Romania 2017

A group of 23 Lower Sixth pupils and five members of staff have just returned from the Romanian town of Cernavoda to support Nightingales Children’s Project.

Over a period of 10 days the pupils worked with local street children and orphans, ranging in age from six months to 24 years, to run a week-long play scheme. Most of the orphanage children live in poverty and have hugely complex emotional and sometimes behavioural problems. Some are quite severely disabled and many have HIV.

The Dauntsey’s team provided a real treat for the children with craft, sports, drama, dance and team-building activities as well as parties and themed days. This year, with two DT teachers in the team they were also able to leave a permanent reminder of their visit behind in the form of a colourful wooden train for the children to play in.

To ensure the trip was a success, the pupils started fundraising back in January. They have raised more than £11,000 which financed the week’s activities and will fund further projects at the orphanage. This year the money was raised through a range of initiatives at Dauntsey’s including a 1920s themed Charity Auction; cake, crepe and chip sales; a car boot sale and sponsored leg waxing of some members of staff!

The Nightingales Children’s Project has been a long standing expedition for Dauntsey’s pupils and holds a special place in our annual calendar. Set up several years ago by Old Dauntseian, Lizzie MacGeagh, it presents one of the biggest emotional and physical challenges to the sixth formers who sign up. The pupils have done a wonderful job of raising money for this year’s trip and it was very rewarding to get back to the orphanage, see for ourselves how our past efforts are paying off, and decide how best to spend the new funds.” – Chris Tonkiss, the teacher in charge of the trip