Supporting child development, improving communication skills and bringing much needed love and attention to people with disabilities living in Government care.
We work with abandoned children who live in Family Type Homes (FTHs – these are Government care homes where 4-8 children live in 2 or 3 bedroom flats, with 1 or 2 carers working shifts to look after them). We use a mixture of play and interactive techniques, physiotherapy and medical intervention to support motor and intellectual development of disabled children.
Our relationship with many of the children continues into adulthood when they are transferred to state institutions, where they spend the reminder of their lives. The adult institution we work in has around 80 residents of varied developmental, physical or medical needs. Many of the adults show signs of institutionalised behaviour due to growing up in large orphanages.
Our small team based work on this project year round. To provide additional input we recruit volunteers to visit the project on short trips during summer months. We recruit qualified healthcare, social care and education professionals annually in June to create care/development programmes for identified individuals and to train local care staff. Following this we have volunteer trips running until September.
Want to volunteer with us? Here’s the basics:
|Age of volunteers||16+|
|Trip duration||2 weeks|
|Project location||Slatina and Cezieni in Oltenia region, Romania|
|Getting there||You must book your own flights but we will tell you which to book. Airport transfers in Romania provided|
|Working hours||Generally 8.30-12.30am and 3pm-6.30pm Monday-Friday|
|Accommodation||Two bedroom apartment with bunk beds, bathroom and kitchen facilities and living room|
|Volunteer options||New and returning volunteers welcome|
|Language||We have local staff and volunteers who translate for you, so there are no language requirements|
|Minimum donation||£570 + (6 x £5 monthly Standing order on return) (subject to change)|
|When to apply||Now! We will hold interviews for placements between November 2019 – April 2020|
What volunteers do…
The aim of this project is to work with the adults and children in a way which provides them with some much needed stimulation and helps enhance their development. The nature of our work means nothing is certain, but normally 3 mornings and 5 afternoons each week are spent working in small groups with the children either in the children’s homes or at one of the local parks. The remaining 2 mornings each week are spent at Cezieni, the adult institution.
Volunteers typically work with the children and adults through play, running activities and using a technique called Intensive Interaction. Additional input from our volunteer teams makes such a large impact on the children and improves the livelihood for the adults over the summer months. It is our hope that with volunteer input and training of carers we can continue to facilitate a true and lasting change to current and future children living within the FTHs. This will in turn improve the likelihood of self sufficiency in adulthood.
Although the situation in Romania is improving it is a slow process and our work there remains vital. Please email our Olt Project Coordinator, Megan, on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries about this project.
We consider this project ideal for…
Anyone who genuinely wants to make a difference. We ask that you have some experience of working with vulnerable children or adults (paid or voluntary). We are happy to interview inexperienced people of all ages and backgrounds; we will advise you on how to access some work experience prior to your trip if required. All volunteers must attend our training day and have the ability to work in a diverse team under, at times, rather challenging circumstances.
What’s included in the minimum donation?
Volunteers are asked to raise a minimum donation of £570 (plus an additional standing order of £5 per month for 6 months) which is used towards running the project all year round, as well as minimum administration, training, volunteer support, airport transfers, accommodation and in-country support. Funds raised are also used towards medical treatments and other needs of the children and adults we work with. Please note that flights are not included.
Annually we recruit qualified health professionals for a multi disciplinary team to visit the adult institution or the FTHs. The specialists work together to deliver training for the carers, assess the needs of the adults or children and implement care plans where possible. The Specialist trips normally run at the start of the summer so our volunteers can continue with any interaction based therapies and build upon the foundation set by the Specialists.