Published: February 19, 2020
Published: February 19, 2020

Andreea Takes Local Romanian School from White to Murals!

Andreea Calaras, HR and payroll coordinator at our Bucharest site, used her recruitment skills, big heart and personal persuasive charm to engage a huge number of volunteers in the first ever COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project in Romania.

Through every means possible, she raised awareness for the initiative, honing her message to the interests of each colleague, and getting them to commit their support. As she spread the message of how important this opportunity was – to make a big difference to the lives of the children, staff and parents of the local kindergarten – her team grew.

I think our individual and team mindset here in PPG Romania is that ‘we make it happen’.

A Colorless Space

The local primary school and kindergarten, Public School No 55, was in need of some community love. The buildings of the pre-elementary division were old. After recently being strengthened against earthquakes, the internal walls had been painted plain white using simple washable paint. Cracks were already appearing and unpleasant shades were evident in the corners. The teachers had done their best to bring a little joy and color into the place, but their decorative adornments weren’t permanent.

During preparations, Andreea was in charge of recruiting and coordinating the volunteers and ensuring the project ran to schedule and budget. These are tasks she’s used to doing. But luckily for us, she is no novice to interior decorating either, as it’s one of her personal hobbies.

It was a joy to be involved in choosing the paints and colors, knowing that the results would support the children in their learning journey.

There was no stopping Andreea’s marketing for the event, either. On the first day of volunteering, she shared photos from the day with her not yet convinced colleagues, who then turned up to help at the school, or behind the scenes, assisting in packing, stickering, transportation and cleaning activities.

Goodbye White, Hello Murals

Andreea’s inspiring persistence paid off. A whopping 68 volunteers signed up to help repair and beautify the interior spaces of the school. They used over 220 liters of OSKAR®’s premium paint: white Oskar Total and Oskar Aqua Matt in vivid shades, chosen with care for the task at hand. To tackle the mold sitting in the corners and prevent further growth, they also applied the Oskar anti-mold primer.

However, Andreea’s team didn’t just coat the walls in the traditional way. They painted multiple murals that reflected the educational themes of the school’s step-by-step curriculum, such as letters, numbers, vehicles and nature. The special curriculum is focused on creating captivating experiences for the students, and introducing concepts rather than memory tests, with a visual and kinesthetic approach. The murals will now become intrinsic to their lessons.

Additionally, as the school had no gathering place for the children, they also transformed a former meeting space into an indoor playground with a reading corner, filled with furniture and educational toys.

A Healthier and Lighter Place

Once all the hard work had been done, the building was healthier, lighter and much more inviting to children. The new indoor playground was now a destination that encouraged teamwork, inclusion, education and fun.

Andreea approached this project as she does every project; with optimism, enthusiasm, critical thinking, and realism, while keeping a keen eye on the project goals. She is, by definition, a starter and a problem solver – fair, open to experiences, and very good at involving people.
Raluca Curteanu, HR manager, Romania

Andreea feels she learned many things to do with organizing and promoting such an event. But most of all, she learned that working with others to make a meaningful contribution towards a better community can truly bring enormous satisfaction and engagement.

Until actually starting our Colorful Communities project, I was not aware of how much engagement and enthusiasm this could generate! I am #PPGProud to have been part of it and am amazed by how many wonderful things we can create together as a team!
Learn more about Colorful Communities initiative here.