If 2020 has taught us anything we know that it is not a great idea to plan too much in advance but still, we have a few plans for 2021 which we thought you might like to hear about. Sadly, at the moment we are unable to plan any trips for overseas volunteers due to the global pandemic, but we hope that as the year unravels that we will be able to plan new trips for people. These trips bring such joy to the beneficiaries at Nightingales and also to the local community.
We will go through our projects and set out some of the plans we have for 2021, if you would like to hear more about any of them, then please feel free to contact us through the website or via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Differently Abled Adults:
Our house for differently abled adults struggled with the restrictions placed on their lives in 2020, they like to have a set programme and know what that programme is. Due to things changing, often from one day to the next on the restrictions in place nationally and locally, their programme had quite a few changes to it. This year we have sat down with them and come up with a list of places they would like to go each month. This really helps them regulate their behaviour, they have the places printed out and stuck onto their fridge and daily they go up to the fridge to see where they are going to. The trips are really varied, from going to a Zoo, to someone’s house for lunch to a trip to the mountains to see an ex-volunteer who works at a charity there.
At the house we also have some renovations to be done to the sitting room, to give them some more room, so that they can enjoy spending time there as a group, which is great when the weather is not so good. Normally we would have waited for a group of volunteers to do a job like this, but in 2020 we were forced to renovate with our differently abled adults and although the pace was much slower, the satisfaction for them was huge, we have found that they have a greater respect for the house. So we hope to start this in the Spring, expect an update of Baba using a sledge hammer!!
Girls at Risk:
The girls at risk have had to cope with school online this year, for the younger ones who struggle with school this has meant that they have struggled to understand more than others. The support workers, working with these young girls have done an amazing job. The focus for them is passing their end of year exams, so they do not have to repeat the year. We have one girl in grade 8 who will be taking her exams in June to enter High School. We have another girl in class 12 who will be taking her International Baccalaureate in June, which means she has got 6 months of hard work ahead. For the other girls, we hope that we will be able to get the coffee shop back up and running, once legislation in Romania allows play areas for children to be open again.
In the summer we hope that with a small team of amazing mums from the UK we will be able to take the group away for a week. These weeks are so fantastic for the relationships between the girls and also the key workers working with them. It gives them time to really explore subjects that the girls are struggling with. The benefit of these weeks, helps the girls throughout the year.
Young men mentoring programme:
The football season last year was wiped out in March and we hope that sometime in 2021 we can get the boys back on the pitch. We have been able to train sporadically, but we hope that in 2021 we will be able to have more structure to our football programme. It is so important for them to have structure as often they do not have any structure in their lives. Three of the young men have stepped up and are now helping out with the coaching of the junior teams, this means that we have a lot more time to invest in them, helping them to make good choices for their future. As the men from the senior team take on more of the coaching, it allows us to mentor the young people in the junior teams.
In 2021 we are also coming alongside a local school in Cernavoda, starting a literacy class for boys in reception class and class one, boys who although they are almost 2 years into their education cannot recognise their numbers and letters, and are so far behind their classmates. We are able to support the teachers, who do not have the time to spend going back to topics that these young boys need to be focusing on. The programme will also support the families of these boys to be able to do more for their education. Each week the children will receive a small pack they can take home and work with their family to reinforce what they learnt at Nightingales.
Social Enterprise at Nightingales:
2020 was hard for Nightingales to help support the young girls in their social enterprise as we did not have the possibility to make candles, cards or open the coffee shop for much of the year. In 2021, we hope that we will be able to start up the social enterprises again, we are hoping that we will be able to develop a market in Cernavoda for all of the products, due to the new restrictions that will be in place in exporting the products to the UK due to Brexit. This is something that we are looking into at the moment. The girls are very excited about making the products again, and it has been great to see that they are coming up with new ideas whilst they are unable to make anything at the moment.