18 years ago, the Vodafone Foundation was starting on a difficult journey. Driven by the desire to live in a civilised, evolved and healthy country, hopeful in every step and every project, we managed… to change the world. No, not the entire world. We changed their world, the world of the many. Those for whom our help meant everything now have the chance at a better life, some of them, the chance at any life at all. For us, this represents the answer to the question on everyone’s lips: can things really change? Yes. Yes, they can.
But for that we need to have the power to understand what it really means to do good in a country where good is regarded as an exception to the rule, as something unusual. We can all agree, of course, that the most important instrument of change is people’s mentality. What is this mentality though, that we encounter at every step when doing a good deed? We have the feeling we have done something remarkable… Taking care of a poor family, bringing a little bit of joy to some orphan children, donating for a person with disabilities, all of these are regarded as completely exceptional gestures, worthy of a standing ovation.
And that is perhaps our biggest pitfall. If doing good is extraordinary, it means it’s uncommon. It means it is not part of us, of our routine, of what we think of as normal.
We are referring to that step we need to take as a society on the road to change. And this time, we are not talking about small steps. This is a problem that once solved will help us make 100 more leaps into the future, lay down 1000 more bricks for what we are trying to build: a better life for as many people as possible.
Doing good is something normal. Let’s repeat that. Doing good is something normal! When each one of us will consider sharing, helping, saving, and getting involved as being natural things and not exceptions worthy of praise, only then will the quality of our lives, of all our lives, will get better. It will not be easy. It is perhaps the most difficult mission the Foundation could take on, being that this way of thinking is deeply rooted within our society. People who do good deeds are regarded as heroes by friends, family, and the media; and as noble as that may sound, that says something about us. Doing something good does not make you special. It makes you normal. We aim to inspire as many people as we can to regard selfless, generous acts as part of their human nature.
Let us get used to doing good deeds! Let us believe in it with all our hearts. Believe in our power to see good as a normality, believe in change, believe that it can be done, believe in ourselves.
This is the a manifesto presented at the opening of Connecting for Good conference organized by the Vodafone Romania Foundation on May 25 in the Ronda hall of the InterContinental Bucharest hotel. The annual event was attended by 178 participants. More than 1,400 people watched the live broadcast or the recording of the event.
Beyond a rundown of the most important 2015 projects of the Foundation (Involvement at the Marie Curie hospital, Connecting for Good programs, Investment in Rural Areas, Renovation of Blood Transfusion Centers) the conference marked the premiere of the new foundation spot: Doing good is something normal.