We are building a school
Teleorman – perhaps the only county in Romania which does not offer children an educational alternative.
The school Book-train on the Lane will be the first and only alternative to the centralized state system in Teleorman county.
It will cover the preschool, primary and gymnasium educational cycles. Teleorman traditionally ranks last in the national exams.
Chapter 1: APPLE WAS BORN IN A GARAGE. BOOK-TRAIN ON THE LANE, ON THE EDGE OF A GUTTER
It all started by chance, from a Facebook post. On August 9, 2018, Relu Voicu writes a post on Facebook, announcing “I’ll be there”, referring to the Diaspora Rally on August 10. To stand for the principles, and to encourage others to participate. He says that he will sacrifice 100 lei for transport (100 km to Bucharest), money that he had saved to buy his child a few books.
That same evening, 7 people, complete strangers offer to buy those books for his child. Encouraged by the desire of these people to help, Relu Voicu starts dreaming about bringing books closer to children. He decides to make a library for the children in the village.
Over the next few months, Relu takes out the donation books he received from friends and displays them on some plywood, old doors, and pieces of BCA, on the street, in front of his gate. Just like other people sell melons and cabbage from their own gardens. Meanwhile, he began teaching lessons to a few poor children, right on the edge of a gutter, until winter made it too cold to continue.
Chapter 2: GOODBYE, GUTTER! THE BEDROOM LIBRARY
Winter made it impossible to continue the lessons with the children in the village, and the impromptu library did not seem to last much longer. The solution came from Lidia Bodea, the general manager of Humanitas Publishing House: to transform the bedroom of Relu’s child into a library.
Lidia, Aurora Liiceanu, Ștefan Liiceanu and the Humanitas team equip the bedroom with everything needed, and from that moment it becomes the study room and the library Book-train on the Lane.
Chapter 3: THE ASSOCIATION
In November 2019, together with Marilena Tudor Brânda, the first friend who visited Relu and his impromptu library, who is also the director of the Publishing House of West University of Timișoara, and Cătălin Teniță, a prominent civic activist, Relu Voicu founded the Association Book-train on the Lane.
At the same time, with the money donated by friends and supporters of the project, Relu buys a plot of land to start building a school, the daring dream of the Association. The idea from which everything started in August 2018 was to put together some improvised mini libraries in old telephone booths. The telephone booth mini libraries then transformed into a cultural center.
But now, we know that Book-train on the Lane must be a school. It must be and will be the „School Book-train on the Lane”.
In the study room and library Book-train on the Lane:
- some children read the first book of their lives, others discovered and devoured Jules Verne and Stephen Hawking, others met Solzhenitsyn, Mario Vargas Llosa, Sabato and Tolstoy;
- there were hundreds and hundreds of hours of lessons with children in mathematics, geometry and grammar;
- with no previous background, some children have discovered a passion for geometry;
- from the streets, from the belly of the gutter, some children were admitted to top high schools in Bucharest.
All children have potential, but not all of them get to develop and reach their full potential because of unequal access to education. Poverty is the biggest obstacle in children’s education. Help them get an education that will prepare them for a better future through a donation or sponsorship.
A SCHOOL. THE DARRING DREAM OF BOOK-TRAIN ON THE LANE
Many friends got involved and supported us by donating books, supplies, clothes, or sweets for the children, and also money for the development of the project. Relu’s initial thought was to put together some mini libraries in old, abandoned telephone booths. The problem was that those booths were for improper for organizing study sessions with the children. Even the library / study room from the bedroom, is a mere temporary solution, because the space is inadequate to meet all the needs of the children in the village. Hence the dream of building a cultural center for children, in Scrioaștea commune in Teleorman county, came naturally. From this to today’s dream it was only a small, very small step.
The dream school is the modern alternative to the state system and will include three educational cycles: preschool, primary and middle school. The school is intended for the disadvantaged children from Scrioaștea commune in Teleorman county, but also for children from the surrounding area of the county.
This school will be an important step towards equity for children in the country, victims of a historical chain of injustices. At the same time, we keep in mind any child in Romania with a precarious situation, for which we will prepare the optimal schooling infrastructure. The principles of the future school: rigor, rigor, rigor. The most common word when studying the secrets of the top countries in the world when it comes to education: Finland, Korea etc.
Ways to help
Sponsor or donate
If our dream could come true on its own, it was long overdue. If we, Marilena, Cătălin and Relu, could have fulfilled it ourselves, it would have been real a long time ago. We need you to get involved and help us facilitate the education of children in need.
Donations can be made by bank transfer to the account RO22RZBR0000060021495391, beneficiary Asociația CU CĂRȚILE PE ULIȚĂ, CUI 41987430
Corporate or institutional partnerships
Become our partner! We need you. In addition to financial support, your company can get involved through in-kind donations, employee involvement in the form of volunteering, access to company locations or equipment etc.
It is a miracle we got this far. Friends who believed in us and got involved are the miracle.
We must acknowledge 5 people who stand with us from the beginning, offering to buy those books for Relu’s child. He wasn’t able to accept, but their gesture was overwhelming and inspired Relu’s dream about Book-train on the Lane. If there are people who care for a child’s education, then we must try to do something for all children! The first 5:
- Lidia Bodea, who later became the keystone of dreams for Book-train on the Lane;
- Cătălin Teniță, who later became a founding member of Book-train on the Lane Association;
- Gabriela Mutu, Laura Cucu, Oana Anton – who will later help with donations.
We thank all the people who believed in the story of Book-train on the Lane and support our cause, so that children in Romania have an extra chance at education and improve the life if vulnerable children. The help of each and every one of you has brought us to this point and we depend on it to continue to exist.
We continue to rely on your involvement.
We got the attention of:
- Alex Dima – Pro TV – România Te Iubesc
- Diana Coada Dumitrașcu – TVR
- Carmen Dumitrescu – Liber în Teleorman
- Ileana Andrei – iqads.ro
- Florina Pop – Adevărul
- Vasile Constantin – Digi 24
- Valentin Șchiopu – pressone.ro
- Elena Stuparu – Radio România Actualități
- Nina Bucur – Media Sud Tv
Founding members of the Association: Cătălin Teniță (civic activist, Geeks For Democracy), Mari Brânda Tudor (the director of the Publishing House of West University of Timișoara), Relu Voicu – (president of the Association).