From Receiving to GivingBy Heidi Isaza & Brianna Piazza
Once a child who benefitted from World Vision’s Child Sponsorship programme in Romania, 21-year-old Andreea is now giving back as a volunteer for World Vision's Ukraine Crisis Response, where she is helping to support refugee children as they flee Ukraine.
Andreea’s hometown is a small rural area. When she was young, many of the children did not attend school. They spent their days in the fields caring for animals, as their parents did not have money to buy basic school equipment. When Andreea was in sixth grade, World Vision began to work in her community. Though not a sponsored child herself, Andreea participated in activities that had been made possible through the programme.
"I learned a lot during that period and I can feel the huge impact it had on me and on my daily life, at school and even now at the university. I’m not shy anymore. Now, I have the courage to speak in public,” she says.
When refugees began to come across the border into Romania, Andreea knew she wanted to help. Using social media, she reached out to Nicoleta Popa, a former coordinator from her programme, and discovered that Nicoleta was working with refugees at the border in Siret. Andreea decided to volunteer with the World Vision response to help care for the refugees’ families.
“Kids that have been helped can go on to help others,” Andreea explains. “World Vision has been and will always be like a project for my soul, close to my heart. They really help people — not just refugees but even ordinary Romanians.”