However, my topic isn't the exam, which I can also talk about, if you need information about it. My topic for today is volunteering at an orphanage. Now, it is a great cause and I totally support it, as well as adoption, but there are a few facts you must consider before deciding to volunteer at an orphanage.
First of all you MUST be aware of the dangers you are facing. At this sort of centers you will find children come from all kinds of environments. Be aware that you are exposed to rare diseases, such as AIDS, HIV, Tuberculosis, Syphilis and so on. Most people are probably aware that AIDS, HIV, etc. are diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact. For those who don't know, this isn't the only way, you can also take it through 'blood contact'. For example, if you have an open wound and your wound gets in contact with a person's blood(who has one of these disease), such as another wound, it is probable that you take the disease (hope it makes sense!). You never know where those children come from, they might be the children of drug addicts, murderers, prostitutes, and so on.
When you go to a center to volunteer, you can't possibly avoid the children with diseases because they will feel as being outsiders, and this is never good. They must feel as being a part of the team.
Another really important thing is that you can't get attached to them. You can make them feel that they count, that they are loved, but don't get attached to them. Every single time I come home from the orphanage I cry like a baby, because those children haven't done anything wrong. Their only mistake is to have been born by some cruel creatures you can't call humans.. I must admit, I have to work with this. My boyfriend told me from the very beginning that I'll just hurt myself if I get attached to them, because at the end of the day you can do nothing for them. For that half an hour you spend with them they feel loved but the moment you leave, reality hits them in the face. Unless you are willing to adopt them (you can't adopt them all!!) you will hurt yourself in time. I got so attached to this boy that even reminding myself of him brings tears to my eyes. He has around 3 years and he is unbelievably sweet. I wish I could go to his mother and just cut her heart in two for leaving him in an orphanage. Like that's not enough, he has an older brother, in the same orphanage. What kind of animal do you have to be to leave both your children in an orphanage? Other people try for years to make a child and aren't able to, while others just throw them away. Although I don't agree with abortion, I think it's way better than giving birth and leaving the child in an orphanage. This is just not right..
Last but not least, never let the child get too attached to you. At some point you will stop visiting. How do you think that child will feel then? He will feel abandoned. Again! It breaks my heart, but that's the truth. There's this Romanian singer or actress, I'm not sure, who was raised in an orphanage. While she had an interview she said that it's not possible for you to imagine how much you hurt a child if you take him home for a day or 2 (there are programs through which you can take care of a child for a weekend). She said that she has been taken home by a couple, and the next week they took another child home, and then another, and so on. She said that all she could think about was that she might have been eating too much, that's why they didn't take HER the second time and that she won't be eating that much the next time someone takes her home.
However, leaving the negative aspects aside, there are many personal benefits when volunteering at an orphanage. There is such a joy you feel when you hug a child who hasn't ever been hugged. When he smiles at you, it melts your heart. Happiness. This is the word to describe what you feel. You see, in one of my previous posts I told you that happiness can't be defined, it means something else for everyone. Well, for me, doing what I do is one of the many ways I DESCRIBE (not define) happiness :)
P.S: Again, I encourage volunteering at an orphanage, and I couldn't stop going there. It means the world to me and I got so attached to the children, but you MUST be aware of the dangers I mentioned in this article. I wasn't when I first went there..