Volunteers & Volunteering

Flori Petre

Senior Legal Counsel

82 hours volunteered in 2023

Volunteer since 2019
Silviu Predan

Florina has not missed a camp since 2019. Interacting with the children comes naturally to her, and she believes that, of all the jobs in the world, being involved in kids’ education is the most rewarding. She feels lucky to have participated in all of the Foundation’s camps so far and believes that the week at camp is the time of year “when you get your fix of goodness in the world”.

Here’s how she describes what volunteering at the camps means to her:

I like to say that the camps are days that last a lifetime. Besides the fact that we have many activities, you’re on the go from morning to evening. This way, you remain present, and this state is fueled by the fact that we don’t use phones at all, and need to be focused on the kids all the time. As a volunteer, you’re there wholeheartedly.

You break away from whatever else you have going on, you break away from work, and you simply stop thinking about it. And I think it’s also a matter of how many experiences fit into a week. A framework is built in which you feel safe and have the resources you need. The activities are cool. I thought the Emotion Management Workshop was very powerful, not to mention how excited I was about the Percussion Workshop.

Last year, I had a boy in my group, one of the introverted and shy ones. He barely spoke at the beginning of the camp. My group of kids had a rap moment at one of the evening activities – the Talent Show. We composed the lyrics together, went out in front of a hundred or so other children, and rapped. It was like therapy for me as well, not just for them. But, going from a child who only speaks when asked to getting up in front of a hundred or so children to rap, I’d say that’s a very big leap. And it was a very beautiful moment for everyone.

It gave us all a boost of confidence. At camp, we had these reflection notebooks, and the children were encouraged to fill them in at the end of each day. There were questions meant to challenge them to think about certain things. At one point, the timid boy wrote, “I’m not afraid anymore”. I photographed his sentence and keep that picture on my phone. I told myself that it was one of the coolest moments of 2023 for me.

Just one week in the right context is enough for these children to open up so much. They get to explore their potential because they feel protected and safe. And we, the volunteers, can be surprised by our own resources; at camp, you learn that you can do more than you thought you could. You practice resilience, patience, and empathy.

Annual Report 2023