Uta teaches at TASIS The American School in England. Back in 2002, I got a phone call from her while I was driving somewhere in Romania. She wanted to bring a group of students from TASIS school to help us do some work with children in our programmes. We met later on, and since then she organised 27 visits, bringing over 370 students in 17 years. Some of these students came back again and again, some of them twice, others three times, even bringing their siblings along.
The next photo is with the current group of students and their teachers, who are this week in Sighet, Maramures, to play with the children in family type homes. They also work on repainting some rooms and do repairs to furniture and equipment.
Over the years, they worked with the children in 31 Family Type Homes and 8 more family based services: Mother and Baby Units, Day Centres and Emergency Reception Centres. Overall, more than 500 children enjoyed their presence and support. In addition to these, they helped families stay together and children in foster care, raising the number of children they helped to over 600.
They cover all their costs themselves, and also raise funds for the children in our programmes. So far, the students raised over Euro 150,000 in these 17 years of partnership. But their support is more than money: furniture, household equipment, clothing, toys, games, carpets, garden equipment, and two minibuses for us to use with the children. More importantly, these students and their teachers, led by Uta, gave their own time, played and spent time with the children, they danced, coloured, hugged them and made them feel loved, understood and appreciated. This is the real added value and the essence of our partnership with TASIS the American School in England.
And this has all been because of Uta's commitment, dedication and ambition to keep this partnership going. I am grateful to Uta for having put so much energy and love into our partnership. In the end, when children are happy, we are all happy. Every child should enjoy growing up in a family.
Thank you, Uta.