Roma Partnership
eematico
Country/Town: România, Bucharest
Topic: Education

Hands-on education

for the disadvantaged

Why?

We all know that children learn more, better and faster by playing. Being an NPO (non profit organisation) focused on education & research with a service production and delivery function, eematico dreams of a world where school & life make sense together and as many children as possible can make the best of the most fertile learning period of their lives: childhood.

The aim

eematico is an organization that leads innovation of educational programs with the aim of developing life-skills for the XXI-st century. This is exactly what the workshops that Roma Partnership organised are designed to enhance, namely abilities and skills other than the obvious technical skills. For the students attending the Roma Partnership workshops, what the project enhances and develops is their critical and analytical thinking, decision making, design thinking, long term memory, spatial understanding, resource management, communication skill, teamwork and group coordination alongside means of how to express their emotion, feelings and creativity in a constructive manner. Students also develop their identity while practicing patience, empathy and resilience and nonetheless develop their critical capacities like giving constructive feedback and evaluation as well as the capacity to evaluate one’s progress;. Moreover, the speciality of eematico intertwining key academic STEM knowledge with hands on activities is fundamental to the exercises: measuring, geometry, math, physics, electronics, basic artistic skills and techniques. After practicing such a wide array of skills and activities, youth coming from disadvantaged social backgrounds will be more prepared to understand and engage within their society.

Project

Timeline

For eematico was to start it’s own NGO. This represented a goal for eematico team since day one of its existence, because they are set on giving to as many children as possible the chance to benefit from their educational products, philosophy and innovation.

Marked by ERSTE Foundation who made it possible to benefit from their wide array of learning programs which helped in developing a NGO management & innovation skills in the non-profit sector.

Our learning experience shaped the way we imagined what projects we might develop with Roma Partnership. This milestone was also accompanied by several smaller milestones when we managed to make good on our vision and started to bring our educational programs in the underprivileged communities of Ferentari in partnership with Asociatia Zeppelin, Teach for Romania and Policy Center Romania.” (eematico team).

The most important was the actual signing of the first project with Erste Foundation – Roma Partnership. eematico had 2 previous iterations which did not come through but, this time, the beginning of 2017 brought up a synergy concept with another project that is currently going on in collaboration with FAST Săcele.

Important people

and resources

Alina Serban remains one of the strongest project supporters

“Alina Serban is, perhaps, one of the few people outside eematico who fully understands our philosophy and sees the true potential it has for improving children’s educational experience. She is also one of the few people in the NGO field who actually sees education as an important pillar not only for community development, but for giving better chances in life to the underprivileged as well.” (Ion Neculai, Project Coordinator).

Daniel Hristea from FAST Charity Romania

“Daniel Hristea is a wonderful man who, through his struggle, energy and vision, and alongside his family and team has been a motor for the development of Roma communities in the Sacele area. A large part of his efforts have always been focused on education and since we met in the Roma Partnership community, he has struggled for finding ways of working with us. I must also mention Ruxandra Oprica, who has been an important drive in the collaboration between FAST and Eematico.” (Ion Neculai, Project Coordinator).

eematico team, especially Adina, Bogdan and Luiza, who have been critical to the structuring, development and implementation of this project

Franz Prueller, former CEO of the Foundation, and Camilo Antonio, advisor of the Foundation

Ion Neculai Project Coordinator

Achievements

The most important achievement was making the project work successfully, making the transfer of knowledge between eematico and FAST (and also between FAST and eematico) and creating a programme that proves most useful to the youngsters attending the FAST Vocational Centre.

It became so important because it showed everyone that this knowledge transfer stands as a key towards developing future projects and it led to greater scalability for the educational endeavours proposed throughout Roma Partnership.

Challenges

Impact

Changes in the strategy of the Erste Foundation which might, diminish the future impact of this project by the lack of a long-run commitment and strategies.

Administrative obstacles

Which are always a constant. More specifically, it was difficult to find a viable and realistic ways of implementing specific & relevant measurement methods to the project. Education delivers its results with time, so more time is needed than, say, the project lasts, so it is quite difficult to quantify the results. Also, these results are usually of the non measurable sort. That’s why finding a system for us to put metrics on what we are doing has forced us to develop some sort of hybrid system. A system that complicates things and might produce inconclusive results in the absence of appropriate resources to develop a proper way of measurement.

Cultural differences

The partner organisations has meant that there was a learning curve to climb on both sides.

Extra

content available in local language
 

Photo Gallery

Photos from every eematico and Fast workshop