Outdoor Musical Instruments Arrive in Romania

The Libra Foundation takes UK students out to Romania to work in children’s residential centres, with children from Roma communities and with underprivileged Romanian children. The residential centres are home to children and young people with varying needs and abilities; from learning difficulties to specific physical needs and requirements. The children from the Roma communities are often developmentally delayed, live in extreme poverty and are socially marginalised and the underprivileged Romanian children are socially deprived and often extremely poor.

Libra aims to provide resources and experiences to these Romanian children that the centres, schools and families cannot otherwise afford and which have a significant impact on the children’s wellbeing and that of their parents and carers. This includes working with staff and carers to deliver training and workshops and encouraging local volunteering to make Libra's work sustainable.

The Alexandra Centre in Onesti is a therapeutic day care centre and houses the offices for the Centre’s staff in Onesti. There are also two homes on-site for the more able youngsters.

Robin from Percussion Play has taken time out to fly to Romania and personally oversee the installation of Percussion Play instruments into a new musical and sensory garden, however he soon realised that his trip was going to be a little more hands-on and he got to experience the installation of our instruments first-hand!

"Well this is the first installation of our stuff that I’ve ever done and it was remarkably straightforward!" he reported back to us in the UK.

A spokesperson for Libra said

"This is going to be such a wonderful opportunity for the children and young people of the Alexandra Centre. Robin Ashfield from Percussion Play in Petersfield, has come over to Onesti to install this equipment in the garden of one of the homes. Each of the activities are colourful, musical, exciting and irresistible! Thank you Robin!" The playground is being officially opened by the British Ambassador today and there are high hopes that the outdoor musical instruments and the sensory equipment will have a big impact on the children.

The following observations were made by the centre's occupational therapist yesterday afternoon,

“After introducing three of the Casa Maria girls, we turned around and realised the whole space was filled with beneficiaries on the carpet, in wheelchairs or walking, engaged in the space, listening or ‘playing’ in every sense of the word. They were playing in the multi-sensory music space. At first glance you would not appreciate the significance. Yes, we had a lot of ‘help’ with the students and volunteers, but all the young people out there were engaged, aware of each other and of us, and initiating contact with us. The environment ‘invites’ engagement and exploration. The instruments allow a different type of ‘conversation’ and communication. So many possibilities - we showed the carers on duty who appreciated it".

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