A friend and I are planning a 2 week trip to Europe after we graduate from college. She has ambitions of one day working in an orphanage and I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity if we could visit an orphanage/volunteer at one for a day. We don't know yet where we will be visiting but Ireland is a for sure and Italy, France, and Germany are also on the list. Has anyone ever done this before or have any connections with an orphanage? Thanks for the help!
Briana, I had the wonderful experience of visiting two orphanages in Russia. The trip and visits were sponsored through a local university. You might try contacting some, or check with your own universities, and see if they can help you. Good luck.
I've only done it in Mexico. Others I know have helped out in Ecuador and Honduras, all were part of church sponsored mission trips. If you're affiliated with a church, that may be a really good place to start.
Brianna perhaps you should base trip on Eastern Europe then, most western Europeon countries are just like States and Canada, there are no orphanages, kids are fostered out. You must realize the countries you mentioned are all first world countries,, the housing of groups of young kids in homes like in the olden days just isn't done anymore, exceptions may be teen group homes, but I have a feeling thats not what you are looking for. My daughters band trip to Cuba included a visit to an orphanage, or my the pictures she took were so cute! The band kids all brought small toys, and school supplies to donate and spent the afternoon playing with the kids. Perhaps go to Cuba?
US citizens can't legally go to Cuba, Pat. At least not from the US. I suppose it is possible to enter from another country, like Mexico, but otherwise, I think you have to be on some sort of "official" trip to go directly.
Thanks for the help everyone. I know there are a lot of opportunities in Central America. I'd love to go to Cuba but the USA still isn't fully open to travel to Cuba.
Oh, I thought Americans could go to Cuba from Canada, I thought some did anyways, didn't know if it was legal, assumed it was since I can't imagine our country helping Americans to break their own laws.
Actually, U.S. citizens can go to Cuba legally. There are certain cultural programs that U.S. citizens can sign up for and legally visit Cuba. It has been an on again off again program since the Clinton era (Clinton started, Bush suspended, Obama reinstated, etc.) The article below has details. www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2012/10/03/travel-cuba-americans-people-to-people/1609629/
Yes, Laura, that is what I meant by an "official" trip - through the auspices of some organization, not as individual travelers.
When I was in high school in Germany we would spend a day at a teen group home, giving gifts and just hanging out. Here in the states I take my kids to senior homes and give out stuffed rabbits at Easter and Costco lap blankets at Christmas. We find that older people really love people to talk to. Spending time with anyone who most people ignore is worth the time every time.