My name is Andrea Tata, I’m from the United States, and I have volunteered in Romania with Care2Travel in NGO support for one month. During that time, I accomplished a lot and learned even more. Everyone in the office was incredibly helpful in making sure I was doing beneficial, important work. What was expected of me was clear from the beginning, and I never felt lost or like I didn’t have something to work on. I spent the majority of my time working on three different “mini-projects”. These involved writing blog posts, contacting bloggers, and editing documents. The details of what these entailed are explained as follows:
Involved writing blog posts
Care2Travel offers a wide variety of tourism opportunities, but what they are now trying to promote is their ethical tourism excursions. During my time in Csikszereda, I was able to partake in two of their ethical tours: cheese-making and bear watching. Both trips were wonderful, and each were very different in their own ways. Because these tours offered by Care2Travel are still somewhat new, I was able to write blog posts about my experiences for future volunteers and tourists to reference when deciding which tours to take. With this came the task of uploading pictures and writing a short statement about our tours, posting that on the IVHQ Romania page.
Going along with the promotion of Care2Travel’s ethical tours, I was tasked with contacting relevant bloggers in order to get them to either publicly support these Care2Travel tours or to come to Csikszereda themselves and partake in the tours which they could then write about. Composing these emails involved explaining Care2Travel as an organization, the work that they do, and their ethical tours more specifically, while also aiming the email to grab the attention of the specific blogger.
Lastly, and what I spent most of my time doing, was that of editing documents. A woman from Mikó Castle contacted the office about having a volunteer edit recently translated documents for future museum exhibits. I volunteered for the job which entailed me reading over the translations and making sure that the English blurbs were grammatically correct and read smoothly and clearly. While one may think that this is a tedious task, I found this work to be incredibly interesting since the documents told different aspects of the history of Csikszereda, and one was even a personal account of a Jewish man living here during WWII and his subsequent hardships under the reign of the Third Reich.
Working as an NGO support volunteer provided a lot of flexibility and also presented opportunities to do things outside of the office. For example, during the area’s “alternative learning” week, I was able to spend two days, one at a Romanian school in the city and one in a Hungarian school in a village, working with children on their English. It was awesome to be able to do something more immersive and help out outside of the office even for a little bit.
In all, I had a great time volunteering with Care2Travel as NGO support. It was definitely a learning experience and gave great insight as to how an organization like Care2Travel works. It was inspiring even more so to learn of all of the projects Care2Travel already has in place and the upcoming projects that they have in the works. It was a month well spent and I only wish that I could have stayed longer!