When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Nightingales Children's Project avatar

When was the last time you did something for the first time?…so it says on a postcard I have.

So here I was , at the age of 44 taking a four week summer break from work to help run different summer camps for kids in Romania, the country of my origin, for the first time in my life.

Lets get started at the beginning 🙂

As I mentioned, I myself was born in the beautiful landscape of Transylvania but emigrated with my family, when I was 8 years old.

Usually I do trips almost once a year to different African countries to do medical healthcare but I never ever participated as a volunteer in summer camps for children, but not so this year as some doors closed and other doors opened. Suddenly, I found myself driving 2000km all by myself to reach my first destination in the beautiful landscape of the Bucovina.)

An awesome week of summer camp was organized for poor children and children who live in unhealthy and violent families.

And my „ job“ was to pour love and esteem in them.

That is the place where I met the team from Nightingales in Cernavoda who had the same „job“ as I .

It quickly became clear that I would love to come to Cernavoda and participate in the summer camp week Nightingales foundation would run for the kids of their community.

So, I arrived at Cernavoda on the 17th July a warm Sunday evening. And was met by the Nightingales team.

Due to the Ukraine war hearts and doors had been opened to Ukraine refugees at Casa Fericirii and there was also a place for me.

It was a very special and unique experience to live door to door with this wonderful ladies and their children, use the same bath and kitchen and see how smiles and gestures help communicate.

So, Monday morning came we met as a Team for a brief introduction and again, I was very touched to find so many local women and young girls who willingly used their time to serve the kids of their community.

Children were expected to arrive by nine, but many came earlier and hang out, played at the playground or with the items already provided for them.

First thing in the morning, we would all gather in the yard and the music would play to the different games we would play as the whole group.

Between 40-60 children would show up each day.

As we had volunteers in the team from the Ukraine, it was also possible for the kids of the refugees families to participate in the games and workshops.

It was astonishing to see that age differences were not be a huge problem at all. All the children, and not only them, had great fun together.

When this time was over, we split up the kids in different groups and they would take rounds participating in the different workshops provided each day.

Each day there were competition games in the sport hall and all kind of different craft workshops.

Again, it was amazing to see how each child took delight and joy in all the activities.

Luiza and the team baked for each day delicious cakes and snacks.

The highlight, everyone was so excited towards, were the water games we played on the last camp day. No one stayed dry this day.

As all good things come to an end it was time to say goodbye and wrap up very nice memories of a very special time.

I am for ever grateful for this experience and how much I learned.

I was so touched and inspired by the dedication of all the volunteers and how love, esteem, respect and the willingness to serve was lived out by them.

Nightingale is the advocate of the unheard, unseen and unfortunate in Cernavoda.

And for me, I am pretty sure what I started this summer for the first time will not be for the last time.

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