The future is full of questions. But the answers depend on us.

2020 has been a challenging year, which has changed the lives of all of us in the most unexpected ways, and the coming months will also be unpredictable. Together we will overcome this period and, when everything is over, we will be stronger. But we need to do more than adapt to a post-pandemic world. We need to build a better one. For disadvantaged people, the health crisis, transformed into an economic crisis, will leave deep traces. Children from vulnerable environments and their families are already struggling with the effects of this crisis: unemployment, poor health care, school closures and other unforeseen consequences affect the lives of vulnerable children.

At the beginning of this year, none of us were ready for what we were going to face. And no one knew how many members of our community would need help. Faced with such a challenge, United Way Romania reacted immediately. The organization’s team, the donors, the volunteers and our entire community came together as they have never done before. We helped the communities most affected by the global pandemic and the economic recession, taking care to receive the assistance and support they needed. Due to our partners’ and donors’ generosity, in 2020 we managed to:

• to raise 1,016,232 lei from 11 companies and individual donors;

• to donate masks for personal protection, hygiene products and food worth 111,730 lei;

• to help 980 elderly people and 340 families from Bucharest, Cluj and Timișoara in difficulty, offering them food and sanitary products;

• to distribute over 21,000 protective masks to 750 children, elderly and staff of the United Way Romania programs;

• to distribute 50,000 gloves, 1,100 KN95 masks, 200 pairs of goggles and 100 overalls to the medical staff who fight daily with the disease in the first line, in 2 hospitals in Bucharest and Timisoara;

• to distribute 15 virtual avatars to 2 hospitals in Bucharest and Timisoara. Each medical-looking avatar has a built-in tablet and helps doctors, nurses and nurses communicate video with patients. In 2 months, a single device could eliminate up to 180 potential sources of infection;

• to help 125 vulnerable children and young people in Ploiești, who live in extreme poverty, providing them with protective materials, basic food and hygiene products;

• to help 650 vulnerable children not to drop out of school, by implementing a long-term program that will provide children with technological conditions for access to online education, as well as aid packages that include food and disinfectants.

But there is so much more to do. Thousands of disadvantaged people in our community are still struggling with challenges related to unemployment, food, living conditions and health. Many do not know what they will put on the table tomorrow or how they will pay their rent or bills. Even more are swaying on the edge of the precipice, without material reserves. Children are struggling with an atypical school year. Adults face additional health problems, such as anxiety and depression.


Hope for the future

This year has taught us that we do not live in the equal society we have always cherished. But we can do this.

United Way Romania acts for a new future for our community, offering:

• A good educational start for every child’s life;

• Food;

• Equity;

• New professional routes;

• New beginnings;

• Access to medical services;

• The chance for a better life.

We want to build a better future for our community, one in which each person has equal opportunities for a better life.

Right now, our priority is to fight against school dropout. The crisis has revealed many other issues related to education and children’s education. A year ago, children needed food, clothes, shoes, a backpack and school supplies to go to school. Now, that the pandemic has closed the schools’ doors and education has shifted to the online environment, poor children are struggling to cope with distance learning. Some do not have tablets or laptops, others do not know how to use a tablet and have no one to show them, do not have electricity or internet.

We want to help deprived children to have access to the internet. To have access to education and a chance for a better future, beyond the barriers of poverty.

Let’s not leave for tomorrow what we can start today. Begin the new year with hope, with a chance given to those in need and with action.

Together, we can build a better future. For each of us.

TOGETHER WE CAN! Building a strong community that takes care of all its members also depends on your support.

Donate now and use the code: FUTURE.

Thank you!