First Impressions of the Cosmesti After School project “Hart to Hart”
No matter to which country you go, one thing will always be the same, the curiosity and open minded attitude of children concerning somebody new. This thought got confirmed again, the first day I arrived at the Cosmesti School. To introduce myself, I am Daniela from Austria, a new volunteer for Gipsy Eye. With this volunteer work I am trying to connect my theoretical education studies to practical educational work. As soon as the children, aged from 9 to 12, knew, that I am not from Romania, they started to demonstrate their “hellos”, in all languages they are aware of. It was very easy to recognize the many different skills the children got. One boy, Dennis, really impressed me with his ability of very quick calculating numbers without a calculator. One of the girls, Iona, has an amazing eye for details. She saw already on the first day very little scars in my face, which even old friends of mine just recognized after years. One boy, Serban, offered me the last cookie instead of eating it himself. In general, I am so impressed with the patience the youngsters got concerning language barriers. They don’t get tired of explaining again and again what they just said, but still I am too slow with my dictionary. I believe the most important task of this project is, to give and show the children different perspectives for their future, especially through the Gipsy Eye volunteers as role models and promoters for education. The youngsters coming from different backgrounds can identify themselves with the volunteers also coming from different backgrounds. Their achievements motivate the children to learn. Also the need of attention and recognition on their skills is really important to boost their self- efficacy and to draw on their potentials. In the meaning of the capabilities approach, poverty can`t be just measured on the living standard, but moreover on individual possibilities to fulfill one’s personal needs. Education is one of key concepts to come closer to the fulfillment of one’s personal needs and that’s one reason why projects like this are a sustainable support.