02 Apr 2018
There aren’t many people who can say they celebrated their 30th birthday by putting themselves through thirty physical challenges, but that’s precisely what Alex Moraru did, and it was all for a good cause.
“For the past two years, my birthday celebrations have centred on fundraising, but for my 30th birthday I wanted to do something special,” says Alex. “I decided to complete thirty physical activities including triathlons, half and full marathons, swims, stairs climbing and obstacle courses – raising money for each event along the way.”
Although Alex says his social life was quieter than usual, in one year he ran, swam or rode more than 500 kilometres and raised £5,600 , which will be matched by the Macquarie Group Foundation.
“It was tough at times, but well worth it,” says Alex.
Alex’s fundraising benefits Teach for Romania, a non-profit organisation recruiting and training teachers in his home country of Romania. The organisation aims to place teachers in schools where there are significant shortfalls, usually due to low wages and lack of training.
“Teach for Romania finds teachers to work in schools located in poorer or rural areas where children have a far lower chance of reaching secondary or tertiary education,” says Alex. “Without an education, children are more likely to secure low-skilled employment and continue the cycle of poverty.”
“I believe a good education is vital for everybody. Many children in Romania are taken out of school so that they can get a job and help support their families,” says Alex.
“Teach for Romania strives to keep children engaged at school while informing the community about the importance of a good education, working with parents and the broader community.”
Alex has been volunteering his time since 2015. He got involved because he felt he would be able to make a greater impact by working with a smaller, emerging organisation. Teach for Romania’s model has been successful in other countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, so Alex had confidence that the organisation could make a difference.
Since inception, the organisation has now grown from 18 teachers teaching to 1,500 children in 2015 to 62 teachers teaching to 6,000 children in 2017.
“I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to an organisation I feel so passionately about,” says Alex.
“I’m grateful for the support I have received from my friends, family, colleagues and the Macquarie Group Foundation.”
To date Alex has raised over £20,000 for Teach for Romania, but he's not stopping there.
“I am currently deciding what my 2018 fundraising initiative will be – so stay tuned!”
Image caption: Alex Moraru after completing one of thirty physical challenges for his 30th birthday year.