Since the Romanian orphanage crisis of 1990 the Epiphany Trust has helped to transform Lugoj orphanage near Timisoara, from one of the country’s most appalling institutions to one of the best in Romania.
As an extension of this work Epiphany opened The Arc in 2005. This is home to four young adults, former orphans of the communist regime, with moderate to severe learning difficulties who left Lugoj at the age of 18 years.
Situated in Sinaia, a beautiful mountain resort in the south of Romania, the Arc is a lovely three story villa nestling at the foot of the Carpathian mountains. The Trust works in partnership with the Romanian charity The Emanuel Foundation who own the house.
The aim of the project is to encourage the residents to become more independent and to create a family environment in which they can feel safe and secure.
The four young people have been supported since 2005 by over 30 volunteers, many of them returning time and time again. Their role is to support the young adults in their daily routine from making breakfast, cleaning, leisure and education activities to supervising them in their bed time routine. The residents enjoy a variety of activities such as arts and crafts, sports, games, and listening to music. Each volunteer has a different set of interests and skills and be able to offer something different to the project.
Romanian placements are for a minimum of three weeks to give the volunteers a chance to build good relationships with the residents and gain their trust. Volunteers will need to cover the cost of airfare, transfers and insurance. Flights usually cost around £120 – £200 from London/Manchester to Bucharest. All accommodation and meals are included. Volunteers are transported to and from the airport by our manager Sorana Puscas and work in conjunction with her and other Romanian volunteers.
Volunteers must 18+ with no upper age limit. We welcome volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and experience but the post is particularly well suited to applicants with a care or education background. Applicants with disabilities are welcome. Volunteers need a willingness to learn some conversational Romanian. They must be enthusiastic and committed with an ability to empathise with young people with learning difficulties. The ideal volunteer has an upbeat attitude, a good sense of humour and a willingness to learn new things.