Year: 2020

02 Jun

How people in America can easily support Nightingales in Romania

We are happy to announce that our friends and supporters in America can now far more easily support the work that Nightingales is doing here in Romania. Through our friends at the organisation Good Bureau, a non-profit run by an American, Ryan Crozier, from Bucuresti, that, supports Romanian organisations and local leaders to effect change in the communities that they are in. We can now receive sponsorship and donations from our friends in America, through an American based platform, ‘Mighty Cause’. The platform is very easy to use and does not cost Nightingales anything in fees for people to make the donation. The money is then transferred for no cost to Romania. The link is https://www.mightycause.com/story/Nightingales

The money raised from this site will allow Nightingales to continue to provide the care the beneficiaries in our programmes need and deserve. So that you will be able to see where your money raised each month will go, we have a breakdown of how the money will be spent. We are also aware that at this time people have been hit hard by effects of Covid-19, and we too have been feeling the effects, whilst continuing to provide the best possible care and opportunities for the young people in our care.

How the donations will be used:

$5 – Provides a hot meal a day for the young people using the day centre, between 3 and 8 people.

$10 – Supports one of the young men at risk to be in an apprentice scheme learning practical skills which will lead to employment.

$20 – Provides heating for 12 days in the winter for the house where our disabled adults live. In the winter temperatures can drop as low as -18 degrees Celsius.

$50 – Sponsors one of the girls at risk a month, providing them with homework help, mentoring, involvement in a social enterprise and also an allowance of $36, which helps provide their family with a much needed income.

$100 – Helps provide an awards ceremony for local schools to honour and support the children who are not honour students but are working hard to do their best, helping to highlight those students who struggle with dyslexia and ADHA.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and if you would like more information about the projects that Nightingales run and how you be involved and how to partner with us, then please do not hesitate to contact us on nightingalesromania@gmail.com

06 May

Our Response to Covid-19

As you can imagine we are, as is everyone, trying to react and come to terms with the pandemic of COVID-19. In Romania, those dying as a result of the virus are not as many as in places like, UK, Spain, Italy and the USA, partly because of the tough action the government has taken to combat the spread of the disease.

At Nightingales, due to the coronavirus, we have been ordered to close the coffee shop, which we did the week before the government directives were put in place, to protect our staff and the people using the coffee shop. The project for young women at risk and the young men we mentor is now in operation online as we are unable to meet with them physically. We are, however, able to communicate daily on the phone to check that they are ok. Our key workers have also been able to use What’s App, Messenger and Zoom to be able to speak with them, to check that they and their families are doing well, and to help with any problems that are causing them concern during this difficult time. It is hard not to be able to actually see them as for some this time at home is hard and has thrown up a lot of new challenges that they have to try and overcome. Sadly, not all our beneficiaries have access to the internet so it has been much harder for them to be part of any group activities. With six of the girls, and a number of the boys, we are also able to deliver weekly food parcels to them and their families. These are families which do not have the ability during this time to work and therefore have no income to support their families. Along with these food parcels we are able to give them parcels of activities to complete at home with their siblings to help pass the time.

The disabled adults living in Cernavoda are the group struggling the most during this period; the changes in their schedules have caused some problems. We have been able to give them a wide range of activities to do at the house both inside and out. We have to make sure these young adults are protected and make sure that they are safe during this time, so we have to keep them isolated from close interactions with people outside their home, though they are struggling to understand this. The young people living independently are all well, self-isolating. We are providing them with their shopping on a weekly basis so that they do not have to leave the house, which if they do without the right documentation they can be fined on the spot. By doing this we are also helping to protect them against the virus.

Looking further ahead into 2020, we are unsure when the restrictions will be lifted by the Romanian government. This means that many groups of volunteers from Scotland, England and America have had to cancel their trips to come and support the work that we are doing in Cernavoda, although this is sad, the priority is making sure that everyone is safe and that the guidelines from different governing authorities are being respected. This is unfortunate for our beneficiaries who look forward to these visits and also gain greatly from them. We will be focusing our efforts on how we can best use this time to make sure that the good work that the groups of volunteers provide is not lost.

We are sure that 2020 will be a year that we will never forget, a year that will change us all. It will help us as a charity to make sure that we are supporting our beneficiaries in the long term in the best possible ways, to make sure that the work that we are doing has the greatest positive impact in the years ahead.

27 Jan

The Nightingales Library

In the coffee shop Nightingales ran a 3 month season of reading with children. The children and the parents of the town loved the sessions. The children would hear stories, read stories and talk about the stories that they had read. Due to the success of these sessions, Nightingales decided to turn one of the rooms into a children’s library. A place where children, parents and schools can come and enjoy reading. A place where reading can be cool and fun.  The library is aimed for children between the age of 0-11 years old.

For Cernavoda, where many young people who drop out of school due to illiteracy, one of the aims of the library is to help combat this. The local schools have started using the facility, bringing reading groups and who get a chance to read books which are fun and attractive to look at. The students also get to use the playground in the main hall, which is a fun 3 storey climbing centre and trampoline. The library supports the schools in their aim to get all children literate by the time they are 11 years old. This helps to reduce the number of pupils of leave school between classes 5 and 8.

This library has only been possible due to the generosity of Dauntsey’s School, the Duggins family and also the foundation Good Bureau from Bucharest. If you would like to get involved in supporting this project then we are looking for people to sponsor their favourite book so that we are able to have it in Romanian in the library.

27 Jan

A trip to Street Soccer Scotland – Summer 2019

This summer I achieved one of my dreams of going to Scotland. Twelve of the team had the chance to go and spend two weeks in Scotland with two organisations, (Stand International and Street Soccer Scotland). We had a fantastic experience, we saw Cluj play Celtic in a Champions league game. It was an amazing atmosphere, the whole stadium vibrated when Celtic scored a goal. Cluj won the game in the last few minutes.

Each day we went to Street Soccer and learnt how to run a football tournament for the local community, we each had different roles, some of the boys were more involved than others! Stefan, who broke his leg in our first game even though he was on crutches, played a huge part. Each week we had 2 or 3 football matches with various teams, each team treated us with great respect and friendship.

It was an experience I will never forget going to Scotland and seeing so many places, people and also having the chance to support Street Soccer and the work that they are doing. We made some great friends, thank you to everyone at Street Soccer Scotland for making us feel so at home and so welcome.

23 Jan

An overview of 2019

Thank you very much for your support of Nightingales Children’s Project in 2019, without people such as yourselves we are unable to offer the opportunities to the young people in our care.

We have had a year with many highlights and some low points:

The young men from the football team, on the pitch have not had the results they would have wished for but we now have a large percentage of them in full-time education and employment. This means these young men are working hard to becoming positive members of Cernavoda and Constanta. Twelve of them had the opportunity to go to Scotland to participate in a course run by Street Soccer for 12 days. It was an experience they will never forget, and a fantastic time for us to invest in them as people. 

The young people with learning disabilities have had their bathroom and kitchen renovated thanks to a huge team effort of a number of volunteers putting in some amazing work there, and thanks also to the generosity of Stand International and Dauntsey’s School. These young adults continue to enjoy working at the charity, spending time hanging out with the young people that come to the day centre, whilst being the most amazing team of cleaners.

The girls in the mentoring scheme have enjoyed a good year, they have worked hard. One of the girls has graduated High School and is in full time employment, all of the girls passed their year at school. One of the original six girls from the scheme had a baby and got married. The social enterprise the girls run has expanded from candles to greeting cards to Christmas tree decorations. This has helped them earn money and learn new skills.

The coffee shop continues to be a great source of employment for the girls in the mentoring scheme, at present 5 girls are employed there. They are learning useful skills of how to excel in the workplace that will help when they gain full-time employment once they finish school. It continues to offer a great service to the local community, a holiday camp in the summer run by Dauntsey’s School for over 150 people from Cernavoda, each Friday an arts and crafts session provides fun activities for the local community and through a partnership with a local school we sponsor 3 places each week for those who have done well at school that week. In November we opened a children’s library, a space where families and schools can come and help get children and young people enthusiastic about reading. Whilst still being the number one place for parents to spend time actively playing with their children and celebrating their children’s birthdays.

In the last month we have also started supporting a local initiative that has seen people donate goods, clothes and toys which are still in good condition so that they can be sorted and shared amongst the poorest members of society in Cernavoda and in the surrounding villages. It has been great to see the response from the town, and also how people have been interested in volunteering and supporting those who need help. We hope in 2020 that we are able to work together with the people involved that the help and support becomes effective long-term and reaches the people that need it the most. 

These are just a few highlights of the year, there has been so much more going on. If you are interested you can follow us on social media and stay more up to date with the work that we are doing, Instagram @nightingales_romania and Twitter @NightingalesRom.