Fearless like Viorel

Written by Genevieve Jones-Hernandez, Events Manager for Humanitas

I have been visiting Romania since 2010.  It was during my first trip that I visited a Humanitas project and felt the overwhelming need to be involved with this amazing charity.

I have visited the projects every year since and had the chance to hang out with the children in our care. Every year it's a privilege to watch them blossom and grow first hand.  Every time I leave more in awe of how the love and support these children receive, whether in our Safe Homes or under our foster care programme, has transformed the lives of these once abandoned and neglected children.

There are always two children in particular that I look forward to seeing. The first is Claudiu - with his cheeky face - and the second is Angela, who I first met when she was fending for herself aged five in at local gypsy camp.  I’m not one to have favourites, but both are children I sponsor on a monthly basis, so I suppose I have a vested interest in their wellbeing.  I consider them as part of my family. Since my last visit two years ago (having taken some time off to have a little boy) they have grown so much and their good health and happiness is testament to how loved and cared for they are.

Normally I chase them around playing games like some crazy Aunt who speaks in a foreign language! And although embarrassingly I did the same again, it was another boy, Viorel, who left me speechless and opened my eyes in such a positive way.

Viorel was abandoned at birth and lived the first year of his life at the state children’s hospital. He was born with clubfeet and mal-rotated wrists and hands. Due to his condition, he was unable to walk. I've seen Viorel play football before (he is an avid football fan), so I knew his disability didn't hold him back from being active, however I never, ever imagined I would see him doing flips on the trampoline! Flips I'm not brave enough to even attempt!

Watching Viorel resonated so much with me.  Regardless of what cards he has been dealt, he overcomes every obstacle and keeps striving for more and has achieved some incredible goals. At the end of the day it is his strength and steadfast determination that makes him stand out from the crowd and it is a lesson that we could all learn from.

I want to be fearless and determined, just like Viorel.