It’s hard to say goodbye

It’s the last day for our IWitness team here in Romania. Each of us have a lot of impressions and special feelings in our hearts. So today is the day when we can share them.

Smile and hope in children’s eyes, by Jesse Morris

We are sitting together at the Children’s Emotional Education Centre (CEECC) in Bucharest with Diana Stanculeanu and Cristina Tanase from Save the Children, and listening to each other.

Kae Brunei shares her personal stories with us. “Last night, after our visit to the local Roma community near to Brasov, I called my son at home. I told him about the conditions in which children and their families live there, and he said to me: “Mom why? Why does it have to be like that?”

In that moment, tears come into our eyes, so our faces speak louder than words.

Janet VanderLugt also shares her emotions: “I have kids and it was very emotional for me. Yesterday, I put few photos from the field visit on my Facebook page. After that, some of my friends called me and said that they want to send shoes and clothes to these people. But I said to them: “These people need more than that. You should support the projects that will bring long-term changes.”

Kevin Salvaggio shares some of ideas that he can think of: “Maybe we could launch a new IKEA co-workers engagement campaign. Perhaps one dollar from each of us everyday also may bring more good changes”

Lot of emotions and many different ideas for action. But everyone agrees one thing is for sure: the IKEA Foundation and Save the Children are doing an excellent job. The last Good Cause campaign, Soft Toys for Education, is bringing a lot of positive changes in the lives of many children and their families, here in Romania. All 32 educational centres provide complex social and educational services for children originating from disadvantaged communities.

When we put our hands together changes are possible, by Janet VanderLugt

Also, it is important to emphasise that Save the Children struggles here with lots of difficult situations. Many people in Romania do not approve of projects to support Roma people. It is sad but true. So now we understand the complexity of their work in the field.

Education is very important, especially for Roma girls because they mostly stay at home, by Janet VanderLugt

What else to say?  This truly was an unforgettable, life-changing experience for all of us. We are ready to present this journey to our colleagues and share our impressions with them.  In our hearts, we bring children’s smiles and hope for a better future for them.
“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments—tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.”
— Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist

Dance is the best way to make new friends in a Roma community near Brasov, by Jesse Morris.

 

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    Sanja Susnjara