Break Poverty Cycle of Roma Children in Romania

by Care2Travel
Break Poverty Cycle of Roma Children in Romania

Dear Donors,

During a long term volunteering project which lasted ten months, our volunteers from France, Austria and Germany, visited Children’s Homes where they organized activities for the kids. The majority of these kids were of Roma origin. Our volunteers played with them through different activities and did all this while teaching them English.

In the beginning and the end of the school year, our shorter term volunteers from various coutries taught English to Roma children is schools too. The kids always welcome the volunteers with huge smiles and excitement. They are really enthusiastic even if they speak very little English. They are willing to learn and they are always sad when the volunteers leave.

During the summer holidays we organized summer camps for the children who were mostly Roma. Our foreign volunteers helped us through every camp, they were really good with the kids and the children enjoyed the camps very much. There were a lot of teams and games requiring teamwork. This is how children can easily learn how to work in groups, how to help their mates when needed, and also how to ask for help when they need help themselves. Being around a lot of other kids also helps them socialize and not to be afraid is social situations, it’s also easier for them to build friendships.

The school year just started and we can’t wait to organize even more camps during the holidays, also visiting Children’s Homes with the new volunteers and helping in after school programs.

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Dear Donors,

The cold season has ended and nature is blooming around us. We are happy to say that we have no more Covid 19 restrictions which means that we can freely organize our activities after two years of struggling. It is too soon to celebrate though as we are through one hardship, but the other has just arrived. It is about the Ukrainian crisis. Fortunately, Romania is safe and we don’t feel threatened at all, but prices are constantly going up and the worst thing is that foreign volunteers have lost interest in us because of the global belief that Romania is unsafe because of the war.
With that in mind, we are still working and organizing activities with Roma children, only with less volunteer support.


Despite the lower number of volunteers, we are happy to tell you that in the last months we were able to teach the Roma kids multiple days a week with the help of one or two teaching volunteers at a time and the improvement is visible. They are more and more open to new volunteers and some of them are able to have very basic conversations in English.

Our activities include learning conversational questions and answers, singing and learning the translation of the song, and facilitating activities where basic English understanding is essential.

They are always happy to see new volunteers visiting and they are always asking about them when they’ve left. Fortunately, we were able to support the constant volunteer appearance recently and if they have a new volunteer, they won’t be missing the old ones too much.

The school will soon finish and we are planning to organize more non-formal activities for them, including lots of sports activities which they love!

Be safe and warm wishes,

Péter 

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Dear Donors,

 

We hope that the new year is treating you well and you are all happy and healthy.

Although it is very cold here in our little town of Miercurea Ciuc during the winter months, our work with the disadvantaged children in the area does not pause. We were visiting after school clubs weekly with our volunteers from the past 3 months: Jo from the UK, Steph and Cynthia from the US, Colson from Canada, Jakob from Germany and Alina from Poland, who helped us enourmously to care for and teach these children through indoor and outdoor non-formal activities. The activities are similar to what we do during the summer camps and by visiting these after school clubs we can keep the kids engaged and get them exited for the upcoming summer. This way we can keep the knowledge of social and life skills fresh, so they will be able to remember all what they've learned last year. As we start the intensive activities during the summer, we can focus more on teaching them further skills and improve the ones they have already acquired. The constant and thorough involvement can make these kids more open, appreciate the acquired knowledge and be eager to learn more.

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Dear Donors, 

For this report we asked teaching volunteer, Sandra, to give us a testimonial about her time at the Xantus Janos school and the after schools where she worked. She kindly agreed and we thank her for her kind words. 

September 30, 2021

I am completing my  experience here in Romania as a volunteer from USA. I am leaving knowing that the work Care 2 Travel is doing is making a profound difference in the lives of the children they are so devoted to serving. The reception by Administrators and teachers at the work sites speaks to the community support the organization has garnered. 
When arriving at the different schools and after school programs the children were eager to play and interact and practice English. They consciously chose to practice English and participate in the learning activities we brought. 
Their eyes lit up and you could see sparks of curiosity and motivation, even when I had no knowledge of Hungarian. 
The Care 2 Travel team build experiences that foster global friendships and purpose. The work being done is phenomenal and transformational for the students, community, and volunteers. 
I highly recommend this program to others and walk away knowing that I made a difference and am better as a person for having had the opportunity to experience it.
Sandra Slavin
Retired healthcare Administrator
ESL teacher
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As the Covid 19 restrictions allowed it we were back working in the after schools in the surrounding villages, where the majority of the children are ethnic Roma with a very difficult disadvantaged background. With the help of our long term volunteers, Bori from Hungary, Boris and Teun from the Netherlands, and Maily from Luxembourg, we visit these kids every week to learn English and play with them. These visits in Kápolnás, Csatószeg and Domokos are the highlight of our weeks and looking at the children's faces when we arrive, we can see that they also enjoy these "English days" as they call it. 

Due to the pandemic the authorities prolonged the Easter vacation to four weeks, so we were happy to organise two consecutive camps for the children of Domokos. We were teaching English in a fun way, enhancing their social and life skills. The volunteers planned and facilitated all the activities of the camps under our coordination. 

With the younger children of the first week we did more drawing and crafting activites. Unfortunately the weather was very bad on the second week, so most of the activities were held indoors. On the first week The angry green snakes won, second week The yellow angry tigers took the first place. Looks like being angry makes you a winner... We gave away gifts to all participants, they could choose between small notebooks and little animal figured blackboards. They enjoyed their presents and left with fun memories and a sense of many little achievements.

“I enjoyed the camp really much, I liked all of the games because I like the English language and I’ve learned more interesting things here than in school.” This is one of the many positive feedback that the children, who participated in the camps, provided. The volunteers put great effort into coming up with enjoyable activities while also keeping in mind to teach them new English words.

Both camps were very successful and we even set up a small work-group with the kids and their relatives to renovate the playground and plant new flowers and vegetables. 

We are very grateful for our donors who made it possible to cover our expenses so we were able to facilitate our camps, and contribute to the playground renovation.

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Organization Information

Care2Travel

Location: Miercurea Ciuc, Harghita - Romania
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jackie Curtin
Miercurea Ciuc, Romania
$7,096 raised of $17,000 goal
 
138 donations
$9,904 to go
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