Foundation since 1990.
World Vision Romania is part of the World Vision International partnership, present in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision Romania is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization, dedicated to working with children. The foundation puts the child’s wellbeing at the core of its work, focusing on working with children, families and communities, helping them overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by Christian values, the foundation works with the most vulnerable people from all over the world, regardless of their religion, race, ethnicity or gender. In its 27 years of presence in Romania, the foundation has helped over 500,000 children and adults in 400 communities from 8 counties. World Vision Romania believes in the right to equal opportunities of all children; as such, in the rural communities where it operates, the foundation runs long-term community development programs, with particular focus on education, school drop-out prevention, child healthcare and protection, agricultural and rural development and civic and Christian engagement. The foundation facilitates children’s access to better living conditions, through a sustainable development of the community they live in. Its projects concentrate on helping communities and their members, so that every child may live a fulfilled life. More info about the foundation is available at www.worldvision.ro, www.facebook.com/WorldVisionRomania, blog.worldvision.ro/