AMURTEL Romania is a part of an international network of aid organisations which began relief work in Romania with the fall of communism in 1989. In 1995, AMURTEL opened “Familia AMURTEL” a small family style children’s home in the peaceful mountain village of Panatau.
AMURTEL also observed the social exclusion and stigmatization of special needs children, and opened Gradinita Rasarit Kindergarten in Bucharest to promote the inclusive education of children with disabilities together with other children.
The kindergarten is inspired by Neohumanist philosophy, and has developed a holistic curriculum which nurtures creativity, inner development, empathy, and ecological consciousness,
Since then, AMURTEL has continued to diversify its activities and services. Current projects include:
* Gradinita Rasarit Kindergarten in Bucharest
* Familia AMURTEL children's home in Panatau
* Fountain of Hope Afterschool Center in Panatau (offering hotmeals and extracurricular activities to 30-60 disadvantaged schoolchildren)
* AMURTEL Bio Garden - a community supported agriculture project providing jobs in the community as well as organic vegetables for the social projects
* Morningstar Holistic Center - yoga, meditation, ayurveda and massage
Who can volunteer
Who do we need?
Though AMURTEL does not require any educational qualifications, any kind of experience in working with children, or within NGOs is valued, and the profile of an ideal candidate includes:
− strong interest in working with children
− some working knowledge of English
− basic computer literacy and social networking skills
− sense of community service
− interest in yoga, personal development or ecological lifestyle
− sense of responsibility
− willingness to learn
Particular assets that are not required but are valued include
- creative and / or artistic skills
− sports skills
− entrepreneurial skills or strong interest
− interest or experience in organic gardening or permaculture
− experience (volunteer, professional) or background in social work
− experience in working with children
− experience in yoga or meditation
− interest in healthy lifestyle
− vegetarian / non-smoking
Volunteer positions available:
1. Kindergarten assistant / foreign language teacher
Provide an immersion experience in english or your mother tongue for kindergarten children by speaking exclusively that language with them and applying Neo-Humanist play-way language teaching methodology that is taught to volunteers that can commit to a minimum of three months of service.
An educational background in early childhood education, or experience in the field is highly valued.
Individualized self-study and guidance in Neo Humanist education will be provided.
Daily teaching program: 10 am – 2 pm
i. September – December (4 months)
ii. February – May (4 months)
iii. June – August (3 months)
(the summer program includes developing a special “summer camp” program for the month of July, and assisting in yearly renovations in the month of August. There is the opportunity to participatein a Neohumanist education staff seminar before the schools opens in September.
Period: September- June.
Program 10am - 3pm.
Longer term volunteers may be accepted as English teachers.
What to expect
Romania is a country with many interesting contrasts - while Bucharest is a bustling metropolis still bearing some of the grim architecture of Communism, it is rapidly developing. Meanwhile, rural Romanian villages still live in very traditional ways - with small farms using hand tools, horses, etc. It is a unique opportunity to travel back in time and experience the ecological and sustainable traditions of authentic eastern european villages.
Working in AMURTEL is also an opportunity to learn more about yogic lifestyle and healthy living, and you will be welcome to join our programs at the Morningstar Holistic Center.
Read more about our previous volunteers experiences on our volunteer blog:
Staff at the project:
Our volunteer coordinator is Verena Dallaserra, an italian volunteer currently working full time in the AMURTEL projects.
All AMURTEL's projects in Romania are overseen by the president, Didi Ananda Devapriya, a yogic nun from USA. Didi has been running this project since 2005.
Larisa Bratucu is the director of the Fountain of Hope after school center.
Magda Zambet is the director of the kindergarten.
Accommodation & Conditions
For the Bucharest jobs, we do not have free housing available, but will help you to rent a room in an apartment for a minimal cost. There is wireless internet access in the kindergarten and in the apartment, but you need to bring your own laptop. Breakfast and lunch are provided at the kindergarten.
In Panatau, volunteers are housed in a rustic, old fashioned village house about 10 minutes walk from the Familia AMURTEL home, where you will take some of your meals, and about 20 minutes walk to the Fountain of Hope center. The nearest bigger town is about 45 minutes walk. The home has its water from a well (there is indoor plumbing but sometimes it breaks). It is heated by wood stoves so in the winter you will learn to make fires to heat the house. There is no internet availability in the house, but you will have wireless internet access at the Fountain of Hope or Familia AMURTEL homes. It is best to have your own laptop or tablet.
Meals are provided in the children’s home or after-school center.
Volunteers must be prepared to respect the vegetarian diet while staying in AMURTEL accommodations – but of course are free to eat as they wish when outside of the projects.
Volunteers are invited to tour all of AMURTEL's various projects, and will be shown the village or area where they are staying by our staff.
Volunteers will participate in the weekly coordinating meetings with AMURTEL staff of the project in which they are involved.
Accommodation & Food cost
- Under 3 weeks: Euros 150
- 1 month: Euros 200
- 2nd Month+: Euros 160
- Additional Months+: Euros 120
- Amounts for long-term stays of more than 4 months can be negotiated.
These amounts cover our overhead costs to sustain the social projects, as well as the costs of the food you will be provided with. Please note that transportation costs between Bucharest and Panatau are not included and bus costs are about 15 euros roundtrip. Also is recommended to get a transportation card if staying in Bucharest, which costs about 15 euros per month.
Cheap flights to Romania can be found on:
Explore videos and photo albums about our projects: www.amurtel.ro
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