Dear friends and donors of the Centre Pinocchio,
after few months from the beginning of 2018, we are writing you, in order to provide you with up-to-date information, to make you fell closer to Panciu, for sharing with you little big achievements, as well as daily failures.
It is a period full of meetings, a period of growth and challenges. The number of children attending the school and the centre has increased, so such an extent that everyday we have to organize two lunch-shifts at the canteen for giving a place to everyone. The cook works a lot to prepare tasty hot meals, but strain is always repaid by the enthusiasm of children, by the request of an extra-portion and their curiosity to discover the daily menu.
The arrival of new volunteers has certainly improved the life at the Centre and new energy is given at the work of local staff. Three young IBO Italia volunteers – Manuel, Roberta e Sara – together with two spanish girls – Maite e Laia – collaborate with the educator Monica, the social worker Any Mary and the rest of staff, to propose new and entertaining recreational activities for the children. From the construction of a colorful toolbox to wood handcrafts, from abstract painting workshop to moments of crazy dances, from reading fables to passionate football matches.
Thanks to the volunteers’ presence and their spirit of service, it has been possible to give continuity and further value to the service “Breakfast at the statue”: every morning, in front of local school, the number of children that stop for drinking something hot or to eat a couple of biscuits in company increases. In comparison to some months ago, the entrance to school is “lighter”: everything seems easier if you exchange a smile, meet friends and know that you’re going to see them in the afternoon at centre. The afternoon activities continue between games, after-school and support to learn to read, write and count.
In addition to the socio-educational and recreational activities for children, we continue taking care of the relationship with families, through periodic home visits and individual or group meetings. It is a way to further support children’s educational pathways, to make the center feel close to families and support them in facing difficulties, from bureaucratic ones to the most personal ones.
In the daily work of the Centre Pinocchio there are some small failures, we don’t deny it. Sometimes we experience a sense of powerless in the face of local authorities who don’t take responsiblility for answeing to the needs of the most disadvantaged brackets of local population; sometimes it’s a great sorrow to see some children struggling to get out of their precarious living conditions, which prevent them to build a peaceful future. It’s precisely for these children that the Centre Pinocchio exists and continues believing that education can really make the difference in their lives.
It’s for children like Teo, 4 years old, brother of four other beneficiaries of the Centre. There has been Veleriu, now 20 years old; there are still Filip, 16 y. o., who parteciated in a youth exchange in Italy and that, after a pretty long period of complete absence from school, has recently begun to attend the “Second Chance”, an opportunity to recover lost school years. There are Robi, 14 y.o., and Vlad, 11 y.o., who alternate attendance at school and centre with long periods of street life. Their family is one of the most fragile and vulnerable in the whole Valle Brazi; their mother, Raluca, is a young woman who bears the marks of a life full of difficulties. In spite of all these difficulties, she has always understood the importance of the Centre Pinocchio for the future of her children, in being a point of reference and in supporting her role as a mother. That’s why she decided to enroll the fifth child at center. At the beginning for Teo it was difficult to stay with other children in the kindergarten or at the centre, without Raluca and without his brothers. He felt lost, but then he slowly realized that playing with other children and being their friend wasn’t so bad. Now the Centre Pinocchio is “his” place, a palce where he can have fun with other children and where he’s learning to wirite his name. He’s even trying to teach how to write “Teo” to his mom! He loves painting with markers, showing his beautiful works to the educator and washing his hands before going to eat. And to think at the beginning he never wanted to do it!
Teo is a shy child, but, little by little, he’s becoming familiar with everyone. He spends a lot of time playing with volunteers, laughing with them despite the linguistic obstacles. For him there is noting funnier than climbing on the shoulders of Manuel or playing snowballs with other volunteers. When it’s time to go home, a little bit of sadness appears in his eyes… but he knows that the next day the centre waits for him to come again.
We are more and more convinced that for Teo, for his family and for all the other children like him it is extremely important to engage ourselves, to donate and to spread the word about this precious project.
Heartfelt thanks because you are the first one to believe in IBO’s commitment in favour of the Centre Pinocchio and its beneficiaries! We sincerely hope you will continue walking by our side and support us in this adventure!