Pick the crops… and seed for more!

Maybe it’s not a good way to start with one of the conclusions, but I’ll do it anyway: I am proud to be part of a company that reach out it’s hand to help others! And that’s what IKEA does. And why am I saying that? Ok, let’s find out!

Last week (23rd – 27th of March) together with some IKEA employees from Croatia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, I had the opportunity through the IWitness program to visit and see the results of IKEA contributions for this social program. Some of the donations which came from the Soft Toys for Education were invested to support children in some of the poorest communities in Romania to enroll in schools and kindergartens and get education.

The partnership between IKEA Foundation and Save the Children created two projects:
1) Summer kindergarten;
2) Center for Emotional and Behavioral Education for Children (CEECC).
Part of the contribution was invested in materials needed for a child’s education: school tools, food, clothes and cleaning materials.

Through this visit together with the other representatives of IWitness I got the chance to see those children enjoying their school life as they normally should. I felt like the season was right and I was picking the crops were IKEA planted the seeds. First, there was a visit in Constanța and Mangalia in Roma communities to meet the poor families which received support from the program. Next day, we visited the kindergarten and the school from Vulcana area (near Târgoviște). The children there waited for us with eagerness and enthusiasm; they even prepared shows for us.

iWitness (2) iWitness (4) iWitness (8) iWitness (9)

Was very nice to see so many smiles! I found out that in two years all children from 3-6 years old were integrated into kindergarten and then enrolled in school. The third visit was to a school in Bucharest.

The children from the photos are all beneficiaries from this program in the last two years and were gathered in one classroom especially for this occasion.

iWitness (15) iWitness (20)

We also had a great pizza time together with them.

iWitness (19)

And the last day we went to the Center for Emotional and Behavioral Education for Children (CEECC). Here we found out many details about the second program and how it works. Part of the programme focuses on:

  • – Kindergarten educators who work with preschool children
  • – Preschool children
  • – Children’s parents

Another part of the programme focuses on incarcerated fathers; not all parents in prison lose their parental rights, so this project aims to reintegrate those fathers into families.

One of the things Diana from Save the Children said which somehow amazed me is that all other sponsors they had wanted to see immediate results, while the project created together with the IKEA Foundation is build for medium to long term results. This gave them the possibility to develop quality projects and makes IKEA a good partner for social activities.

So, to end with my first affirmation of this blog: I am proud to be part of IKEA and that we grow with impact, which can mean so much; because we can pick the crops… and seed for more!