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Reflecting on Romania 2016

Our Romania experience 2016 was a moving and life changing experience for all of us. We spent 5 full days volunteering in the Budimex (Marie Curie) Children’s Hospital and St Joseph’s Recovery (Recuperare) Centre, Bucharest, helping in the play rooms, ergotherapy, arts and crafts, tidying up the playground and playing one to one with long-stay children.

Having the opportunity to interact with such amazing children during a vulnerable time of their life was truly incredible for everyone and gave us insight into their world; being very ill and being able to do limited activities, and being able to put a smile on their faces is something truly unforgettable.

While there, we saw for ourselves the current state of the playground. Due to lack of funds it looked unsafe for the children to play on and it was overgrown with weeds. This made us all the more determined to raise money needed to give them a playground they deserve.

Using the items donated from pupils and staff at the school and in the community, we personalised shoeboxes for patients in the cancer ward and hand delivered them, witnessing their reaction and the joy such a small thing can bring.

This experience emphasised to us all how important the donations for the shoeboxes are, since they make such a huge emotional difference to these very special children going through a terrible time that no child should have to experience.

It was a truly unforgettable experience that moved us all and gave us a real insight into what life is like for those children.

We would recommend this experience to anyone in younger years who feels they have something to give – it will change you!

We also encourage everyone who can to keep donating to this incredible cause. The hospital and recovery centre receive so little funding despite the incredible need.  You can find out more about how you can help here.

Iona Lang and Orla Reid (S6)