Making Children Smile :

Highschool Students Helping an Orphanage

August 10, 2013  |  By Bianca Apostolescu & Li Min Teng, Romania

Making Children Smile :

The prospect of helping the needy or volunteering is scarce in teenagers these days. Their hours are spent 'hanging out' with friends, socialising on Facebook or just chatting on the phone. To them, these activities not only seem cooler but are also outlets that help them climb up the social ladder; which is a big part in teenage life.

Charity work is rare in Romania, especially with teenagers. However, this is not the case of a group of students from "Andrei Saguna" Highschool, Brasov. Going against the norm, they use their free time to organise charity events monthly, at an orphanage in Râ?nov. Their aspirations include providing education for the less-fortunate children and also being a confidante to these children. Their sudden interest in doing volunteer work at the tender age of 17 was sparked when their religion teacher, Vasile Goian, gave them a project that required them to think of different ways to help the society. After having a few brainstorming sessions, they decided that helping the unfortunate children of Romania would be their project. We all agreed that it would be best to try helping the poor orphan children" said Vasile Goian. The name of the project is 'Equal Rights for all children' and their goal is to help the little ones to socialize and make new friends. The orphanage is not too big. Actually, it is a house where 11 little girls and their caregivers are living. "The girls' age is ranging between 4 and 12 years old, but when they are 18, they have to leave the orphanage", said the teacher sadly.

The girls visit the orphanage twice a month. They got really excited speaking about their experiences. It is evident that they really love what they are doing to these children's lives. Games such as 'role playing' and 'small workshops' are popular activities that stimulate the children's interest and encourage intimate bonding between the children and girls. 'Role play' is a game where the girls disguise themselves and organize a small theatric play. This makes the children laugh a lot, and these games cater to galvanize the children's imagination as well as get them involved. Also, small workshops where the girls teach the children to make figurines, sing and dance livens the environment of the orphanage. By doing this the children get to express themselves and forget their dilemmas.

This project was such a success that Mr. Goian wants to extend the project by naming it "Youth In Action". He further explained that they will receive some donations that would allow them to buy new toys and educational games for the orphans. When the current students graduate, My Goian will continue the project with the students from lower grades. Hopefully, this project will further inspire other teenagers to get more involved in the volunteering scene. The girls are excited about this project and feel that these experiences are very enriching. Though the children might not remember them when they are older, the girls stated that they are glad being small stepping-stones in the children's lives. "We have to be proud and grateful for those students that still care for the others that are not so happy. Through this project all they want to do is to help the orphans to smile and forget all the troubles. Can they accomplish that? I would say 'Definitely Yes!" Their undying spirit to move mountains for these orphans is admirable and should be spread to teenagers all over Romania.

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