Location: Bucharest, Romania (Valea, Screzii)
Date: April 9 – 17, 2016
Theme: Small Acts of Kindness
Description: Students lived and volunteered in the local orphanage in Valea, Screzii and quickly learned about the number of responsibilities needed for a small community to survive and thrive. The team had many opportunities to serve, get to know, and learn from the staff and youth, from preparing daily meals together, teaching and playing with the children, to hanging out and sharing personal stories and basketball tips with their new Romanian high school friends. They also helped improve the community by painting a wooden fence along the main road of the village, and clearing the construction site for the next phase of a new high school dormitory at the orphanage.
Another of the team’s responsibilities was working on the farm where they cleared, tilled and prepared a plot of land and a greenhouse and planted the community’s seasonal crops, including potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.
Working with their hands in a beautiful and energizing landscape brought the team closer together and instilled an appreciation for a lifestyle so different from their own. In addition, they discovered that despite language, cultural, and religious differences, strong friendships, mutual respect, and common goals can be achieved when we work together. Back at The Burke, Team Romania is working to create a more inclusive community by establishing and maintaining the “Teen Closet” that serves students who are displaced, homeless or in need of personal items.