In December 2016, Nua Healthcare welcomed 13 young girls over to Ireland from the Hincesti Orphanage in Moldova with their carers and Doctors. This 2 week visit is part of a larger long-term initiative, to support the Republic of Moldova and it's Government change the way care in Moldova is delivered to children and adults with disabilities.
This was a very busy trip for the girls and their support staff. While the aim of the visit was to see in action, people with disabilities living and working the lives they choose, it was also an opportunity to participate in all that Christmas in Ireland has to offer.
On arrival, the girls were excited to have left the orphanage, most for the first time and to have travelled out of their Country and flown on an aeroplane, was the first of many new experiences for them all. They spent their first weekend in Dublin discovering the joys of walks in the park, eating in restaurants, feeding the ducks, swans and pigeons and being welcomed everywhere they went.
Nua had an abundance of volunteers to support the girls on their trip and you will be able to read about their experiences in their own words soon. The girls were able to visit Chapel View Day Service and learn about woodwork, leaving with their own unique carved nameplate. Thank you Dave and your team of energetic woodworkers. The girls enjoyed their visit to Chapel View’s active retirement house and saw how they can live and be actively engaged as they get older. They particularly enjoyed the space and many rooms Chapel View has to offer, though they were constantly drawn back to the dining room with the homemade scones and Nua’s delicious jams and marmalades, thank you Sean and the wonderful team there.
Evening's were spent experiencing Christmas lights and Christmas bites, visiting Santa, his reindeers and his elves in workshops throughout Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Dublin. Having thought the aeroplane was the most exciting way to travel, the boat trip along the River Barrow was a very close second, especially when paired with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Making your own chocolate Santa in the Chocolate Factory competed with making their own music in the Fairgreen Education Centre. Playing pool, using the computers, creating hairstyles for Nua residents and creating glitter art were activities thoroughly enjoyed by all, including the Moldovan and Nua staff. Thank you Adrian and everyone in Fairgreen. The girls really enjoyed using all the instruments and talking with the Nua residents about living in Nua. They enjoyed the music so much, Nua residents organised a disco on Saturday night for them with our own Patrick as resident DJ.
The group also visited Taliesin House and the cabins, to see a different way of supported independent living. Thank you to Amanda and the team at Taliesin, everyone enjoyed the lunch and the idea of their own accommodation, though the swing and basketball net had the winning votes.
Although, Dublin Zoo and Bray Aquarium were big highlights, the Nua Residents Christmas Show was the best part of their trip. They had been rehearsing for weeks and finally took to the stage in traditional Moldovan costume and participated in the show, the headline act of part two, singing both as a group and solo and performing a traditional Moldovan dance. They thoroughly enjoyed joining in with all the residents and being stars alongside them for the night. Before then, they were noticed for their disabilities, that night they enjoyed being noticed for their abilities. The confidence they built over their two week visit was evident to anyone who spent time with them.
Thank you to all the staff in Nua and your friends and family members who donated clothing, toys and presents for the girls to bring back to the other 370 children in the orphanage. We have sent everything over to Hincesti and we will update you with photos of them receiving them very soon.