by Sophie Herbert, OXAB Bulgaria 2017 volunteer
The experience of going to the family centres during our time volunteering in Bulgaria, three in total which we visited in our time, was amazing. One particular moment that was memorable to me was at the first one we visited. The children there were of a broader age range so we had the challenge of creating activities that they’d all enjoy. However, our hidden gem turned out to be the card game ‘Uno’. After one game with the younger children aged 7-9, the older children slowly joined in, trying to teach the younger ones how to play properly.
They were all so excited about it, playing over and over again most days we were there! It was wonderful to see them all together having fun. Admittedly, we could see there was some sneaky playing (you might even call it cheating) and after the week, us volunteers wanted a long, long break from playing the game anytime soon. But it didn’t matter because they seemed to have a great time and we gave them the card pack to keep at the end of the week, at which they were delighted.
The experience of such a simple card game that most of us had forgotten about making them so happy reminded me of how much fun it was being that age, and made me glad to be able to give them some nice toys that we had enjoyed. It was also a good way to connect with the kids as many of them teamed up with us individually – the competition was very much alive.
(Feature photo: Tim Klapdor, Flickr)