Milestones

  • 2000
  • Peace Corps volunteer Leslie Hawke seeks grant on behalf of the Bacau Fundația de Sprijin Comunitar to get kids begging off the street and into school.
  • 2001
  • Maria Gheorghiu & Leslie Hawke start two-pronged initiative: education for the children and job training for their mothers, called "Gata, Dispus și Capabil" based on The Doe Fund's "Ready, Willing & Able" program.
  • The Alex Fund is incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in New York to raise money for educational outreach in Romania.
  • 2002
  • Education program grows from 2 rooms in a high school dorm to multiple classrooms in schools in Buhuși & Izvoare.
  • Hawke selected as a People Magazine “People First” Award
  • Hawke selected as a People Magazine “People First” Award
  • 2003
  • "Cartiere mai bune" project initiated to improve deplorable living conditions of the GDC families. Gheorghiu's school reintegration curriculum is approved by the Ministry of Education.
  • AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce in RO) Innovation Prize to "Gata, Dispus și Capabil" program
  • 2004
  • Gheorghiu & Hawke found Asociația OvidiuRo (OvR) and expand programs to Bucharest’s Sector 5.
  • 2005
  • OvR implements "Second Chance" program in Bucharest.
  • USAID Outstanding Citizen Citation for Hawke
  • 2006
  • OvR launches "Fiecare Copil în Școală" (“Every Child in School”) for keeping high risk children in school. Hawke & Gheorghiu commit to getting every child in Romania in school by 2020.
  • 2007
  • 1700 children in 60 schools in 8 counties

    implement OvR’s summer "School Preparation" program.
    • USAID Best Practices Award
    • Bucharest Business Week’s CSR Award
  • A review of the outcomes for children who started in OvR's programs in 2001-2004 show that the younger they started, the longer they stayed in school.
    • Avon Award for Children’s Rights
    • Roma Education Fund report cites OvR as a leader in Roma education policy development
  • 2008
  • OvR publishes White Paper: "Learning from America’s Mistakes: A Proposal for Closing the Education Gap".
  • 4400 children

    participate in OvR’s summer "School Preparation" programs.
  • The Economist cites OvR as a “model in developing successful community services for disadvantaged children” (21 June)
  • 2009
  • OvR launches "Școala te face mare" public awareness campaign to encourage early school enrollment; initiates “Adopt a School” initiative and tests food coupons as a parent incentive for school attendance in Vizurești.
    • Global Fund for Children “Sustainability Award”
    • Bucharest Civil Society Gala award for “Școala te Face Mare”
  • 2010
  • OvR initiates the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță (FCG) program in partnership with The Ministry of Education. Thirteen pilot communities are selected through a national application process.
  • Opinion piece published on Economist blog, Eastern Approaches
  • “Școala te face mare" awareness campaign features Andreea Esca, Horea Brenciu, Margareta Paslaru & Ethan Hawke.
    • Bucharest Civil Society Gala award for "Școala te Face Mare” campaign
    • People for People Gala award for “Adopt a School” initiative
  • 2011
  • OvR extends FCG to 20 communities, reaching 1300 children, and sets goal to turn FCG elements into public policy by 2020.
    • Award & €50,000 grant in Société Générale's international competition
    • Civil Society Gala award to Pro TV & OvR for CSR Partnership
  • 2012
  • OvR’s public awareness campaign "Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță" stresses the importance of early education.
  • World Bank report cites FCG as a model for integrating deprived children into the education system: “Toward an Equal Start: Closing the Early Learning Gap”
  • Nine Ambassadors to Romania form the "Ambassadors’ Early Education Initiative 2012-2020'' to show their support of early education for all as a key contributor to the school success of disadvantaged children.
    • Bucharest Civil Society Gala: First Prize in Education
    • First Prize in CSR to OvR & Carrefour
  • 2013
  • FCG reaches 2100 children

    OvR signs partnership with the Ministry of Education to analyze the impact of FCG.
  • ANR Excellency Award for Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță
  • 2014
  • EEA grant fuels expansion in Brasov, Dambovita & Dolj.
    • Bucharest Civil Society Gala 1st Prize for CSR to OvR & Rompetrol
    • The ONE 10 Year Gala Prize for Social Involvement
  • Cluj is the first county to cover the FCG food coupon incentives from its county budget. Inter-Ministerial Task Force is created to prepare the way for scaling up FCG nationally.
    • VIP Magazine Award for Contribution to the Development of Society
    • Acorns 10 Year Gala Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education
  • 2015
  • FCG reaches 2400 children in 12 counties

    OvR, Ministries of Ed & Labor sign agreement paving the way for national expansion of FCG.
  • Independent Impact Evaluation shows that FCG increased enrollment rates for children of preschool and early primary ages over rates in similar communities without the program.
  • Romanian PR Award First Prize for Lobbying & Public Affairs to OvR and McGuireWoods
  • Parliament passes the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță (FCG) Law (#248/2015) with full support from all major political parties and government allocation of €12.3 million.
  • 2016
  • Secondary Legislation for the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță (FCG) Law (nr. 248/2015) is published in Monitorul Oficial.
    • Nine O'Clock Award for "Impactful Social Responsibility"
    • Foreign Policy Advocacy Award
  • OvR's Law Information Road Show, reaches 8000 public employees in all 41 counties
  • Public Participation Gala Award for OvidiuRo's FCG Law Advocacy Campaign.
  • "Everyday in Preschool" Awareness Campaign Launch encourages poor parents to register their children for kindergarten. Maria Gheorghiu tapped to be the Prime Minister’s State Counselor on Social Inclusion, spearheading the PM’s “Integrated 47 Measure Anti-Poverty Package”.
  • Read Aloud Summer Caravan reaches 99 impoverished communities in 15 counties. Results: 5700 children, 3100 parents, and 200 teachers reached.
  • Three 1st Prizes, including the Grand Prix at the Civil Society Gala
  • "Pofta de carte" Read Aloud Caravan begins.
  • Maria Gheorghiu & Leslie Hawke receive Award for Achievement in Humanitarian Work at The ALIANȚA Award Gala 2016 in Washington, DC.
  • The government's 2016 Report notes that the "Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță" Law resulted in the registration of over 70,000 children living under the poverty line.
  • 2017
  • Maria Gheorghiu returns to the helm of OvidiuRo from her stint as counselor to Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș when the new government is sworn in.
  • "Hai la gradinita" community grant project launch.
  • "Pofta de carte" Read Aloud Caravan concludes, having reached 6,000 preschoolers in 200 disadvantaged villages in 25 counties.
  • OvidiuRo holds “Quality Early Education Regional Conferences” held in 8 counties, engaging 600 preschool teachers.
    • OvidiuRo and Carrefour win Romanian CSR Awards, 2nd prize for Education for "Pofta de Carte" project.
  • Ministry of Education and OvidiuRo sign collaboration protocol promoting quality early education best practices.
  • American Embassy hosts celebration of the 2nd Anniversary of the "Fiecare Copil in Gradinita" Law.
  • "Dai carte, ai parte" 2017 Public Awareness Campaign launched, requesting 2€ monthly SMS donations to provide poor children with their first book.
  • 2018
  • "Fiecare copil merită o poveste" national caravan begins, distributing 20,000 picture books to young children in disadvantaged communities.
  • OvidiuRo’s “Quality Early Education Regional Conferences” held in 18 counties, reaching 767 preschool and primary teachers.
  • OvidiuRo launches the "Every Child Deserves a Story" pilot-program, which brings quality books and educational training and resources to rural kindergartens.
  • 2019
  • OvidiuRo and the Ministry of Education sign a new partnership agreement (no. 8139/2019) for implementing “Every Child Deserves a Story” pilot program, as a base for language, communication and reading and writing development, for children aged 3 – 6.
  • OvidiuRo, in partnership with Fundația Noi Orizonturi, launches its first pilot-project focused on parental education based on the Circle of Security concept. The aim is to boost children’s emotional development by increasing child-parent and child-teacher relationship quality.
  • “Șotron” Summer Programs brought together 1200 volunteering teachers in 37 counties, who organized 480 Șotron Programs. In total, 6000 disadvantaged preschoolers participated in this annually 2-week educational module, and 18,000 picture books were distributed.
  • 100,000 picture books were distributed, 450 Kinder Libraries reached the poorest kindergartens and 1500 kindergarten teachers benefited from intensive training within Every Child Deserves a Story program, between September 2018 – September 2019.
  • OvidiuRo launches “Punguța cu 2 cărți" (Two Books in a Bag), a pilot project that encourages parents with young children to read aloud with their toddlers. This way, OvidiuRo expands its literacy-based interventions in disadvantaged areas to very young children (0 – 3 years old), aiming to raise the reading environment at home, for at-risk children.
  • 2020
  • OvidiuRo, in partnership with Dâmbovița School Inspectorate, launches “Acceleratorul de literație”, a 2-year literacy-based program focused on expanding children’s vocabularies and improving their language skills, by addressing pupils in primary school, mainly from disadvantaged areas.
  • Parliament voted to strengthen Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță Law - #248/2015 by expanding the eligibility criteria for children, simplifying the application process, increasing the food coupon incentive from 50 to 100 lei, and by introducing mandatory information and enrollment campaigns organized by mayors and school principals, twice a year.
  • Șotron” Summer Programs brings together 700 volunteering teachers and 1200 children in 37 counties for June - August period
  • Present