International students in Salford, Manchester and Romania and have come together to found a charity helping Romanian children with technology.
Andreea Berbecaru, Catalina Vlad and Alexandra Mitrea co-founded the project four months ago when inspired to make real change in their home country using the skills they learned at university.
The charity, MakeIT, began officially in September, with weekly workshops in their home town in Romania, teaching students from ages seven to 13 at a flexible rate to allow more families to get engaged with the programme.
Romanian children in need
Some of these children have never been to a birthday party before, the group often acting as sponsors for families unable to make the £20 cost for their programme.
Miss Berbecaru said; “They lack materials, when they hear about technology they are constantly like ‘I can’t do it’.
“I know I can change something about that, this is definitely a project I plan to continue with.”
Their team has now expanded to seven members, with their technology teachers working voluntarily to keep costs low and allow the information to spread as wide as possible.
The group are planning a holiday workshop this New Year’s, hosting the group in a nearby monastery, this has already nearly been filled completely due to the popularity of the initial wave of lectures.
The group are now associating closely with technological competitions known as “Hackathons” which Andreea has been involved with as part of Salford University, they are hoping to invite competitors from many countries outside Romania to take part and further develop the initial skills they have built with their first course group.
Still a second year business student at Salford University, Andreea has overseen the development of the charity in just four months, the final lecture of their first series being recently completed.
There is a big focus on forging links here between Salford and Romania, with plans to use MakeIT as a springboard for international exchanges of Romanian children and young people from Salford who wish to experience another culture.
Miss Berbecaru said; “Romania looks up to the UK a lot, so they just want to bring the UK style of learning back into Romania, and I think if I try to link them together they will see the differences that are happening.
“They will see the good points and the bad points, and I think the UK people can find something interesting about us and our way of life too.”
MakeIt’s work can be seen on their homepage here, and they plan to only expand further.