Brothers Eric and Jack tell us about their combined time on the childcare and medical internship in Romania
In August of 2014, my brother and I were privileged to take part in one of the most informative, interesting and well-designed programs either of us have ever experienced. The Romanian child care/medical internship designed by Oyster Worldwide and coordinated locally by Razvan gave not only valuable experience but also an in depth view into Romanian life, history, and culture. The program is well run, well-coordinated and provides many opportunities for medical and childcare volunteering experiences. The local program coordinator is flexible and more than willing to accommodate individual requests for unique volunteer opportunities.
Beginning the day after we arrived, we were introduced to 6 medical and social welfare organizations and offered unique opportunities with each group. From adolescent orphanages to outpatient medical NGOs, troubled juvenile centres to end of life care inpatient units, the number and variety of contacts that Oyster and Razvan have maintained provides a staggering array of volunteer choices. There is truly something for everyone.
In addition to our time at the orphanages, much of our time was spent at the Hospice in Brasov and with an outpatient care NGO travelling around the county learning about and helping treat unique diseases and conditions. Not only was the standard of care very high, but each organization was excited to teach us and to incorporate us into their programs immediately.
At the hospice, we worked with the child day centre, at their largest yearly fundraising event, and in their adult inpatient unit. With the outpatient care NGO, each day we were taken, along with a translator, to every stop they made around the county to observe and aid in many medical procedures from stroke rehabilitation to challenging wound care. There was never a dull moment!
In addition to the quality of programs themselves, the people were, without fail, as friendly as Canadians. We were invited to many social and community events including hiking, tours of historical sites, Go-Karting and Oktoberfest. The community was keen to get to know us and to showcase their rich culture and history. I am proud to call many of the people that we worked with my friends and I look forward to a return trip in January to follow up on some new hospice initiatives and to regroup with our new Romanian friends.
Eric and Jack LeGresley