I first started volunteering at Nightingales Children’s Project in the summer of 2014 and did so for the next 3 years. During these summers, I worked with children from the town, the girls in the Girls at Risk Project and the young adults in the supported and independent living flats. I quickly fell in love with the charity and its beneficiaries and particularly loved the supportive and caring environment provided by the charity.
Throughout the summers, I would help run programmes with the beneficiaries such as mini Olymics, arts and crafts sessions, games days and run activities such as making fruit kebabs. The summers were full of fun and always went too quickly. I felt like there was so much more I could do, offer and also learn from working with the charity. I missed it when I returned home and couldn’t wait to arrange my visit for the following year. Although I kept in contact with the beneficiaries throughout the year and helped raise money to support the charity, I always found my time actually staying in Cernavoda was so much more beneficial.
During my visits during the summer holidays, I would stay with the young adults in the supported living flat. The young adults were so welcoming and we learnt a lot from each other. We worked on healthy eating and cooked and ate together every day. We would also play games, talk lots and much more. I began to feel really at home here and was able to help these young adults with anything they needed, day or night.
After my first two visits, I decided to move to Cernavoda in order to commit to the charity more and support the beneficiaries in a more consistent way. Since moving here, I am more readily available to help the beneficiaries of the charity and love every single day. I am so proud to be part of this wonderful charity and am excited to continue to contribute to this community.
I have now been living here in Romania for three months and have loved every minute. I work mainly with the girls from the Girls at Risk Project and mentor three girls in particular. I find this so rewarding and am enjoying developing this relationship with them. We meet up frequently and do mentoring sessions whilst getting a juice, doing some art or playing games. I love spending time with the girls and enjoy seeing them learning and developing.
Since having moved here, I also run an English programme each week with some of the girls from the project. We speak in English, read, write, listen to music, watch films and more. I am also able to help with the girls’ homework if they need it. The music and books we listen to and read are tailored to aspects of development that I think would benefit the girls too. For example, we read books about inspirational women and listen to songs about being ourselves. This time with the girls is so valuable and I thoroughly enjoy it.
Volunteering for Nightingales is, without a doubt, the best decision I have ever made.