The Growing GREAT program in 2014

The Growing GREAT educational program started on June 8, 2014, in support of children and youth placed in foster care or from disadvantaged environments.  From the beginning the main projects were intended to be permanent, long-term projects independent of funding obtained (for instance, they will not end once funding for a 1-year project is exhausted).

The initiator of the Growing GREAT project was Iarina Taban (25 years old) who started the activities following her experience in a placement center and after having coordinated volunteers in another educational project.  Ina Cristea (16 years old), the Bucharest volunteer coordinator, and other volunteers and volunteer coordinators, most of them high school students, soon joined her.  In December 2014, Iarina is receives the title Volunteer of the Year in Education at the National Gala of Volunteers for the initiation and implementation of the Ajungem MARI program.

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Projects implemented

 Share Your Passion– 70 volunteers involved for 2 hours/week in July-September in supporting the education of 150 children from 7 social centers in Bucharest; 150 volunteers involved for 2 hours/week in October 2014-February 2015 in supporting the education of 300 children from 15 social centers in Bucharest.

GREAT Vacation– 25 children participate in a personal development camp in the mountains with volunteers who help them improve their abilities and earn self-confidence.

Learn to Pedal – 10 bicycles donated to children in 2 centers subordinate to DGASPC (General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection) Sector 6 and pedaling lessons for the children who received the bicycles.

Discover Yourself – improvisation and theater-forum workshops for 15 children in an emergency reception center; cultural exchange workshop with Erasmus students.  

Explorer for a Day – 14 outings to the cinema, theatre and children shows together with volunteers; 16 children participated in the first trip organized at Mogosoaia and in creative fall workshops.


Other activities

  • The campaign Gift anything – clothes, toys and food staples donations to disadvantaged families in Ciorogarla commune –Ciorogarla and Darvari villages
  • Conclusion of partnerships with child protection institutions – DGASPC Sector 1, 2, 3 and 6
  • Participation in promotional events – Street Delivery, Bikefest, Social Art Gala
  • Participation in fundraising events – Ciclaton, Swimathon, The Marathon of Transylvania, the Bucegi Marathon, Purna, Black Light, Be a Santa.

Funding obtained

The program started with 0 funds and in the first year it was supported only through partner charity sports events (Ciclaton, Swimathon, the Transylvania Marathon of the In Transylvania Festival, the Bucegi Marathon of the Padina Fest festival) and a few specific donations.

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