David and I have just completed another seven enjoyable weeks working with the children in the After School Programme run by Firm Foundations Romana in Budila. What a great bunch of young people they are. When we arrived in January we had a warm welcome and lots of hugs from all those who remembered us from last year; in fact we experience this every day! The pupils are so enthusiastic when working on our various projects that they really keep us on our toes.
The teachers are working wonders with all the children. Most of these young people start the programme somewhat undisciplined but soon come to understand what is required of them. They are polite, too, calling us Miss Hazel and Miss (!) David.
We’ve brought some new ideas this time. Joseph and his colourful coat – each child designed their own and the best one from each class was transferred onto cardboard for the kids to colour. Then we took photos of them ‘wearing’ the coat; everyone took a copy home. It was such good fun and we’ll have to think up some more like this. They also completed collages depicting the Resurrection. The younger ones did the mammals and birds collections and finished off with a 3D picture of butterflies, another very popular project. Now we must come up with some new ideas for next time!
David has been volunteering in Romania since 2006, prompted by a dream, and I joined him five years later. We heard about Firm Foundations while working with another charity supporting Rroma families so, when their focus changed we came to Budila as we still wanted to help Rroma children with their education. We are not teachers but hope to bring something to stimulate their minds. This was our second winter with FFR. We are sad to be leaving but are already looking forward to our next visit. We are English by birth but consider ourselves as Europeans, having spent nearly 27 years living in Spain.
~ Hazel and David Martin