„A FUTURE CHANGED”
General Report for September-December 2017
Teachers: Maria Bălteanu & Anişoara Nechifor
Social worker: Daniela Guralivu
The main theme of September was “All about us”. The children had the whole month to get to know each other and to get used to the teachers and educational activities of our project; it was a month full of emotions because some of the children were enrolled for the first time at kindergarten and the adaptation was difficult but not an impossible task for them.
Amazing for the teachers but also for the children, was the fact that, although the theme of the month is called “All about us”, some of the children couldn’t tell anything about themselves; they didn’t know their name and surname (just nick name), date of birth, where they lived, how many brothers they have, the parents’ name, what is the favourite activity, how they feel at kindergarten; the most common answer was “I don’t know!” and the most common questions were: “How I should use this?”, “What is this?” and “What does that means?”
The first lessons from the class (Science lessons and Social, personal and emotional development lessons) have clarified all these; the children have played games of self-knowledge, they did small presentations that helped each of them to discover that is unique, special, beautiful and important to the others (family, friends, society, team from kindergarten). They also learned to express their emotions and opinions, how to develop their vocabulary, to solve the conflicts in a nice and polite way, without quarrels, but also how to use correctly all the didactic materials, toys, games and utilities from kindergarten.
The lessons also included a few rules of behaviour, politeness and hygiene, which helped the children to become ordered, organized, fair, polite, and friendly but also to keep their health in a good condition. It was a bit more difficult at first, because some of the children were used to lying, to destroy and throw the toys, to shout, to use bad words and even to use violence. They have understood that everything we do or say has influence to all those around us, and sometimes the consequences can be very serious. At this point, all these rules have become daily habits in kindergarten and they have come to the conclusion that the rules actually are an important help for all. The rules protect us from the dangers around us, show us the right way to do a certain thing and gives us useful information to develop a nice character, full of qualities (generosity, diligence, kindness, obedience, respect).
The lessons which we had as main subjects, the human body, the sense organs and internal organs which also constituted new challenges for some of the children. With the mirror in the face, they couldn’t tell the main parts of the body, what colour are their eyes, skin or hair; also they couldn’t tell which organs helps us to see, to smell, to hear, to taste or to feel the touch (the sense of touch).
The Science lessons helped the children to understand how complex is a human body and were happy to discover how it works, each part of the body and what role has each one. The whole team from the kindergarten found out once again, how important this project is for these children, because they have the chance to obtain general knowledge, very important for a normal and harmonious development.
At the moral-Christian education lessons, the main topics were: Obedience (the first sin of the world, Adam and Eve), the divine and parental Love, Friendship between David and Jonathan.
The main theme of this month was “Autumn and Harvest”. The main topics were: The features of the Autumn Season, The Fruits, The Vegetables, and The Harvest. In the first part of the month, the children studied about all the seasons, their characteristics and the importance of each of them, but of course, the autumn was in the foreground. The children have discovered the beauty of this season, which is full of phenomena that changes the colours of nature, but also that fills our pantry with delicious food.
The Fruits and Vegetables were the children’s favourite topics, but some of them weren’t even able to pronounce the name of some food. They saw for the first time a certain fruit or vegetable, and there were children who said, “I never ate pineapple or pomegranate.”
During the whole month, children have learned how important it is to work, to exert much effort, to use our talents and knowledge, so that in the end we can enjoy good results. Also, to appreciate and have respect for the work of others. It is a good attitude if we are thankful for all we have. In the same way, we clean the soil and sow the good seeds and after then, we protect the plants by all the dangers which could stop their good evolution, and later we enjoy the rich harvests. Also, our heart must be cleaned by all the bad and ugly things and filled with good “seeds” that later will turn us into quality people (responsible, loving, hardworking and involved in the evolution of the society they belong to). The satisfaction of the own work makes us to want to do more and also to understand that theft and begging aren’t the most correct ways to have a good living.
The children also studied other important things for their development from all points of view: obedience and respect to parents, the ambition to succeed, mercy towards those in need but without encouraging laziness. Also, they learned to protect the plants and animals. At the moral-Christian education lessons, the main topics were: Elijah brings the rain, Jesus feeds 5000 people and the Thanksgiving Day.
The theme of November was “Fairy Tales”. This month we all entered in a fantasy world full of imagination, colourful and glittering costumes, crowns and fairy wands. One of the main objectives was that from the stories that we studied, the children could be able to distinguish reality from imagination. Of course, the majority would like the wand to do miracles (to learn everything immediately, to turn the pumpkin into a carousel or a cake, to have wings to fly, to turn all the bad people into good people, to appear or disappear a thing, or to be invisible). It wasn’t easy for some of the children to understand that the wand is just an object, that giants don’t exist, the animals don’t wear clothes, cook, or can’t speak or wear glasses. Also, that the plants, most of them are food … and so on. But, for a short time, we let our little princes and princesses to continue to dream…
They also learned that it is good to take care of ourselves physically and to have nice and clean clothes. But more important and valuable than all these for all of us, is the time spent to learn how to behave, how to talk, how to react in certain difficult situations, to choose our friends well, but also to be able to take the best decisions for us.
Other interesting things studied by children from the fairy tales which helped in their social, personal and emotional development were; to be good and kind with everyone around them, to love and protect their family, to not make bad jokes to others, to accept the people around them exactly as they are (without discrimination) but also to not be greedy or envious.
There is much information and most of the children are very curious and interested about education. They have a lot of questions and they are looking for answers. All the team from the project are glad that we can help these children, to give them the right answers and to help them to discover this wonderful world they are part of.
At the moral-Christian education lessons, the main topics were: Lazarus’s resurrection (God is Life), Choose the Good (God Is Goodness), David and Goliath (God is the Power), Solomon – the Judge chose by God (God is Justice).
The theme of December was “Winter and Christmas”. In the Science lessons, the children learned the main characteristics of winter and the forms of water in nature; their favourite form is of course in solid form, especially the snow.
At the social, personal and emotional development lessons, the children understood that winter is a special season because of his white and shining coat that it wears and invites us to play with the snow. The winter offers to all of us, much joy and precious moments with the family around a Christmas tree.
Besides the joys and benefits of snow for the soil, winter can be also very dangerous. The cold and frost can affect our health if we don’t dress properly, the ice and snow on roofs can lead to serious accidents, the sleigh rides must be done safely (not on the street, among cars or in valleys, among trees). Also the frozen rivers must be crossed only on the bridges, otherwise there is a danger of drowning or hypothermia, if the ice breaks.
As usual, this month was the busiest in events. Besides the educational activities, the children have also enjoyed the presence of Saint Nicholas and Santa, and all of them has received beautiful gifts. Also, for the Christmas celebrations, the children prepared a special program with a few carols full of emotions.
At the moral-Christian education lessons, the main subject was The Birth of Jesus, the Son of God, as shown in the Bible. The children have discovered the most beautiful demonstration of Love, Forgiveness and Kindness – from God.
CHILDREN IN FOCUS
Somna was enrolled in our educational program in September 2016. At the beginning of kindergarten Somna wasn’t able to count correctly from 1 to 10, she didn’t know any number, letters of the alphabet, colours or the basic geometric shapes.
In this time, her academic development was very good. She is a smart child, very attentive and absorbs easily the new information. Somna likes to have good results, that’s why she is “eyes and ears” when the teacher gives her advice and instructions. In Literacy, Somna is able to write her name and recognizes her written name, she recognizes almost all the uppercase letters of the alphabet, writes words with help and has a beautiful and tidy writing. Also, Somna recognizes a few lowercase letters of the alphabet with help and speaks correctly and uses complete sentences.
At Mathematics, Somna is able to count correctly from 1 to 20, recognizes and writes all the numbers between 1 and 20. She has made good progress at simple math calculations, and has learnt all the colours and the basic geometric shapes.
From a personal, social and emotional point of view, Somna has had also a good development. Somna has a high self-esteem, expresses her emotions and opinions easily, is friendly and generally is a cheerful girl. At the same time, she is a sensitive child who doesn’t like to make mistakes or to break the rules, so she strives to do things as well she can (and succeeds the most of the time). Somna is an ambitious and hardworking girl and she will make excellent progress in the future.
Iliuta was enrolled in our educational program in September 2016. At the beginning of kindergarten Iliuta wasn’t able to count from 1 to 10. He didn’t know any written numbers or any letters of the alphabet, couldn’t recognize his written name, and didn’t recognize the colours or the basic geometric shapes. Also, he didn’t have a general knowledge of hygiene, behaviour or politeness and his vocabulary was very poor.
In this time, Iliuta had a good academic beginning. He communicates with the teacher and asks questions to be sure how to proceed in a particular situation. He strives to learn new things and likes to work in his educational books.
In Literacy, Iliuta recognizes his written name but still needs help to write his name. He knows half the uppercase letters of the alphabet and recognizes the rest of the letters, with help. Iliuta writes all the letters, with a little help; he understands the essential idea of a lesson and is able to tell the main sequences of a story. His vocabulary is improved but has difficulties to pronounce certain sounds.
At Mathematics, Iliuta is able to count correctly from 1 to 10 and recognizes and writes all the numbers between 1 and 10. Iliuta learnt all the colours and the basic geometric shapes. From a social, emotional and personal point of view, Iliuta has had a good development, his self-esteem has improved and is aware of his abilities and qualities. He is involved in all activities from the class and expresses his emotions and opinions easily. Iliuta is talkative, cheerful and polite and follows the rules of the class. He is eager to do new things even if he is uncertain about the results, but he is an ambitious child and knows that with work, effort and practice, he will succeed to do great things in his life.
FAMILY IN FOCUS
Mrs. Petronela Borcoi and Mr. Ioan Zavache are the parents of 3 children: Marian Yanis (9), Alondra Ioana (8), and Somna Adriana (6). All the children are registered in their mother’s name.
The family live in one room of the house of Mr. Ioan’s mother. The room is well kept and clean. The family received 700 lei in July in order to build a hallway for the room in which they live. The hallway is also used as a kitchen. On October they also received 150 lei in order to buy PVC windows. The other bills were helped by the family and it was an effort for them in order to build the kitchen.
Mrs. Mariana-Petronela stays at home in order to clean, cook and help the children to learn. She often says that she couldn’t attend school, but she wishes for her children to have a good education. Alondra was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with mild mental deficiency.
Mr. Ioan occasionally earns some money collecting scrap iron or plastic items from the garbage dumpster to resell. The only stable income of the family is 252 lei (£48) Child Benefit. Now, the mother is pregnant and because she has fibromus, she asked for an ultrasound and analysis to see if the baby is not affected. She received 100 lei from our organization and everything went well. However, the mother says she has hepatitis B, and she might pass it on to her unborn baby.
Iliuta’s parents, Mrs. Cecilia Pagu and Mr. Ion Ardeleanu have together three children: Marius Constantin (11), Alexandru Petru (8) and Iliuta, all registered in their mother’s name. The parents spend a lot of time apart. Lately, the father came home, but he didn’t stay long and went back to his parents who live in Podu Iloaei. He has an occasional relationship with the three boys, whom he has not legally recognized.
The mother also has a child Gavril Petronel (16 years old) from a previous relationship, whom she left in the care of the father’s grandparents. Now he lives with his mother. Our organization helped them to obtain the boy’s identity card because he did not have it. The mother does not know to write or read, and also do not have legal papers for the house. The three older boys are students and Iliuta is registered in our kindergarten.
The family live in one room of Mrs. Pagu parents’ house which has two rooms and a hall. In the family’s room there is a bed, a table, a stove for heating in the winter, and a wardrobe for clothes. In the hall there is the cooker (with gas bottle), a table and chairs.
Mrs. Pagu is surviving with the money from the social aid – 420 lei, the allowance for single parents – 316 lei and the state allowance for the children – 252 lei. Total – 988 lei. Out of this money, she pays 250 lei per month for elecricity to a neighbor from who she buys electricity from, 15 lei for water. She buys the gas bottle, wood, food and everything she needs for children. Mrs. Pagu is content and happy that even if she is so poor as she is, she is able to go further and occasionally celebrate events with children.