Volunteers from the Family International have done years of hands-on work in orphanages in different locations in Romania and Moldova. In Bacau, Family members initiated a transitional home for young orphan women, which became a model for local officials. The young women are able to gain computer skills, learn English as a second language, and make great strides of growth in self-esteem, enabling them to find employment and/or enroll in further job-training courses. At the transitional home, these young women grow into various aspects of independent living, taking on the running the home themselves, receiving training in budgeting, nutrition management, sanitation, workplace-related challenges, dealing with bureaucracy, etc.
Urziceni Social Center
Assisting the Social Services Center in Urziceni has been an ongoing project of Family volunteers for over 10 years. The volunteers have been involved in organizing activities and excursions for the children, renovating the facilities, and holding seminars for the staff of teachers and caregivers. Some of the improvements in the physical standard of the institution include the installation of a new heating system, new ovens for the kitchen, and a new industrial washing machine.
Some of the activities the children have enjoyed since the beginning of 2009 have been musical programs and presents for Christmas and Easter, a special Children's Day trip to Unirea Mall in Bucharest for a time of games and gifts, and more.
At the beginning of 2009 Family volunteers initiated a project to construct a new multifunctional sports field and playground for the children at the center. The sports field is the first of its kind in Ialomita County. The inauguration ceremony in June 2009 was a lovely occasion to bring the local community together for a happy Sports Day celebration.
In March and May 2009, two two-day seminars were presented to the educators and caregivers at the Social Center covering topics useful in their care of the resident children.
Educational Excursions for underprivileged and special needs children
Family volunteers take joy in organizing educational excursions for children who normally do not have the opportunity to travel to places of national or cultural interest.
One of the year’s highlights is hosting summer camps at a small town on the Black Sea. This is usually the first time any of the children have been to the Black Sea, so this in itself makes it very special to them. Besides having a fun time on the beach, the children also participate in a variety of educational and recreational programs, complete with music, games, skits, and surprises.
We also take groups of children for excursions to the mountains. For many of these children, going to the mountains is a first-time experience. Visiting the historical Romanian site of Peles Castle in Sinaia and going up to the Cota at 1400 meters, riding the telogondola, and frolicking on the hills, are all experiences both children and caregivers are happy to enjoy.
Originally Published in 2009.