A GROUP of pupils from St. Patrick's Academy in Lisburn took part in an 'eye-opening' visit to Romania recently, where they braved minus I5 temperatures to visit bring relief to children and adults in the country.
Eight Year I3 pupils from the school, together with RE teacher Mrs Shauna Hurson, travelled to Romania last month for their sixth annual visit.
The group spent a week visiting orphanages and other institutions bringing food parcels, toys and medical supplies to children and adults.
Students braved the staggeringly cold temperatures to travel around an extensive area handing out supplies that had been bought and collected before they set off. Pupils managed to raise a staggering £II,000 between them in the lead up to the trip.
An extract from the pupils' blog sums up the experience: "The week has been an eye-opener. At home, some will think about the many children they encountered during the week and be humbled that their thoughts will never be centred on the materialistic world we live in. Others will be angry at the injustice that some of the beautiful children were left in the orphanages simply because their parents could not accept them. We will think about our friends we visited in Romania, from the very young to the very old, and hope that we have in some way touched their lives as they have ours. We know that our experience is a very unique one indeed."
Mrs Hurson was delighted with the pupils' attitude towards their mission and their "hands-on" approach to every child they met on their journey.
She said: "The pupils made a great effort to bring a smile to those in need. It was a long and exhausting week, yet each day they displayed huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm for the homes and institutions visited. St Patrick's pupils as usual displayed great strength of character, kindness and compassion during this trip. The experience of Romania 20I0 is something they will take with them for the rest of their lives. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank local people for their support with our venture prior to and during our visit."