The Orphanage Program in Romania
Romania is a unique ILP program because this is the only location where you will not be teaching English. Your service goes towards children in an orphanage and helping them progress towards the ultimate goal of being adopted into a loving family.
Have you ever thought about how many things you learned, especially as a child, that you couldn't have learned without someone helping you? You may not realize it but you depended a lot on someone like your parents, siblings, and other kids to learn the simplest of skills. The first time you clapped your hands as a baby, someone else's hands were probably over yours showing you how. Chances are when you took your first steps, someone who loved you was holding your hands and walking along with you (and more than just a few times).
How will you help?
In ILP's orphanage program the kids you'll be working with have shelter, food, and everything they need to live. What they lack is enough people who have time to provide them with one-on-one interactions where they would learn simple things such as how to stand up, turn the pages in a picture book, or kick a ball. They need the direct support a parent might have been able to give as they progress both physically and emotionally.
In addition to learning basic skills, many of the children you work with have severe disabilities. For a child who can't hear or see, you holding and hugging them may be the only interaction that they have. For a child who can't walk, you taking them out to the playground may be the only time they feel the breeze or the sunshine. What you'll do takes a lot of patience, effort, and can be challenging at times. Some of these children have real difficulties in life that you won't be able to fix, but you'll be able to make life for them a little bit more enjoyable because of your care.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to support and help orphans who are preparing for adoption. As part of their progression, orphans will live in an apartment setting and become more familiar with what life will be like in a family setting (which is very different from what they're been used to). Work with these children as they learn to become more independent, comfortable in social settings, and more prepared for a new chapter of their life.
What will you do?
- Serve in the orphanage program Hold young babies, crawl around with young children, and play games outside in the yard with older children. Show them the love and care that a parent would. Serve in the apartments with orphans who have progressed, help them get ready for family-like life before being adopted.
- Other service as needed There may be other opportunities within the community to help such as giving love and support to children in a hospital.