“Fog, cold, grey clouds… no signs of sunshine whatsoever. It all began on a cold, cloudy Friday on November 6, 2015. This day was planned by the COTE Foundation for the ”One-day trip to Iași” for the children in the after-school program of the ”Grigore Ureche” school in Ceplenița. Nevertheless, for the 23 children in the 5th -8th grades this was a very beautiful day, filled with warmth and funny moments. A boring trip, if you were to ask children who are used to frequent holidays in Romania and abroad. But a very special day for these children, who only travel around their village or in their imagination.
”I was really looking forward to this trip, I wanted it to come as soon as possible” were the words of a little girl in the 5th grade….”
This is how the story of one of the volunteers of the project begins after the trip organized by the COTE Foundation in 2015 for the children in Ceplenița. This trip included the visiting of several touristic sites in Iași – a unique moment for the young participants.
“Together for education” is the project that Yonder and PinkRoccade Local Government (TSS sister company) are promoting in cooperation with the COTE Foundation (Iasi), with the following specific objectives:
Some good results
A project yielding results through the fact that more and more children are taking part in the Afterschool activities (their number doubled in 2015 compared to 2014). They have been learning how to use the computer in the IT Laboratory which was equipped by Yonder in the locality and are exposed to new experiences and new people (trips, theatre, Christmas parties, celebrating the end of the school year, new experiences from the volunteers from abroad who are volunteering in the locality during the summer).
Moreover, the tutoring and the constant support offered made a difference: the seven students in the 8th grade were admitted to high school and are continuing their education at a high school in Harlau.
The kids from Ceplenita came to visit Yonder, interacted through video calls with our Dutch partners and met them in real life, experimented multi-culturalism by meeting foreign students who were part of AIESEC’s exchange programme.
Looking for a brighter future
“Their motivation of joining the afterschool programme lies, generally, in the fact that here they interact with people who have become their friends. They stand to gain from this experience, taking part in interesting activities, learning new things. They are willing to make new friends and to gain new experiences, and join happily the after school programme because they want to meet people who accept them as they are and who, in turn, want to meet them, to help them change for the better and to share their hobbies and passions”, says one of the project’s volunteers.
Our wish was to help this community both through support offered in school – afterschool with learning and homework support, as well as support for personal development of the children. Opening new horizons, the chance to see, explore and identify role models is reason enough for us to support the project and to want to further develop it.
We believe in this project. We are sure that early education can catalyse change in Romanian society: if these kids continue their studies, go to high school and then to university, not only will they have a better future for themselves, but they also automatically become role models for the future generations from the rural environment.