May 22, 2020

Unusual spring

Team Building 2019
Team Building 2019

Dear Care2Travel Supporter,

We hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and staying healthy!

Under normal circumstances this weekend would be about fun and games in a nearby wood. Every spring since 2015 Care2Travel is organizing a big team building event for the local volunteers. For this event we invite our most active volunteers, but also those kids who are just at the beginning of their volunteering adventures and are highly motivated to participate and volunteer during our summer activities. This full day of adventures and challenges offered by professional trainers is taking place in a wood with a rope course set up on different heights. The activities require our volunteers to work with each other and on themselves constantly. This event is very important for us as it gives us the opportunity to get to know the volunteers better and see how they work together. Based on our notes from this day we will be able to divide them in teams during our summer camps. 

Our sixth Care2Travel Volunteer Team Building was supposed to happen on the 24th of May. Of course due to the social distancing we practice during the pandemic, this year's event is sadly canceled. Schools are closed in Romania since the 11th of March so the annual promotional campaign we do in schools where we promote volunteering is also canceled. We keep in touch with our volunteers online and are full of hope that we can still meet and work with them during the summer. The quarantine measures have been eased since last week and we are free to move around within the city limits, but things are still uncertain and unfortunately the number or Covid 19 cases have started to grow in our county. We are still positive that we will be able to proceed with all the planned summer camps, even if we need to divide the participants into smaller groups and organize several smaller camps simultaneously. These kids have been locked down in their house without their friends for far too long, the need for meaningful activities is huge! 

Hopefully from the 15th of June, when the restrictions became less severe, we'll be able to organize camps with 10-15 participants and as the time goes by the capacity will extend. If we are lucky, we'll be able to organize at least 10 summer camps and will be able to involve more than 250 children. This number is not even close to what we were able to achieve last year, but still good to keep the up the beneficial impact.

Thank you again for all your support and best wishes!

The Care2Travel Team

Summer camp at the Xantus Janos school in 2019
Summer camp at the Xantus Janos school in 2019
Feb 14, 2020

Planning the 3 upcoming summer camps

Boti doing a presentation about our work
Boti doing a presentation about our work

In 2020 Care2Travel is planning to organize 3 summer camps for the roma children of our town and surrounding villages, two of these will be residential. The residential camps need much higher financial involvement, but we receive this help from volunteers and the GlobalGiving funds will be just perfect to complete the budget.

The first camp will be very similar to the one we organized in 2019, and we are planning it to be at least of the same quality and if possible we want to involve even more kids.

For this we are communicating with the roma schools and teachers will assign those kids to our camp who need this inclusion the most. We are seeking kids between 8 and 15 years of age as this is the age group that can be affected the most by the benefits of our activities. The collaboration works great and we are looking forward to a successful camp right after the school year finished.

The two residential camps we are planning needs much more effort from our side, but it also makes a much higher impact on roma kids' life. For the first residential camp we will recruit a younger age group of 6-11, and for the second a group of 11-16 years olds with the help of the General Directorate of School Assistance and Child Protection of Harghita county.

The kids will be living for a full week with professional carers, trained coordinators and volunteers who will make sure they follow a healthy lifestyle by the following ways:

- organizing and facilitating summer camp style activities where kids can learn more about themselves finding out their strengths and weaknesses and will learn how to improve

- carers and volunteers will make sure, kids will do their chores (washing teeth, showering, wearing clean clothes, returning dirty dishes to kitchen, eating properly etc.) this way kids will get used with a normal lifestyle and will see how other people (volunteers, coordinators) maintain this continuously. Perhaps this will help them to understand the importance of cleanliness and self maintenance.

- planning to bring fun and joy into their life by organizing them well facilitated, high quality activities, like bowling, paintball, T-shirt painting, Yoga classes, Cross-fit games etc. this way they will feel as a regular kid and will be able to create bonds with other kids from an average background.

- during the camp they will be a part of a group of around 30 kids and 15 adults and to enjoy their time they will understand that they have to sustain positive attitude and initiate sustainable relationships with their peers and helpers. They will be in a situation where they will understand that they have to take responsibility for their actions. Probably this is the most important realization that they will go through and will help them to choose a path in their life that will lead to inclusion and success.

At the moment we are working to set up the above mentioned three camps by communicating with our partners, raising funds, reserving locations and accommodations, recruiting volunteers, researching games and activities, looking for possible dates etc.

We will have a much more settled and organized plan as time goes by.

Jan 27, 2020

Winter season at Care2Travel

Mini Camp
Mini Camp

Here in the small town of Miercurea Ciuc, winter is the longest and coldest season of the year. As we live in the valley, the fog also tends to stick with us for weeks. People retreat to their homes, social activities are scarce.  Before Christmas we participate in charity actions that offer Christmas presents for kids in need and we visit the after school clubs in the surrounding villages and give presents to the children. Sadly no white Christmas this year, it is an unusually warm and dry winter, so the three week winter break didn't offer many possiblities of fun our-door activities for children. We decided to take advantage of the quiet periode around the holidays and organised a mini winter camp in our office for a children's home in a nearby village, called Frumoasa. The camp was facilitated by an American and a local volunteer and 6 children attended every day for 5 days. It was really successful, full with fun activites in English. 

This time is also a time of reflection and we feel very greatful for everyone who helped us achieve so much in the last year. With the 18 camps we facilitated last year we were able to provide quality activities for more than 500 children in the area, coming from a disadvantaged socio-economical and geographical backround, who otherwise would not have the possibility for any learning and social activities outside school.  

It is time also to thank our wonderful local volunteers for helping us in running these camps, translating between the foreign volunteers and the children, coming up with new ideas and facilitating the activities. Without them it would be impossible to organise the camps. We organised a volunteer meeting in January, where we invited all the volunteers who were active in 2019, gave out volunteer certificates and celebrated together with pizza, snacks and happy memories. 

We will put extra effort into the promotion of volunteering in the local schools this year and plan to visit all high schools in the area with presentations about the concept of volunteering and to recruit new volunteers. 

We wish you all a very happy and successful 2020!

Mini Camp
Mini Camp
Local volunteers
Local volunteers
Stories from the summer
Stories from the summer
Frozen Csikszereda
Frozen Csikszereda
 
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