Find out how #TeamRomania are getting on!

Each year, students and staff from St Paul’s High School visit hospitals and orphanages in Romania.

The current group of students left to visit Romania on Saturday 28 January 2017.  This year’s group are travelling along with, Mrs Bridget McConville and Mr Kevin Kearney, accompanied by students and staff from St Patrick’s College, Dungannon and St Patrick’s Academy, Lisburn. 

We’ll be updating our blog below every day with news of our experiences in Romania. Check back regularly for updates.

Follow our updates on our main Twitter account @stpaulsbbrook

Welcome to our blog. We hope to use this blog as a record of the time we have in Romania, and to allow our friends and families to share in the special experiences we have as we visit orphanages, hospitals and clinics over the next week. We hope you enjoy our record, and we’d encourage you to post a message below to let us know what you think. Blog by Mrs Bridget McConville.

Day 6 – Friday 3 February, 2017

Today we visited Dacia orphanage for boys however, two girls also took residence here as they were sisters of several boys. The boys enlightened our morning by showing us their favourite music and participating in games. We bought them presents, for instance balloons and bubbles, they were immensely happy with the little they had. One boy in particular, Danny had given me tour of the orphanage showing me their rooms and toys etc. We concluded our visit by taking part in the ‘Macarena’ which gathered great laughs (at us, not with us).

Following this we travelled to Rupea to visit an all girls orphanage. This was the end of our charity work in Romania. The girls in this orphanage were a breath of fresh air, they showed us compassion and happiness welcoming us in. Every one of them interacted with our students and had great craic. This was truly brilliant as it allowed us to recognise how appreciated we were in this country.

To finish of our trip we visited Bran (Dracula’s) Castle and were allowed to indulge into the culture of Romania. A truly great ending to an amazing experience.

Day 5 – Thursday 2 February, 2017

We visited Casa Irlanda and Casa Patrick were we interacted with the children and the adults. We introduced ourselves and got to know the children firstly.

Following this we visited the older residents, one girl in particular enjoyed dancing to Michael Flatley Lord of the Rings, she even had her own Irish dancing pumps. She loved traditional music and got along well with our very own Siofra (who impressed her with her own Irish dancing.)

Kevin and Amy got the craic going with a jive encouraging the residents to dance along, one of the residents asked me to dance with him. (We were definitely better then Kev and Amy).

Following this we visited Scut, an educational day care centre for people who had left orphanages. Danny introduced us to some of the members and also gave us an insight of how involved he is with all the charities. He had helped to build an extension onto the building and also volunteers weekly. We listened to them sing and they enjoyed our company.

That afternoon several tears were shed in the TB hospital as our students engaged with the young patients. We learnt about their lives and were able to talk with them freely. 3 month old Patricia gripped the hearts of our students and teachers as her smiling young face brightened our day.

That evening we visited a Romanian restaurant where we were able to taste their cuisine. We gathered around a camp fire for our starter and followed into the restaurant for our main courses. Music was playing and the atmosphere was excellent, a great night.

Day 4 – Wednesday 1 February, 2017

Day 4 of our journey saw us visiting Timis care centre, for adults with disabilities and they were very happy to see us.  At the facility we sung nursery rhymes and danced with the residents, which was great fun.  The staff were friendly, extremely caring and very thankful for our gifts.  We also took a number of residents to McDonald’s, and the happy meals went down extremely well (not just for the residents).

Ice skating was cancelled, however, the walk to Lizuca and Patrocle provided great entertainment as the path was covered in ice and many of us had trouble standing on our feet, lots of giggles and a few near misses ensued.  We also provided a fridge/freezer to the facility along with other gifts which the staff were extremely thankful for.  Card games, football and basketball provided the entertainment for the afternoon before the slip-slidy trek back to the bus.

Our last visit of the day was to the St.Tremer elderly shelter, which was very sad to see such basic conditions.  Again the ladies were all very glad of the company as they get very few visitors.

Day 3 – Tuesday 31 January, 2017

Today was very cold, -12!  We visited a home for children and adults with Down Syndrome.  Far less were there than normal due to the cold weather. 

Next up was the Prejmer family centre for Roma Gypsy families.  Everyone had great fun here and enjoyed the lively atmosphere with the families. 

As always, food parcels and items were distributed and greatly appreciated by all.

Tonight we celebrated Eoin Phillips’ 17th Birthday.  #TeamRomania wished Eoin a Happy Birthday and had great fun in the new Sports Complex in the resort after our busy day.  The bowling alleys, climbing walls and pool tables went down a treat.

After the fun filled night all staff and students went to bed. Next up is Timis Orphanage in the morning. 


Day 2 – Monday 30 January, 2017

Today we visited Lunca Calnicului school.  Amazing to see how their school functions compares to ours and all the kids are so happy.

We then exchanged entertainment were they prepared a song for us.  Kevin sang a song and so did Niamh Hagan.  We then went for lunch before visiting the orphanages Chip and Dale.

We played board games with the orphans who were all nice and good craic.  Our final visit of the day was to an elderly care home, Cristiana. The residents were glad of our company and again we performed music and Irish dance by Siofra McGuinness.  After dinner we all took part in a quiz where the teachers came out on top. No fixing going on!


Day 1 – Sunday 29 January, 2017

We started off the day at the Selgros Cash and Carry, where we met Danny, our guide, to pick up the cement, bicycles and fruit to distribute to the two orphanages.

The first orphanage, Bradet, we got to interact with children in the form of music and snowball fights. The three schools together still couldn’t get the better of the wee lads. ‘Boy can they throw snowballs!’.
The last stop today was Albina Codlea Orphanage where we got to meet children of all different ages. Many had good english so it was easy to get involved and socialise. They even wanted a taste of an Gaeilge. 

After dinner it was time to start the sorting of all the clothes and gifts brought from home by all three schools. The floor was covered because of the generosity of Ireland; and we wrapped ‘er up with a game of cards!



Great to hear you’re all getting on so well. Photos are fab! Hope you’re all being good for Mrs McConville and Kevin!

by Christine Fearon on 01/02/2017 at 8:16 pm #

Romania 2017

As always I would just like to thank Bridget and Kevin for another fantastic week in Brasov Romania.
We had an absolutely amazing group of kids this year with all three schools involved and you should all be very proud. It’s an experience not everyone will get to get a chance to partake in during their lifetime so hold your heads up and be proud to say you got the chance!


by Cathy Hamilton on 07/02/2017 at 10:55 am #

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