Romania

“I had an amazing two months in Romania, the staff and children at the kindergarten are fantastic!”
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Romania, the medieval wonderland

Romania is one of Europe’s most beautiful and intriguing countries. Volunteers in Romania will discover an enchanting country with medieval castles and rustic villages, where the Carpathian Mountains provide a stunning backdrop to warm and welcoming communities.

 

Romania’s breath taking natural landscapes and rich history make it an alluring destination for volunteer work abroad. Despite its entry to the European Union in 2007, Romania faces a number of social and economic issues characteristic of developing nations. Access to free and quality education is sporadic, healthcare services are inconsistent in their delivery, unemployment is high and urban housing conditions are poor.

 

Romania has struggled to recover from the hardships of a harsh communist regime and the recent economic downturn has made long-standing issues of underdevelopment and poverty even worse. Despite these hardships the Romanians are wonderfully inviting and proud of their history steeped in tradition. Visitors never feel unwelcome in Romania, which make it a fantastic destination to volunteer in.

 

Local staff welcomes the support and input that volunteers provide with the shared goal to improve conditions in Romania. As a volunteer in Romania, within hours you will realise the sustainable impact you are making, as well as offering locals the opportunity to exchange knowledge and cultures.

Romanian proverb: “Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.”

Prices for Volunteering in Romania Start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

Volunteering Opportunities

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 Education

 

neighbours and schools are often under-funded and lacking resources. It relies heavily on outside funding and support, that subsidies teachers wages and improves infrastructure and resources at schools. One of the main struggles for local teachers is instilling the importance of education on the younger generations.

Students have become disaffected and see their future abroad and not in Romania. Schools, therefore, place emphasis not only on inspiring their students to be proud of their heritage but also by providing English language skills and vocational skills if the students do decide to emigrate.

By volunteering in Romania and teaching at care homes and secondary schools you can help address this problem and improve children’s prospects for the future. Our partner schools value volunteers and the skills they bring with them using interactive learning activities to raise English levels, while acting as a role model to encourage good values and behaviour, and providing a cultural exchange.

We are partnered with a number of schools, ranging from local to town high schools, all of which are eager to have English speaking volunteers contribute to teaching at the schools. Volunteers work at the designated school, teaching different classes and ages. We ensure we work closely with the teachers and in coordination with the school curriculum. Therefore volunteers plan lessons to deliver activities that address the approved topics. It is also insightful for the teachers, as they can learn new activities and ideas but the main focus is on pronunciation and conversational English. In addition we run conversation classes with those older students who are eager to continue practising their English skills.

The children are always excited to see new faces and learn something new, thus those who volunteer on this teaching project can contribute in providing better future opportunities to these children.

 Health & Well-Being

 

Romania has struggled to recover from the hardships imposed under communist rule and the recent economic crisis has only exacerbated healthcare advancements. Healthcare in Romania remains below standard and locals will often travel to Hungary or Germany if they become seriously sick.

Nevertheless, there are some new and innovative hospitals in Romania which aim to provide world-class facilities for its locals. Whilst outside funding has enabled these new hospitals to be built, they are still run and managed by locals, who face understaffing issues, lack of funding and little training.

Working in partnership with SMURD emergency department based in Transylvania, volunteers get to contribute to the functioning of the department and get hands on experience in the field. Volunteers also provide added support and insight into healthcare procedures, as well as important cross-cultural exchanges between staff and volunteers and help improve English levels of the staff.

Volunteers are partnered with an English speaking nurse, to assist them and to learn about how they undertake procedures. Dependent on experience, volunteers can get involved in numerous tasks and are encouraged to share differences between their home country and what they experience. Within the emergency department there are four sub departments; paediatrics, immediate care, resuscitation room and minor treatment. Volunteers work in coordination with the designated nurse and dependent on where the need is will be based in one of the four departments, but will get to experience all departments.

Daily routines vary but volunteers are always kept on their feet, facing new challenges. The emergency department began because of volunteers and continues to welcome volunteers to aid the functioning of the department and boost morale.

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 Specialist

 

Romania is home to large numbers of vulnerable children who have been orphaned or abandoned by families who cannot afford to support them. After joining the European Union orphanages were all closed and smaller and better managed care homes were introduced.

The aim is for these care homes to provide orphaned children with a similar environment to a traditional home-life which will enable them to succeed in life and become independent despite of their difficult start. In theory, the care homes are a massive improvement from large orphanages; however, today these care homes face massive struggles.

The main struggle faced by carers is the lack of time and support. In one residential care home there is usually between 6- 12 children who all need love, support and guidance. However, each care home has only carers that work on 12 hour shifts which results in the majority of the carers time and effort being placed on maintaining the care home, cooking for the children with little time left to emotionally support these abandoned children. Thus volunteers come to fill this gap, by giving these children their time and attention.

Volunteers are based in a care home where they will spend their time running activities with the children. Meals will be based at the home which offers the perfect opportunity to live like a local and have bonding time with the children. The main aim is to give these children attention and to further their learning outside of school through volunteer led child activities such as sport, arts& crafts, music etc. These activities are designed as ‘fun learning’, not only enabling these children to simply be children but to also teach them valuable life lessons (such as team work etc.) and furthering their English skills.

Inspire volunteers are invaluable in contributing to the lives of the orphans by acting as mentors, teachers and friends to the children and helping to create a supportive environment at the care homes.

Things to do

Romania offers a diverse landscape showcasing a wide range of unique experiences from medieval towns, bustling cities to adventures such as bear watching. There is plenty to explore in this diverse country and whilst travelling around you will encounter people from all over Eastern Europe, providing an insight into this fascinating culture.

 

Transylvania, where the Inspire hub is based, you enter a world of rolling hills, stunning churches and charming villages. Public transport makes travelling around accessible and provides the opportunity to experience the winding roads. Romania’s famous sites also grant access to explore the legend of the famous vampire, Dracula. This being said, the two most popular destinations for Inspire volunteers are Bran Castle, where Dracula was incarnated and the medieval town of Sighisoara, the apparent birth place of Dracula and one of the most enchanting destinations in Europe.

 

Medieval towns, traditional artisan markets and fortified churches all provide visitors with an insight into Romania prior to the Communist regime. Another popular destination is Sinaia, where the stunning Peles palace can be found, one of Romania’s treasures. There are many unique towns offering more vibrant scenes such as Brasov and of course the capital, Bucharest which offers visitors a modern café culture, bars, museums and heritage sites.

Local staff

With projects across the whole of the Transylvania region, our team in Romania have an unrivalled knowledge of the area we are based in. Leading the team is Ernő, who is based in the town of Odorheiu-Secuiesc. Also working as a history teacher in a local school, Ernő is now in his fourth year as the Inspire volunteer coordinator. Passionate about helping the local community, particularly the lives of children and young people, he loves his job and the difference he can make. The fact that he gets to show off the beauty of Transylvania to volunteers as well is a bonus!

 

A recent member to the team is Rebecca who first started off with our team in Cambodia and is now the programme manager in Romania based in a town called Keresztur. Rebecca’s main focus is on creating long-term, sustainable partnerships and addressing the needs of the community where we work. Since graduating, Rebecca has loved to explore and travel to new places and learning about different cultures. As such Rebecca is passionate about sharing the opportunities volunteering abroad can have.

Prices for Volunteering in Romania Start at £1225 for 2 Weeks

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