Skylady: Leslie Hawke- From New York to Bacau via charity

July 31, 2014

When I arrived I had no idea what, if anything, I might be able to contribute to as an American volunteer – or what it would be like living in Romania. I’d never lived outside the US before.

But I loved the “foreignness” of Romania, “Europe with an edge”, as a friend of mine called it. I immediately got interested in the little children I saw begging on the street in Bacău and getting them into school became the focus of my volunteer work.

But the real turning point for me was meeting Maria Gheorghiu, with whom I started OvidiuRo. She was a teacher in Bucharest and her love of teaching and understanding of the Romanian education system were key ingredients in our early success at integrating children on the margin of society into the system. I think it was in 2006 that we both committed to sticking with our effort to get “every child in school” until at least 2020. We had seen so many well-intentioned social and education programs start with great expectations, and then sputter out and die when the founders moved on to other projects.

See PDF here.

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