Volunteering Stories: Summer Camp at Ocna Șugatag – by Year 3

The Esperando Camp, which took place in the Ocna Șugatag and lasted for 3 days, was one of the activities for Asociația Esperando  members to have a good time and make them feel good physically and spiritually.

During this process, individuals with physical problems swam in salt water, which did good for their bodies, spent time together, and we volunteers helped organize events for spiritual relaxation with dance and music, which contributed to their mental. We accompanied the participants in this process. The bond between volunteer and participants has become stronger. And in this process, leaving aside physical obstacles, our only goal was to have a good time together. And I think we achieved our goal. Spending time together during this process made me feel something: Esperando was no longer an official institution with 4 walls for me.

I think another advantage of this Camp is that it has affected my existing thoughts in a more positive way. Realizing that my existing stereotyped thoughts had changed and a more friendly environment had been created increased my motivation for activities. I am sure that I have now become more motivated for other activities.

Zehra, Year3, A1

 

During volunteering,

One discovers a lot of new things, one also tries a bunch of new activities that sometimes would never have crossed our minds to try. This was totally the case for me with the Esperando Association, which helps people with disabilities live as ‘normally’ as possible by offering them outdoor activities or excursions. This was the case this week when I went to the village of Ocna Șugatag to enjoy the pools and saltwater springs. This short trip allowed me to have a different perspective on the lives of these people with disabilities.

And my conclusion? They live normally. These people are happy to be able to get out of their daily routine at the association and to integrate, even for a little while, into the lives of “normal” people. Enjoying a drink on a terrace, good food at a restaurant, a relaxing afternoon in the pool before drying off in the sun. A simple, pleasant life. This is, from my point of view, what these people are looking for. They do not seek to expose themselves to the gaze of others but rather to avoid it by blending in, fully embracing their disability. 

Dana, Vlad, Renata, Bogdan, and all the others: Thank you for allowing me to open my eyes a little more each day.

Jordane, Year3, A2
The volunteers are hosted by Team for Youth Association in 2023-1-RO01-ESC51-000125226, on a 6 long European Solidarity Corps project in Baia Mare co financed by the European Comission.