At UiPath we believe in using the power of technology for the greater good. We believe in giving back to society and supporting our community. That’s why we do our best to drive change across all layers of society, with a focus on future generations.
With limited, sometimes non-existent opportunities, children living in poverty will have a difficult time finding their place in the world of tomorrow. Add this to the lack of quality education, particularly in terms of digital-era skills, and these children risk to become adults who may not be able to successfully navigate the complex requirements of our future societies.
It is here where the role of UiPath Foundation becomes clear and so relevant.
The UiPath Foundation is on a global mission of nurturing the enormous potential of children coming from underprivileged families, aiming at empowering them to fully discover and reach it, through equal access to education and to the development of the 21st century competencies.
“We aim to change the status quo through well thought, complex and consistent intervention and we’re happy to have our UiPath colleagues as proud volunteers and ambassadors of the UiPath Foundation’s mission,” says Raluca Negulescu, Executive Director @ UiPath Foundation.
“We are truly impressed by the enthusiasm shown by our volunteers and by all their support from the very beginning. The story of the foundation started in January 2019 – and we are so very proud of what we have already achieved. We have 140 children aged 11-16 from 4 areas in Romania – Vaslui, Galați, Cluj counties and Ferentari area in Bucharest, enrolled in our educational programs. Our child-centered approach is designed taking into consideration the entire ecosystem - family, school, community and the specific needs each child might have.
UiPath volunteers play a very important role in our intervention – we have about 70 volunteers constantly participating in our initiatives - 38 mentors in our mentorship programs, 29 colleagues joined us as volunteers in the UiPath Foundation Kids Camp at the beginning of September 2019. Others have spent their Thursdays mornings in October – November reading to kindergarten children from some of the most marginalized areas of Bucharest. Altogether, about 3000 volunteering hours since August!
And our plans are daring - we are about to start, very soon, our intervention in India and further consolidate what we have built up to now in Romania”, she adds.
Talking about their participation in the Foundation’s programs, the volunteers’ feedback is powerful and convincing.
90% of our colleagues didn’t have any childcare experience before the UiPath Foundation Kids Camp. The Foundation’s child protection trainings were empowering. During the camp, the volunteers went through a lot of phases: they were challenged to understand more about themselves, about their feelings, their limits and even imagine themselves as parents.
“It was more than attending some activities. You needed to adapt to the children, take their differences into account at any point, understand their emotions. They were so happy and involved. It was a significant experience for them” said Florina Petre, one of the volunteers who participated in the UiPath Foundation Kids Camp.
For the volunteers, understanding the children’s and their own limits was the key. “In my group, I had a girl dressing like a boy. We talked at the beginning and established that in certain situations it was ok for us to hug each other. This was a limit she didn’t know how to cross – at some point when one of the other kids were crying, she gave him a hug. Then she started crying herself. That’s when I understood why I was there.” said Florina.
Of course, the camp was just one milestone of our journey. “We want to build a long-term relationship with them. And we do that through all the other actions, especially through the mentoring program,” says Raluca.
We have recently started our Mentorship Program, allowing an intense period of thorough preparation and training delivered by qualified psychologists to all the enrolled mentors – bringing together 38 UiPath mentors and 38 children from the Ferentari area in Bucharest enrolled in our programs.
Through constant, face to face, eye-opening interaction with their mentor we aim to offer these kids the chance to explore new perspectives and learn so many new things. It’s an enriching learning experience on both sides and we’re enthusiastic to see it inspiring and empowering both the mentors and the mentees.
Another consistent initiative involving the UiPath volunteers was the “The Open Books Day” - the reading sessions for kindergarten children, rolled out October and November, on Thursdays, in the Ferentari area -Bucharest. The aim was to ensure children's access to quality early education, by exposing and proving them age-appropriate books, as well as by getting them familiarized with reading as a fun activity.
You might find yourself having preconceptions about children from different neighborhoods or with different backgrounds. You might even find out your family is skeptical at the thought that you’ll volunteer in those areas. Our colleagues were no exception, but they kept an open mind. Spending time with these kids made them change their minds completely.
Through volunteering, you get to learn a lot about yourself. You get to see your biases and your limits and decide how to act on them. It gives you a sense of meaning that you cannot get otherwise. The UiPath Foundation team and their volunteers plant the seeds of a better tomorrow for children born in poor families offering them the chance for a good start in school and life.
Happy International Volunteers’ Day to all our wonderful colleagues in UiPath – who are so aware and caring about those aspects that make this world a less happy and bright place! It is hoped that you bring out – and all our admiration and respect – for constantly proving the power of example.