Feeling, happiness, tears, smiles, closeness, trust, challenges. These are some of the key words that could describe the Muncel Camp – a first both for Hope and Homes for Children and for their partners at the Iași General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection (DGASPC), who put all their skill and dedication into organizing this event.

20 children, aged 11 to 14, coming from deprived rural areas in the Iași county, were invited to the Muncel camp. And even if it was difficult for some of them to get there (one of the children came to the camp in a horse-drawn carriage), not one of them regretted having accepted the invitation: when they left, part of their heart remained behind.

From the introductions on the first day, to the certificates awarded at the end, from the discussions with the children, to those involving the parents, on feelings, hardship, wishes and worries – the atmosphere in the camp covered a wide range of complex feelings and emotions. The children and their carers, as well as the colleagues from DGASPC Iași were all very grateful and sent us kind messages:

“Dear people at Hope and Homes for Children, we thank you for everything you did for us. We are grateful and we love you.” (Irina Loghin, 13)

“Dear colleagues at Hope and Homes for Children, we thank you from all our heart for your trust and support. We hope we have not disappointed you and we are eagerly looking forward to future joint activities. Love, Beatrice.” (Psychologist, DGASPC Iași)

The children also sent their kindest thoughts to their carers, their parents, older siblings or other relatives who made the effort to help them get to camp.

“I am writing a letter to you today and I love you very much. I wanted to go with you to the Muncel camp because, among all our sisters, I get along best with you and I love you like a mother. I know you’ve never been on a trip and I am happy we were able to go together. I don’t know if you are pleased, but I took you with me because you are my best sister. Love, your brother Fabian.” (Fabian, 11)

“Dear parents, you are to me like a rain quenching the thirst of the earth, like a beautiful flower, like the Sun, you to me are my happiest dream, the dream I dream every night. You are the Love, my Life. To measure my love for you, I should know what infinity is and multiply it by infinity again. I love you a lot!” (Miruna, 13)

PS: At the end of the camp, an empty envelope was still hanging on the string where all the messages had been. It’s probably there waiting for the next wonderful group to come!