Centrul Național de Resurse pentru Voluntariat

Corporate volunteers in action – AbbVie Week of Possibilities

For more than 27 years, our organization- Pro Vobis, believed in the power of volunteering to change for the better the communities with which it interacts.

Experience has shown us that collaboration has its magical force to multiply the impact we can have on a community. Since 2017 we became part of the Points of Light Global Network and we witness the powerful effects massive corporate volunteering actions can have upon beneficiaries from all sorts of backgrounds.

This year’s corporate volunteering adventure started with AbbVie, a company that decided to volunteer for a school in a rural area, close to the capital city Bucharest.
On June 7th, 2019, our mission was to bring a little color to a place full of dreams and curious and courageous children, who day after day find education as a tool to create better lives for themselves – at School no.1 from Nuci, Ilfov county.
37 volunteers from AbbVie Romania became „The Color Creators” and managed to transform the school spaces, through their hard work and their desire to make children feel encouraged and enthusiastic regarding their learning environment. Because the school had 4 different structures, we wanted to leave our „colorful marks” in all the locations of the school and even in the local library.

In the first school location, the main challenge we identified was the lack of a gym or sports field where students could enjoy physical activities and be engaged in maintaining an active lifestyle. We decided to use what we had at our disposal, so we transformed the outdoor sports ground into a complex hand-painted 105-meter trail or sensory path, that stimulates movement and sports exercises. 
We also reconditioned the football gates and set up picnic tables to create an outdoor area where children could enjoy some time in nature, attending lessons and creative activities outside the classrooms.

For the second school location, AbbVie volunteers decorated the interior halls with educational and playful elements to create an interactive route that stretched over the entire surface of the hall. We also transformed the stairs in the building –  with either a multiplication table and some and inspirational quotes for the children, on the other. Outside, right at the entrance of the school, we hand-painted a rocket-hopscotch so that children could enter the schoolyard jumping and laughing, ready for a new school day!

In the third school building, the kindergarden structure, volunteers focused on the outside of the building. They decorated the exterior facade with playful elements (sunflowers, birds, sun, clouds). We even had one child that requested a cat and a butterfly from the volunteers and they delivered on the spot, in the most beautiful way. The volunteers hand-painted interactive and educational trails on the yard alleys, containing letters, numbers and animals that encourage movement. They also reconditioned old tyres to create flower installations with „minions” – characters so loved by the children.

The impact the volunteers had on the local community didn’t stop here – we also wanted to make sure that we transform the library into a pleasant place for youngsters, creating a suitable context in which school teachers could bring pupils for activities of all sorts, as the library was not really used because of its lack of chairs. So, volunteers assembled new bookshelves and chairs and painted a colorful corner with the message „A book is a dream you can hold in your hands”.

At the end of the day, our biggest joy was the mobilization of the local community. Parents waited for the volunteers with cookies and home-made jam and bread and the children wanted to get involved and were curious about why people decided to come to their school and volunteer. More than that, this corporate volunteering activity managed to leave visible trails in the community- the library is used more than ever by the children and each and every educational or colorful element makes the pupils come to school with delight! It made the AbbVie Week of Possibilities a true succes for the very first ever AbbVie corporate activity in Romania and the Pro Vobis team was proud to set it all up. We are still in contact with the school director, who was remarkably appreciative of the volunteers’ efforts and we hope to be able to go back to the Nuci school.