We are approaching the finale of our journey, the finish line, the closing chapter of our mission log…actually, for us, it is just the beginning.
Today we went again to the CEECC premises and spoke with a few more great people who are vital for the Save the Children effort. We wanted to see how it all comes together and familiarize ourselves with all of the aspects of the project. We met with Dr. Oana Niculae and Stefana Alexandra Dobre, both of whom are working hard on better integration of children in kindergartens, as well as improving the environment of those kindergartens to benefit the emotional and social development of the children. Their program supports teachers and parents, giving them the knowledge and tools to guide the kids through an otherwise confusing world. Andrei Chiscu is leading a very important part of the project dealing with incarcerated fathers (47% of the prisoners in Romania are parents), preparing them for living harmoniously with their families upon release. Poor reintegration of former inmates, and the stigma that goes along with it, are reasons for a lot of frustration in families and, subsequently, high incidence of domestic violence.
It was very interesting and satisfactory to see how well thought out the Save the Children project is, and how much the support of the IKEA Foundation means for the whole mission. The issue that all the children in Romania are facing is complex, and it is great to see that the solution offered is just as complex, tackling most of the critical issues at the very core.
During the course of this week we had the privilege to meet many wonderful children, who were given a chance to start the journey of life well prepared and not get left behind by society – what an amazing site to witness. However this is only the beginning, for all of us, IKEA coworkers around the world. It was truly an eye opening experience, and changed the way we see the world. There is so much more to be done, and so many more lives to be made better, and the best thing is – it doesn’t take a lot of effort!
We would never have thought that a simple purchase of a soft toy during the “Soft Toys for Education” campaign can make such a significant difference in the lives of many children. Let’s make a bigger difference…We are part of making a difference in the lives of the children who need our help…