Well, the project may be over, but I think the effects of this project will last for a while. None of this could have been possible without the help with our volunteers. We couldn’t have asked for anyone else better than them.
Cornelia and I hung out with a many of the volunteers a few times after the camp ended. They couldn’t help but start talking about the kids. Some said that when they close their eyes, they see the kids, and they miss them. Others began to scheme how and when they could see the kids again. This filled me with joy.
There have been several ideas thrown out to be with the kids and also help them out financially. First, the volunteers plan on having a reunion with the kids in the beginning of September. They all would meet back at the center and do some of the activities together again. I don’t think that this will be the last time they will reunite. I think they will go back there many more times. They also talked about bringing gifts to the kids. It was fun hearing them plan this, because they thought of every kids and what type of gift they would like.
Another idea was to bring the kids to the cinema in Chișinău . For this they would need funds, and we are working at finding some funds for that. I like this idea a lot. Not only can they all hang out together, but it is another testimony that people with special needs are a part of the community as well, and they don’t have to be confined to a center.
The volunteers also want to try to raise funds for these kids. They sound pretty serious about it, which is great. One idea that was thrown out is to have a bake sale inChișinău. I think that a bake sale in the capital would be very successful, probably more successful than any bake sale that I have participated in. I, then, had an idea on how to raise funds for these kids and the center. I thought it would be neat to have some sort of a fundraiser in the States. It would be one way to “bring the world together,” and also it would raise awareness to Americans that people outside of our country need help as well.
As I have overly stressed already, this has been an amazing project, and it was far more successful than Cornelia and I ever dreamed. However, this wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of many people.
First, thank you, Cornelia, for choosing me to do this service learning project with you. I think we make a great team. We both have our strengths and weaknesses, but somehow they fit together perfectly. Thanks for your hard work, and getting everything put together. You’re an amazing person, and I’m honored to have done this project with you.
Second, a huge thanks to IREX! Cornelia and I feel so privileged to have been one of four projects chosen and given a grant in the region. Specific thanks to Jessica, Natalia, and Iurii. They were always there to answer questions when we needed. And we are thrilled to announce to them, IREX, and the world that our project was a success.
Third, thank you to Cornelia’s parents for hosting me! You were very warm and welcoming to me in this country where I did not understand much of what was going on. They brought me to a fancy birthday party, so that I could experience some of their culture. They also fed me and gave me a bed to sleep on. You are wonderful people and I hope that we can meet again someday. Thank you so much for your hospitality!
Fourth, I would like to thank Mrs. Anastasia. She is the head of the center, and she did so much so that we can do this for the kids. The center was closed for the summer, but she was very willing to open it for us. Without her, we couldn’t have done any of this. I would like to thank our cook as well. Our food was wonderful, and I know everyone appreciated you as well.
Last but CERTAINLY not least, thank you to our volunteers!!! You are all very loving people, and that was quite evident. It was you that had the biggest impact on the kids. You put far more time into this project than we ever expected. I’m thrilled that you are still trying to connect with the kids. Your genuine interest in them is a memory that will last a lifetime for the kids.
If anything else happens with this project, I will be sure to inform all of you. I know in my heart that this is not the end. And who knows what life may bring, maybe I will be back someday. So, until we meet again, Moldova…until we meet again…