Saturday, 12 May 2012


I spent this Easter volunteering in Romania. It was my second visit having gone in 2010 in the summer. I went with a group of students from university (even though I have left now, I was kindly invited to go again having been last time and loved it). The aim this time was to work in the village school carrying out educational and craft activities. The majority of children we were working with were gypsy children living in the village of Urvind outside of Oradea. The living conditions of the gypsies is really rather shocking. Many live in metal containers and the most basic of shacks. Alcoholism and violence is also an issue within the gypsy community and I will never forget witnessing a child being hit across the face, with full force, by her  mother. The child was hit for being at school. Were she is supposed to be. Makes me truly mad. The gypsy are generally seen as outcasts and their prospects are not good. Education is certainly not a priority, it is estimated only 1 in 10 are able to read. However the gypsy children are being encouraged to go to school and steps are being taken to improve their education and thus their future prospects. A pre-school programme has been developed so that they can be prepared for mainstream education and after school sessions have also been introduced so that they can get extra support and help with their homework.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would love to go again if I could. Experiencing something like this really does make you realises how much we take for granted and how lucky we really are.
Here are some pics of my time there.
The gypsy village in Urvind

The school which has been developed with a lot of funding

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