A celebration of courage at U&I Summer Camp

Summer’s gone, that’s for sure. For most of us, nostalgia kicks in. If you are a child, it’s pretty clear why – summer break is over. If you are an adult, you might think of your childhood and all the memories you made back in the day. 

 

Here, at UiPath Foundation, we say that we ended the summer right. We dedicated the whole month of August to U&I Summer Camp – our annual event for the kids enrolled in our Future Acceleration Program. 

 

The program is our flagship intervention, and it focuses on enabling underprivileged children, aged 11 to 17, to access their inner courage to develop their potential. We have built a holistic approach that nurtures children’s educational motivation and takes the burden of poverty and marginalization through a 360 degrees package of support. We intervene in 6 communities in Romania – Galați, Vaslui, Botoșani, Olt & Cluj counties and Bucharest (Ferentari) – and in India. 

U&I Summer Camp in a nutshell:

• 6 communities in Romania

• More than 3100 km on the road

• 12 full days of camp

• 200 kids

• 47 volunteers

Celebrating as a community

Most of all, the summer camp was a moment of celebration. For some of the children, it was a celebration of their small and big victories after another year of the program has passed. But for some of them, as newcomers, it represented their first meeting with our community. Moreover, as we had to keep the 2020 camp online, this year’s in-person edition has meant a much-needed reconnection for our community: children, volunteers, the UiPath Foundation team and partners.

A tale of friendship, fun & learning

Due to the current context, we had to come up with a way of organising the camp that takes into account all the measures against COVID-19. Together with specialists, we came up with the safest setting: bringing the summer camp for 2 days to the children in each community – Galați, Vaslui, Botoșani, Olt, Cluj counties and Bucharest.

 

The numerous activities for children were specially designed to feed their curious minds. We aimed to have a mix of fun and learning that reached various subjects: from coding to on-the-spot science experiments, from VR to archery. An essential role was played by our educational partners.

 

Together with RoboHub, the children programmed a smart city consisting of electric cars, traffic lights and automatic barriers. And, to everyone’s surprise, they’ve met robots.

 

During Sgomot workshop, coordinated by Cătălin Matei, the children explored the sound. The workshop consists of a system of interactive tools and installations designed to teach children different principles of physics and acoustics in a fun way. Designed as a journey, it starts from visualizing sounds in different types of matter, from water to laser, then moves on to generating sounds with all kinds of crazy devices. Sgomot workshop is part of Care-i faza cu arta contemporană? (What’s up with contemporary art?) program created by Fundația9 and Rezidența BRD Scena.

 

Through the lesson conducted by Spooky, Profesorul Trăsnit (The Crazy Professor), the children discovered that every time something gets warm, moves, grows, makes a sound or changes in any way, it uses energy. We have to say that the professor himself was an endless source of energy. As well as the kids.

Using VR glasses from Univrse, the children explored the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, the solar system, the great cities of the world and the dinosaurs. The effect was WOW!

 

We were lucky to have Rubik School on our side to make sure everything went according to the plan. In addition to the collaboration games they have prepared, they have facilitated the integration of children in the camp’s ecosystem, but also the moments between different activities.

 

When we asked the kids to describe U&I Summer Camp in their own words, their answers were crisp and clear: friendship, patience, joy, teamwork, and respect. We couldn’t agree more!

There are places where you go and a part of your soul stays there, among the people you have connected with, whose stories you have discovered. U&I Summer Camp is such a place. It brought us face to face with the souls of the children eager to explore, curious to know more from outside their bubble. For us as well, it was an opportunity for growth. There is such a great need to reach out to these communities, to give children new perspectives and access to future skills & people who can inspire them. We laughed, we played, we danced, we learned, we explored!

Luiza Apostu & Alexandra Rădulescu

Rubik School

I loved having fun with the other children and the volunteers. Thank you for making me more confident and always smile. Indeed, laughing is therapy. I am happy that I have learned to be myself.

G.

14 years

Volunteering makes the world go round

None of this would have been possible without the volunteers from UiPath. We are grateful for all their support, enthusiasm and desire to have their contribution to this enriching experience for children. They took care of the children, paid attention to their needs and inspired them through their personal stories. We hope our community will continue to grow for a bigger impact on the children’s lives.

The summer camp is an activity that creates unforgettable memories for everyone involved, not just for the children. For me, it was a life lesson. I became aware of certain aspects of the children's lives: their environments, dreams, and fears. Undoubtedly, I would participate once again in the future.

Lara Săulescu

UiPath Volunteer

See you next year!

Our partners 🧡

Strategic partners: Fundația Inimă de Copil, Bună ziua, Copii din România, Fundația Pro Patrimonio, Policy Center for Roma and Minorities

Educational partners:  Rubik School, RoboHub.ai, Fun Science, Sgomot, Fundația 9, Ecoxtrem, Univrse

Logistic partners: Rename Advertising, Grafitti PR, Moșia Corbeanca

Photo: Cătălin Georgescu

Video: Alexandru Prepeliță