Explorer for a Day is a permanent project of the Growing GREAT educational program, providing children and youth with the opportunity to explore the city, to visit and discover new places, to get to know and interact with new people. Each outing from the placement center is a new experience, and children enjoy the time spent with the volunteers more than the toys and clothes donated to them.
The volunteers organize outings to the movies, museums, various playgrounds, theaters, parks, escape rooms, laser tag, festivals and events. They accompany the children and take part, alongside them, in activities, encourage them throughout, explain what they need to do, talk to them about various topics such as family, friendship, moral values, career, passions and feelings. Moreover, volunteers explain to children how they should behave and provide them with models to look up to.
Benefits for children and youth:
– They develop a stronger relationship with the volunteers, who become their friends and role-models; they start trusting the volunteers and begin expressing their own feelings more easily.
– They gain more self-confidence and become more open to new experiences
– They improve their communication, social and team work skills
– They learn how to behave in society, how to react in various contexts
– They learn how to get around town, how to use public transportation
– They grow up and relax outside of the placement centers
– They discover the world around them and become more aware of it
Results and Partners
In Bucharest, the project has been underway since 2014, but it expanded with the support of Adobe Foundation and Metropolitan Life, who sponsor these outings. In order to reduce costs per outing and thus to be able to organize more outings, we asked for the help of partners who offer free or discounted access. In the provinces, the project enjoys the support of local partners and volunteers who obtained funding for outings through charity events or through the 2% campaign. In 2017, the national project benefited from the support of LIDL Romania, who raised donations in special boxes placed by the cash registers. In 2017, we organized 340 outings with the children in Bucharest and 125 outings with children from the other counties.