During the week of 9-16 February 2014, 15 TASIS American School students spent a week taking part in a service trip in Romania. These students are aged 14 through 18. The purpose of this trip was to bring donations and time to benefit the children served by Romanian Children’s Relief, an American/Romanian NGO. Our school has been coming each year for the past 15 years.
TASIS Teacher Wendy Gediman, an advisory board member of the charity, led the trip. The students were all very eager to come and work hands-on with the children in Bistrita, Romania. The students broke up into 4 smaller groups each day.
Each group would go to a different location to work. The rotation included a brilliant special needs school called Lacrima, a section at the local hospital that houses abandoned babies, the placement centre, and an after school Roma program. The day was long, but truly rewarding. Each evening, we would talk about our experiences. Many of our students had their first interactions with young people with special needs. They were all moved by the unique personality and character of each child they worked with. Our students learned that these children are individuals with feelings and thoughts too.
At the hospital, it was touching to watch one of our students from Japan hold a baby for the very first time. Soon, smiles and laughter could be heard, with this being the common language! In the Roma program, communication was fluid, despite the lack of a common spoken language! Our students worked with these kids making lovely projects.
It was a very meaningful week, where our students and the Romanian children shared a special time that is engraved in all of our hearts. We were able to not only bring art supplies, baby supplies, and lots of baby clothes with us, but to also raise nearly £6,000 to help the running of these wonderful programs.
Ms. Gediman will be back to work with the children in April and again in the summer. Meanwhile, the TASIS students will be doing new fundraising and planning for next year’s service trip! This was a week that none of the students will ever forget!