Be Significant. Be a Lifeline of Hope for Children in Romania!

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Global Volunteers’ Romanian presence began in 1999 concentrating on helping at-risk and disabled children improve their access to social, educational, health, and security resources. We are seeking volunteers to look after orphaned and impoverished young children and to teach English in middle and high schools in Barlad, Romania - for one to two weeks. Whatever their home situation may be, babies, toddlers, and adolescents appreciate encouragement and care from adults. Volunteers can help add to a lifetime of development and improve young lives!

Global Volunteers projects in Romania:
• Municipal Hospital “Elena Beldiman” Children's Hospital: Care for children with hearing or sight impairments or mental disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, and PKU. They respond immediately to your loving stimulation.
• Teach conversational English to students. Team teach, work one-on-one, or assist Romanian English teachers – depending on your style and comfort level.

Questions & Answers

The children vary in age from small babies to around 10 years old (from my experience). Most but not all have disabilities. They rotate about 10 children from the orphanage for about 2 weeks at a time to stay in the hospital, so you never know which children will be in the hospital when you visit. Hope this helps!


based on 10 reviews
  • Impact 9.6
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 10 of 10
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Meaningful way to spend 2 weeks

Global Volunteers is incredibly organized. I always felt like the site coordinators were available and very helpful, with everything from changing money to internet access to weekend excursions. Working with the children was a very special experience. The nurses were supportive, the aide in the children's room is incredible, and the kids themselves were very cute. I was so lucky to be connected to past volunteers so that we were able to communicate and share ideas, and we were literally able to coordinate the delivery of a splint and adapted equipment for one girl that enabled her to color and to feed herself independently for the first time! I felt privileged to work with these kids.
The weekend trip allowed us to see another part of Romania, the famed Transylvania. We were referred to a driver (one of the nicest people on the planet), and a beautiful bed and breakfast. We were able to see the gorgeous Carpathian Mountains and the historic (but misnamed) Dracula's Castle, the summer palace of the Romanian King and Queen, and a fortress from the first century BC.

How can this program be improved?
Don't stop at KFC for lunch on the way from the airport! Go someplace local!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Bring Your Heart to Romania

My first "visit" to Romania was on a river tour and provided a brief overview of Bucharest. I found Eastern Europe very interesting but was haunted by images of street children and stories of human trafficking. I knew the history of the horrendous "Romanian Orphanages". I received a call from Global Volunteers asking me to work with those children. The stars aligned!

Global is based in Minnesota and has an excellent reputation for international volunteering. The work day is 8:30 to 1 and 3-6, followed by dinner. The children can be new born to age 10, most with Special Needs. Each child is so special in his or her own way and hugs abound! Do you need special skills? Only the ability to love, hug, and comfort a child! This service is perfect for children, teens, students, adults and seniors!

The work week ends on Friday and the team or individuals usually travel away from Barlad and experience the warmth of Romanian hospitality and learn about the culture. The Romanian Team leaders are excellent, personable and excited about sharing Romania with you.

I never planned to go to Romania; I was planning to go to Crete. Each day I think of the children, see their smiles and tears, and wish I were with them. I went a stranger, left my heart, and will again return as familia. Following my heart to Romania is the best decision I have ever made!

How can this program be improved?
I have no idea.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A rewarding experience!

I volunteered in Romania with Global volunteers in March/April of 2015 and it was honestly one of the richest and most rewarding experiences of my life. I highly recommend Global Volunteers if you are considering volunteering. I was supported every step of the way by Global Volunteers staff and our hosts Mihaela and Dan. I felt safe and taken care of every step of the way.

Seeing the children respond so quickly was very encouraging. We saw children try to stand and sit on their own, engage more in sharing behaviour, become more vocal and we even had a lovely woman on our team who knew infant massage and was able to help ease the tight muscles of the less mobile children. Even just making the children laugh and smile made the whole experience worthwhile.

I will say, however, that it can be exhausting; physically, mentally and emotionally. It will test you at times. Be prepared for the fact that there are things that you cannot change; situations that you can only approach with love and support. Just always do the best that you can and forgive yourself when you feel like you may be falling short (I assure you, you won't be!)

Yes, I recommend
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Loving Romania

I've done this program 3 times now, I'm from Australia. I absolutely love it. The impact of what we do can be seen straight away, with kids responding positively very quickly. I've seen children sit up, smile, become interested in their surroundings and so on within two weeks. One highlight this trip was a child learning my name. Our hosts are local people with huge hearts who work tirelessly and consistently - and they're fun, too! All fun times are what you make them, and can be found in attempting the language or in the antics of the kids. We were perfectly safe at all times. Equally as important, the coffee is great! ;)

Be aware that no matter how fit or young you are, you will be extraordinarily tired by the end of your very worthwhile trip. This is normal. Plan some recovery days!

How can this program be improved?
I'd like to see more promotion of this program. To know that there is not a follow up team to the one I'm on is heartbreaking. These amazing kids deserve consistent care.
Yes, I recommend
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Putting Lots of Meaning in a Volunteer Travel Experience

In 2003 I enjoyed two weeks in Barlad and felt like I made a difference teaching English to middle school students and tending to the young children at Tutova Hospital. Each day was filled with meaning and satisfaction and offered opportunity to form relationships and experience the local culture. The GV leader and staff that I encountered were well prepared to handle volunteers and their friendliness and support made a great experience even richer.

I highly recommend Global Volunteers to you if you're looking for a meaningful travel experience combined with beneficial service and authentic cultural connection.

Yes, I recommend
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Great for the solo traveler. A rewarding experience.

I volunteered in Tutova twice and continue to support the program.
It was a pivotal and rewarding experience. As a busy professional I do not have much time for volunteer work at home. I loved GV because in two weeks I could give back to society in a concentrated effort. I made lifelong friends with several of my fellow volunteers. As a female solo traveler, GV is terrific because it enables one to travel to "exotic" or off-the beaten path regions and meet up with like-minded travelers/volunteers. The team leader Mihaela in Romania is terrific and English speaking. The work with the children was the most memorable, emotionally hard and most enjoyable vacation of my life.
Hard to believe diapering, running after children, dressing children and picking up toys would be a vacation but it was the best for me!

Yes, I recommend
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A Memorable Experience

I spent 3 weeks at the Tutova Clinic working with the infants there and found it a heartwarming and fulfilling time. The Global Volunteer staff was wonderful as well as the clinic employees. Even though I was sick with a cold for a few days I had excellent care. Weekend excursions were a lot of fun, especially the trip to the painted monasteries. All in all a wonderful experience which i hope to repeat someday.

Yes, I recommend
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The impact of Global Volunteers' in Romania

I have volunteered in Romania twice both teaching conversational English in the high school and nurturing babies in the orphanage. My first trip was part of the second team there. Prior to that, the babies in the orphanage had been confined to their beds 24 hours a day, with time out for only 4 diaper changes, 4 propped bottle feedings and a bath. There was almost no human touch. They were silent and didn't know how to laugh or cry. Two women and a nurse cared for 32 babies and did all the laundry by hand. On my return two years later, the changes were dramatic. Through contributions by Global Volunteers, three more people had been hired and an industrial size washer and dryer had been installed. Because the babies had been nurtured by 22 more teams of volunteers, they were laughing, crying, talking, walking, running, crawling, eating solid food, just like normal babies.
In the high school, I had a group of six students who were eager to learn and oh so smart. One student wrote this about about Americans. "I must admit that before we met you, our image of Americans was a rather cold one: greedy unscrupulous people whose only interest is money. I'm happy to say that you definitely changed that image for us. Thank you for reviving all our expectations, hopes and dreams of living in a better world, beliefs we thought to be so deep inside us that they could never see the light or spread outside our minds." I think that says it all. If you're looking to make a difference, a Global Volunteers experience is for you.

Yes, I recommend
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Make a Difference in a Child's Life

I have served on a Global Volunteers team in Romania every year (two weeks every September) for the past thirteen years. This is such a worthwhile and unique program.
Volunteers serve in a hospital by assisting in the care of children. This consists of things such as feeding children and playing with them. A stream of volunteers throughout the year helps to provide these children to develop through their formative years.
It would be hard to think of a better way to experience a country than to work for and serve the residents.
The Global Volunteers team managers in Romania are lifelong residents of the community where volunteers serve. They are of great assistance to the volunteers and also care for the children greatly.

Yes, I recommend
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Wonderful experience caring for children that are having a tough time.

I have been on the Global Volunteer trip to Romania 4 times in the last 10 years. Romania is such a beautiful country with so much culture and history. Unfortunately, some of the political problems of the last 50 years have left the country unable to care for some of the children.
Volunteers spend their day holding, feeding and nurturing children. The country managers have organized all the details for volunteers (meals, transportation, language training, free time activities). The children really thrive with the volunteer's attention. Making a difference in these lives is the greatest gift.

Yes, I recommend


About Global Volunteers

Global Volunteers, a non-profit organization, has been giving short-term volunteers the chance to provide essential services to local people on service programs since 1984 - and trusted by 34,000+ volunteers. Volunteering for one to three weeks under...