”Professional Volunteer” is an innovative programme launched worldwide in 2002 by the Vodafone Group Foundation under the name ”World of Difference”. The programme is aimed at all those who have always wanted to work for a non-profit organization, but who have not had the opportunity because they were conducting a different type of activity. Through this programme, those interested have the opportunity to take a nine-month break from their ordinary activity and to commit to a social cause of their choice.
The philosophy behind the programme is to make a difference and to bring joy into the lives of people who need it, the volunteers using the resources and skills they have.
In Romania, the ”Professional Volunteer” Programme was launched in 2010. Through this programme, the volunteers have the opportunity to devote themselves professionally to one of the causes supported by the Vodafone Romania Foundation: health, education, family abandonment and school dropout prevention, volunteering, social services for children and young people with special needs or for the elderly.
Name of the organization: Smiling Faces Romania Association
Name of the project: “Hearing is a gift. Don’t ignore it!” (“Auzul, un dar. Nu-l ignora!”)
The project proposes to reduce the number of undiagnosed newborns/children with hearing impairments (early diagnosis), to reduce the misdiagnosed cases at early ages and increase awareness regarding the hearing impairment diagnosis in children, through hearing screening. Within the project, Aura wishes to register and monitor tested patients, to provide counseling to the relatives of the children diagnosed with hearing impairments, regarding the aspects related to the affliction and the steps to follow towards recovery, and to contribute to the promotion of the project amongst neonatologists and specialists from audiology practices.
Profession: Romani Language Teacher
Name of the organization: Hopes and Homes for Children Romania
Name of the project: “The teacher of the Romani children in Pirita” (“Învațătorul copiilor romi din Pirita”)
Overall, the project targets the gradual elimination of poverty and social exclusion through the development of educational programs for Romani children from the outskirts of Baia Mare City. The purpose is to integrate the Romani children from Pirita into the community, by helping them adapt and keeping them in school, in the preparatory class. The children will be provided with the opportunity to join various programs for educational, social and behavioral development created by Radu, who will also have the role to mediate the communication between the teacher, the children and the parents.
Name of the organization: Red Cross Romania, District 6 Bucharest Branch
Name of the project: “Development of the families’ capacity to cope with disasters” (“Dezvoltarea capacitații familiei de a face fața în situații de dezastre”)
The project refers to educating children in schools, high schools and foster care centers to be prepared for disasters. They will learn how to put together a family emergency kit, draft the family’s evacuation/meeting plan, how to act in case of an earthquake, flood, fire, landslide, heat wave, frost. Mircea will define the content and delivery method for the classes, will train the volunteers that will do the fielwork and train the children and will create partnerships with educational institutions and foster care centers.
Name of the organization: World Vision Romania Foundation
Name of the project: Stop the violence against children (Stop violenței împotriva copiilor )
The World Vision campaign will involve 50-80 countries and Romania will have a special role: during the following years, it will be a laboratory for tests and solutions for combating violence against children.The innovating programs piloted here, will be assessed by international commissions and then replicated worldwide. Directions: awareness, advocacy, fundraising and involvement of the children as activists (they will no longer be passive receptors, but will be part of the prevention service development process). Ioana will be the storyteller, she will be in charge of documenting a collection of stories with powerful emotional impact, which will represent the support for the campaign’s message – press, social media.She will contribute as an editor for the materials used in the fundraising campaign and will elaborate creative concepts for the support documents used in the advocacy activities.
Profession: Customer Service Consultant
Name of the organization: Foundation Chance for Life
Name of the project: “Chance for a better life”
The project aims to raise funds and achieve the social integration of the beneficiary children from the foundation’s daycare center. Adrian will be involved in the daily activities, in promoting the center before potential sponsors, in creating a blog to be used by the foundation’s children, in order to post their own stories. He will be also involved in the organization of the Donor Circles, for obtaining sponsorships and recurrent donors.
Name of the organization: Romanian Business Leaders Foundation
Name of the project: RBL Communicator (Comunicator RBL )
Through this project, Adina, together with the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation, promotes three directions, impacting educational, economic and social development: “Antreprenoresti”, a project dedicated to developing and encouraging entrepreneurial activities in the rural area; “I want to be an entrepreneur”(“Vreau sa fiu Antreprenor”), the national entrepreneurship caravan, with the purpose of motivating the young population to take into account the option of entrepreneurship, and “Entrepreneurship Workshops” (“Ateliere de Antreprenoriat”), the training of the next leading entrepreneurs in Romania and the development of a competitive environment in this sector.
The Vodafone Romania Foundation provides, throughout the programme, the salaries of volunteers and the administrative expenses, so that they can fully devote themselves to the projects they carry out within the selected Organizations.