In every city where GROW takes place, we have a local team that implements the project, led by a coordinator (OCP). We are preparing a new GROW edition, so let’s meet the local coordinators! We’ve asked them about their personality, their high school years and how they would change the educational system. Today we present you Ionut.

Ionut - BucurestiHi! I’m Ionut, GROW OCP in Bucharest. Not many people know that…

  • I love dogs, especially golden retrievers
  • My favourite TV show is “Friends”
  • Because football is my biggest hobby, I hope that someday I will have a job related to it

In 11th grade, at some point in December, me and a girl colleague talked and realized that we both wished to volunteer. So, we decided to do this, we researched for a while and we found out that we can help some kids who were from underprivileged families with their homework after school. I can tell you that this was one of the best decisions in my entire life until now, it was an incredible experience. We used to go two or sometimes even three times per week. It was harder at the beginning, until they started to know us and open to us, but afterwards, they got really attached to us and, of course, we got attached to them, we started to feel like they were our little brothers and sisters.

For me, this experience was a truly eye opener, I understood that I am very lucky and that there are a lot of people in this world that live in much harder conditions and still they try their best to have a decent life. I came to the realization that although there are a lot of bad things in this world, there are also a lot of good people and if we stand together, nothing is impossible. Step by step, we can really have a huge impact and change the world into a better place for everyone.

If I were a country, without a doubt, I would be Romania. Why? Because this country is truly one of the most beautiful countries in the world, even if maybe it is not that known in the rest of the world. Until now, each foreigner I know that came here and visited our country fell in love with this country, with the people and with the Romanian culture. We have a rich history behind us and, moreover, we have a lot of great Romanian personalities that shaped in a way or another the world in which we live now.

For me, the most representative symbol for GROW would be a tree that you plant and, as the time goes by, year after year, it grows and grows and grows and, in the end, from a small, fragile object it becomes a tall, strong beautiful tree.

If I could change education in Romania, I would do several things. First of all, I would spend much more money on education. Secondly, I think that we should change the way in which kids are taught in school. Most of the time, the kids are forced to learn something by heart  and that is it. In my opinion, we should encourage them to be curious, to learn by themselves, the teachers should be some kind of guides, if they have a passion, for example drawing, they should be encouraged to work on that, they must  not have their creativity stopped. Also, I think that we should have a lot of practical activities besides the theoretical parts. And another aspect that I think it is very important – the students, at some point, should be allowed to choose what subjects they want to study and what not to.