“One of the main activities of this project is clinic animation. I have to admit that at the beginning I was a bit scared, but at the same time I knew I could do it. I have never done clinic animation before coming here, but it was one of the reasons why I chose this project. Until now I have always been connected somehow to hospitals because of family reasons, but doing this is something special that can make your day better.
As I said, before starting I was a bit scared about my reactions and feelings in possible difficult situations I could find in hospitals, seeing little and fragile children in bad situations can break your heart and it does indeed, but when you are there and they smile at you because they are “stronger” than you and they can have more energies than you… then, the only thing that you can do is giving the best you can and make them happy.
At the beginning was a bit complicated because of the language, but we all speak the same language when it comes to smile and hugs and gestures. The fear for the lack of communication lasted less than two weeks, soon all of us became confident and the feeling of being useful prevailed.
First aim was make them to have fun. How? We tried with balloons, then, we understood that they were more powerful than us; in the end of each session they were still with a lot of energies and we, volunteers, were literally dead people! So we changed strategy and in time, having more competences, we started to propose quieter activities, but also with a didactic or artistic aim. Every time we propose something different, we bring a lot of different material and games and we play with them. Of course activities depend also from which hospital we go and which kind of problems children have.
Clinic animation is an experience that everyone should try once in their life because the emotions that you feel in doing it are incredible and impossible to describe in words. Now I am more motivated and I’m thinking about the future and about the fact that when my project will be over for sure I will continue to do it wherever I will go. I don’t know what I will do or where I will go, but if I come back in my hometown for sure I will try to suggest this amazing idea in the hospital of my town.” (Silvia Tursi, Italy, Vitamin T+, A.C.T.O.R.)
“A big part of our activities here in Bucharest involve going to hospitals to entertain and teach the children.
It seems to me in the beginning the focus was more on the entertainment aspect, probably because of the language barrier – it was not easy to make ourselves understood, so we compensated by being as noisy and over the top as possible – just to get and keep the attention of children. Now when the language is not such a problem – says Bibi who speaks like a five year old with Moldovan accent – we focus more on the educational side, teaching the kids about our cultures, playing national games and so on.
Some of the nicest experiences in hospitals have been a mixture of games with some teaching aspect – I don’t think any of us is afraid of being left alone with a bunch of kids and being told to entertain them anymore – something I used to be really afraid of.
The challenge of hospitals is that quite often we don’t know exactly what is waiting for us there when we go. It can be a calm evening with six kids, it can be 30+ super excited ones, sometimes we are showered with gifts and love, sometimes we end up covered with bite marks.
Overall, activities in hospitals have improved tremendously and I personally enjoy these a lot. The joy we bring there cannot be measured, also the happiness we feel after it.” (Bibi Peet, Estonia, Vitamin T+, A.C.T.O.R.)