Teacher for a Day brings volunteers closer to the poorest children in Romania, giving them the opportunity to spend quality time together, in the kindergarten. Inspired and empowered in 2015 by FCG Major Investor, Raiffeisen Bank, Teacher for a Day turned out to be an eye-opener for both the children and the volunteers, being that kind of experience that has a major impact over two total different worlds that are interacting for the first time.
Every visit we received was wonderful for the kids because it rarely happens for somebody else to spend time with them. It made them feel they were important – and then their parents were so proud and happy too. It was like a confirmation – that they are on the right track by bringing the children to grădiniță. For me, as a teacher, every handshake from the visitors meant hope. Thank you!“ Izabella Orban, Apața School, Brașov County
Q:What do Steven van Groningen, Marcel Iureș, Andreea Esca and Adelin Petrișor have in common?
A:They have all been a Kindergarten Teacher for a Day.
During the autumn of 2015, 30 cultural and media personalities and 54 Raiffeisen employees accepted OvidiuRo’s invitation to be a “Kindergarten Teacher for a Day”. Every school day in October these volunteers were brought from Bucharest to one of the FCG programs sponsored by Raiffeisen in Brașov and Covasna.
Designed to give the children a chance to interact with other adults from the outside world – it turned out to be an eye-opener for both the children and the volunteers. Greeted with curiosity and enthusiasm, the substitute teachers quickly became heroes to the children as they read them stories, taught them how to draw animals, introduced them to classical music, turned them into TV stars and characters in a story conceived on the spot, and many other creative activities devised by the volunteers themselves.
At the same time, the visitors from Bucharest gained new understanding of daily life among the rural poor. They also provided an important affirmation to the teachers who, day in and day out, receive very little appreciation for their hard work and influential role in the lives of Romania’s most vulnerable children.
Special thanks to the Teacher for a Day volunteers: Liana Alexandru, Daniela-Cristina Anghelescu, Veronica Bătrîneanu, Camelia Bichir, Cosmin Bumbuț, Marius Chivu, Denisa-Gabriela Coman, Irina-Mihaela Condrea, Marius Constantinescu, Daniela-Mirela Cosma, Manuela Croitoru, Irina Daniș, Laura David, Dana Deac, Mihai Deacu, Simona-Nicoleta Dobre, Ionuț Dragomanu, Dana Dulciu, Adriana Dumitriu, Andreea Esca, Răzvan Exarhu, Cristina Flutur, Mihaela Frank, Paula Frunzuc, Cristian Ghinea, Mihaela-Nicoleta Ghiță, Oana Giurgiu, Cristina Grama, Claudia-Elena Grigore, Corina Grigore, Anca Hrișcu, Peter Hurley, Eliza Ionică, Beatrice Ioniță, Lidia Isăilă, Eugen Istodor, Marcel Iureș, Daniela Ivan, Marius Manole, Gabriela Mărculeț, Maria-Magdalena Mătăsaru, Mihael-Cristian Mircea, Livia-Florica Mocean, Cora Moraru, Raluca Movilă, Cristian Mungiu, Mihaela Năsoi, Steluța-Elena Necula, Iulia Nedea, Bogdan Nicolai, Mălina-Rodica Nicula, Philip O’Ceallaigh, Alina Oita, Mihaela-Maria Oltean, Ana-Maria Onisei, Diana-Florentina Oprea, Mihaela-Maria Oltean, Cezar Paul-Bădescu, Adelin Petrișor, Florin Piersic Jr., Georgiana-Alina Postolache, Dan Rădulescu, Marian Râlea, Irina Rădoi, Victor Rebengiuc, Adina Rosetti, Eveline Sebe, Mihaela Skladal, Cristina Stănciulescu, Florentina Șerban, Lavinia Ștefănescu, Ariadna-Delia Tănăseanu, Dan Tăpălagă, Daniela-Mariana Tinică, Andreea Todirică, Mariana Truția, Ioana Ulmeanu, Steven van Groningen, Georgiana-Oana Vasilache, Alina Vasilescu, Luiza Vasiliu, Andreea Voinea.
After spending the day with the children I realized that most of our stereotypes are built on the presumption that we all get the same start in life. Access to water and electricity is taken for granted nowadays, but not in Apața.“ Răzvan Exarhu, journalist
I honestly wonder who benefited more from our encounter: the children or I?” Dan Rădulescu
I was truly touched by what I’ve seen today. I don’t know what impressed me more: the children, the teachers or the poverty they live in.” Nicoleta Lungu, Raiffeisen volunteer
I became teacher for a day, and got a lesson for life! The teachers, the team at OvidiuRo, and the mums–they all won our respect. Even through the simple act of walking, not driving, up through the community, we were paying our respect to the mums who are making it happen, and encouraging all those who could be involved but aren’t yet. It was like an energy charge for everyone!” Peter Hurley
Special thanks to the 54 Raiffeisen volunteers and: Liana Alexandru, Cezar Paul Bădescu, Cosmin Bumbuț, Marius Chivu, Marius Constantinescu, Dana Deac, Andreea Esca, Răzvan Exarhu, Cristina Flutur, Mihaela Frank, Cristian Ghinea, Oana Giurgiu, Steven van Groningen, Peter Hurley, Eugen Istodor, Marcel Iureș, Marius Manole, Cristian Mungiu, Bogdan Nicolai, Philip O’Ceallaigh, Ana-Maria Onisei, Adelin Petrișor, Florin Piersic Jr., Dan Rădulescu, Marian Râlea, Victor Rebengiuc, Adina Rosetti, Cristina Stănciulescu, Dan Tăpălagă, Ioana Ulmeanu, Luiza Vasiliu.
Teacher for a Day project continued in 2016, after the great success of the 2015 pilot-project, when over 80 volunteers (Raiffeisen employees and public personalities) visited the kindergartens in the poorest communities in Brasov and Covasna.