Let’s continue our series of family volunteering stories! We hope you have enjoyed our first episode and we plan to share even more of our discoveries with you!
Another truly inspirational and amazing example of family volunteering is our next “guest”, who has invited his children as well to join in this “hard task of being a volunteer”, as he puts it.
My name is Anghel Ioan and I am a volunteer of the association “Ajungem Mari”,* Sibiu branch, together with my wife Diana and my daughter Denisa. We have been working as volunteers since 2017, at the Placement Center in Orlat, Sibiu County. We flirted with the idea of volunteering for a long time (approx. 10 years), the reason being a personal one, family! … until one day, when my wife saw on the internet that there is a need for volunteers in the Placement Centers from Sibiu. She presented the information to me and I agreed to “test” what it was about. So I participated in the volunteer training course, organized by the association.
I MUST mention that, in fact, the whole family participated in the training, namely me with my wife and our two daughters, who at that time were 18 years old (Adelina) and 15 years old (Denisa). I did not force them to participate in the training, they came voluntarily, curious to see what it was about. After graduating from the training course, we became all four members of the family … volunteers!
The idea of all family members volunteering was born from the fact that we had to offer from our energy, from our free time, from our knowledge … and to others, but together, to be sure that ONLY so, we can succeed in the difficult mission as VOLUNTEERS!
The experience gained after volunteering is special, in view of the fact that once you “enter” this system, I had the most different reactions from children: from gratitude to rejection, from tears of happiness to swearing, to be appreciated as a model for them (even by certain children) to statements such as “what do they want?”, etc. From our point of view, as volunteers, I can say, on behalf of the whole family, that just volunteering in a Placement Center, you can have unique experiences and that there are things that have marked us (here I mean what the children said, about why they got there)
I can say that choosing to volunteer “together”, that is, the whole family, this was for the children from that Placement Center – something unique … I hope with all my heart to have instilled in them the idea of FAMILY, of unity within the family (contrary to the model of the families they came from) … we wanted to present to them that a family means something other than what they were used to seeing, that a decent language can be used, that the child of the family can have a beautiful education, that a promise offered must be honored, in a word, I wanted and I hope we managed to be an EXAMPLE!
We wanted to be a model not only for children, but also for other volunteers, inspiring them, motivating them, helping them, mobilizing them, appreciating them! We hope we succeeded! In fact … WE ARE CONVINCED!
Ioan Anghel – volunteering with wife and daughters
* Ajungem Mari is a programme developed by the Lindenfeld Association in Romania, designed to support education for children and youngsters from foster care centres and from disadvantaged environments.