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Care in Europe

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Volunteer Orphanage work in Europe

Volunteers and Sharon Orphanages and other care centers in Europe are as varied and multi-dimensional as the people who volunteer to do care work in them. Most of the children range in ages from babies to teenagers. The local staff working at these European orphanages and care centers are overworked and the help that the Projects Abroad volunteers offer is invaluable. There are two locations for volunteer care work in Europe – Romania and Moldova.

By doing volunteer care work in Europe, you have the opportunity to help orphans and small children as well as discover a new culture with a unique combination of ancient and modern outlooks on life.

Volunteering in Europe can take many forms. One of the most popular projects are at orphanages filled with children waiting to meet new people. No matter how little experience you have, you will have that chance to make a difference in their lives by answering their questions and doing a wide assortment of other care work activities.

"After a few days, I started work in the orphanage about fifteen minutes away from my home in a town called Sacele. There were about eight kids ranging from six to fifteen, all very loud and energetic. I had worked with kids before in the [United] States but I had no idea what to expect – whether they’d speak any English, what kind of games they’d like, what they’d find funny… I quickly learned that card games and skill games like table tennis and pool (billiard)[sic] appealed to them – sadly, my skills in that area were lacking and the kids found endless enjoyment in making fun of me for it. I bonded with the smaller girls instantly and within an hour they were clamoring for me to pick them up, giving me tons of kisses and "makeovers" – usually involving a large number of shiny barrettes, stick-on earrings placed on my face, and pigtails."
Addison Fickas– Care in Romania

Orphans and Volunteer Work in Europe

Volunteering with orphans in Europe is a challenging and rewarding experience. Whether you spend six months or two weeks doing care work with orphans in either Moldova or Romania, your work will include tasks such as playing games, listening to music, cooking and other household chores.

The orphans with whom you share your time and energy will want to know everything about you. So you will also be a teacher in things like sports, astrology, literature, mathematics, geology, economics, and music. You will also be an ambassador of your home country’s culture as likely the first person to ever visit from another country.

"After a few days I started working at the orphanage with a few other volunteers. The children would all come running over to us each time we entered the rooms and were all in so much need of attention. They all wanted picking up at the same time. We would work a 3-4 hour shift and after would be exhausted as the children, understandably, were very demanding. After our shifts we would often meet up in one of the many excellent bars for a few drinks and a chat. One day we walked half way up a mountain with the children from the older orphanage. We sat with the children chatting and eating lunch and taking in the amazing views. We had a good laugh as we were made to run some of the way down the mountain with a load of the energetic boys!"
Jo Cope– Care in Romania

Children and Adults with Special Needs and Volunteering in Europe

Alex and Ivan Special Ed volunteering has some wonderful opportunities in Europe. Children and adults with special needs require more attention and help coping with their disabilities on a daily basis. Volunteer care work with children and adults with special needs deals with the mentally and physically handicapped – including the deaf and the blind. So if you have any interest in learning sign language, brail, or developing methods to help people with special needs, this is an excellent opportunity for you.

Even though you do not need any prior experience to participate in one of these projects, what is required is a strong motivation to helping others. The children and adults at these projects are very active so will find yourself busy in your new surroundings.

"I had never observed individuals play wheelchair basketball before so seeing the players practice and improve with each passing session was extremely interesting. I was amazed by the abilities of the players to manoeuvre themselves so smoothly during play... I also participated in a wheelchair tennis program. The routine was similar to the basketball one: I would wake up in the morning, walk over to the center, and go with the new residents to the gymnasium. Besides the basketball and tennis programs, there was also a youth program in between, when a group of teenagers stayed at the center to learn more about how disabled individuals can lead independent lives. During this time, I participated in their discussions, took photographs of the youths during their activities, helped with cleaning and cooking, and even drew a poster for the center."
Kerri Jang– Care in Moldova
Volunteer in a Day Care Center or Kindergarten in Europe

Volunteer playing guitar Day care centers and kindergartens in Europe are filled with children that need of attention. Due to staffing limitations volunteers are needed to pick up the slack and help. Volunteers in childcare work can do a large variety of activities with these children – art, music, sports, puzzles, games, and so much more.

Once again, you will need lots of stamina to keep up with the fast pace these children set. These children are very demanding in their need for attention because children thrive on attention and care. Working in a kindergarten, volunteers can do impromptu teaching and childcare. At Day Care centers, volunteers can spend their time directly interacting with the children and potentially building strong bonds that can be life-changing.

"For the children at the kindergarten, dinner is followed by nap-time, but not for me! Some days I go straight from the kindergarten to Divertis, which is a day care center for children from disadvantaged families and is only a short distance away from the kindergarten, about a 30 minute walk. Divertis is a great place for the children to go in the afternoons after school - it's a place for them to play and relax with their friends and learn new skills after a morning full of lessons! I volunteer there from 2pm until 5pm, which is when the children return home for the evening. The ages of the children range between 6 and 14 years old. In this day care center the volunteers play lots of games with the children and take part in all of the activities that either the volunteers or the care workers have organized for them, for example, origami."
Kate Watkins– Care in Moldova