Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The wonderful Irish!

For four weeks of the summer we had a great team working here in the Secret Garden.

They came from Northern Ireland for a month in total, two groups each here for two weeks.

The team shared their time between three centres in Arad, so they split into three groups, with one group coming to us each day on a rota basis.

With there being only Kenneth and I running the charity, doing everything - running the day centre, doing the accounting, keeping authorisations etc up to date, co-ordinating teams and volunteers, home visits and caring for our two young children (not to mention trying to "be there" for our three grown up children) it's hard.

On a daily basis at the centre there's usually only me and Irina, Kenneth often being tied up with so many other things.It was particularly helpful for us to have a group here doing activities with the children, young people and parents. They were a really well organised group and didn't need "looking after" which is always a bonus!

Our Irish volunteers did a wide range of activities with the children and older folks, including finger painting, making jewellery boxes from lollipop sticks, (I remember that one from my own childhood!) painting t-shirts and much more ...

Nneedless to say everyone loved them and we were all sorry to see them leave. Still, we're hoping to see them return next summer!

A highlight for me was seeing one of our young mums make a jewellery box for her boyfriend who is in prison awaiting trial and then to my delight seeing her write a lovely letter to him! Three years ago this young woman could neither read nor write and wouldn't have dreamed that she would learn to do so!