It’s a shocking fact but there are more slaves today than at any point in history. According to UNICEF, each year, 1.2 million children are trafficked, and 800,000 people are trafficked internationally. Therefore, when Stela Tomescu, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) manager in Bucharest, Romania, and the Bucharest team discovered a shelter in her area that supports victims of trafficking, they knew they must do something to help.
“Yesterday a Victim, Today a Survivor, Tomorrow a Fighter”
The Open Door Foundation in Bucharest, Romania is a shelter whose mission it is to give assistance and protection to victims of human trafficking and to support them in gaining full autonomy and reintegration into society. The only shelter of its kind in the country, an estimated 70 mothers and children currently benefit from its 18-month program.
When Stela learned about a potential COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project with the foundation, she knew immediately she wanted to be involved because the cause spoke so directly to her heart.
A Career Taking Care of People
As a mother and sister, Stela is part of a family with strong and independent female figures.
She is our EHS country manager for Romania and EHS manager for the Bucharest plant. She joined us four years ago after the acquisition of Deutek (now PPG Romania) where she had been working since 2003.
Standing Aligned with Her Values
Stela was integral in organizing the successful Colorful Communities project at The Open Door Foundation, responsible for keeping everyone safe during the outdoor renovation. The project brought together more than 35 PPG volunteers plus 10 volunteers from the community, with Stela making sure everyone follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines, as well as the painting instructions!
Our volunteers renovated all the indoor and outdoor spaces across the two floors of the main building, as well as the courtyard and playground. They repaired and renovated the shelter’s furniture, while volunteers from the shelter and a design contractor were involved in painting the walls.
All renovation activities were carried out in compliance with COVID-19 requirements, the furniture being repaired and decorated outdoors at the PPG premises, and the interior spaces only allowing one person per room.
The Perfect Products for A Complete Makeover
Volunteers renovated and decorated the shelter’s premises in a palette of light, natural and pastel colors. They used up almost 2,000 liters of interior and exterior OSKAR® wall paint, as well as anti-mold primer, washable paint Total, SuperWeiss and Yacht paint for wood, decorative plaster, AquaMatt and special home appliances paint.
PPG also provided funding for the renovation of the playground and for new tablets used for online schooling.
A Source of Passion and Pride
Being one of a kind in Romania, the shelter is always full and relies entirely on donations.
Stela was impressed by the work and felt touched by the dedication of all the partners and volunteers involved in the project.
It’s great to know we have someone as passionate and value-driven as Stela at the helm of EHS in Romania. In fact, she tells us that she finds nothing more motivating than when her daughter talks of her with pride: “My mommy takes care of all the people at work.”