In 2008, Jackie Curtin came from the UK to Romania to teach in a village near Csíkszereda, where she was operating on a solitary level. Frustrated by the lack of support, she returned to the UK to petition for further assistance so that she could accomplish her goals. She was granted nominal aid, with which she returned to Romania to continue her work for another year. Her efforts proved to be unsuccessful, however, and in 2010, she decided to invest her time elsewhere. This did not dampen her resolve to find ways to help the Romanian people and promote humanitarian service. After a year of steady reflection, in March of 2011, she came up with the idea of Care2Travel, spawned from her desire to foster effective, sustainable volunteer work. She partnered with her good friend László, a seasoned local tour guide, who helped her find footing and grow more familiar with the surrounding area. Together they set up this association, along with her other friend Demeter László.
Through their hard work, along with the help of other teammates and volunteers, they were able establish a network of sympathetic individuals who also found the project worthwhile. László’s friend, Péter, came to Csíkszereda to join the team in October of 2014. They were working in Jackie’s small flat in the city at that time, nevertheless expanding and progressing,and in need of an official space to conduct their business. Soon after Péter was hired, in December of 2014, Jackie was able to secure an office space for free through a friend who was the vice-president of a local organization called DJST (Directorate County Sports and Youth Association). Because of DJST’s kindness and generosity, Care2Travel was able to substantiate our fledgling association, giving us confidence and purpose. This proved to be advantageous because with our new office space, we were able to welcome representatives of International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) who expressed interest in partnering with Care2Travel. This union was thereby implemented, which has proved to be an immensely beneficial step towards realizing the charitable vision of Care2Travel. It is through our association with IVHQ that Care2Travel has been able to bring in international volunteers to broaden our scope of influence in Romania and have more helping-hands to increase our volume of work.
We hired our first accommodation administrator, Sándar Korouka, in 2015. He was working with DJST and agreed to manage the living arrangements of the incoming international volunteers in a small flat. In February 2017, Orsolya Biró was hired to help coordinate both the local and international volunteers, as the popularity of Care2Travel was growing and was hosting a wide variety of willing people ready to give of their time. It soon became apparent that Care2Travel would need to invest in a larger living space to make room for all of their eager international volunteers, so in May of 2017, we moved to a larger space that could accommodate a far greater number.
Since then, we have been able to hire Andrea Berecz to help with summer camps for three months, Botond Balasz as their Ethical Tourism Manager, Gertrúd Keresztes as the projects coordinator, and Norbert Sentes , who replaced Sándar Korouka as the accommodation administrator. Each staff member has contributed substantially to Care2Travel’s success, and we continue to demonstrate our enthusiasm for sustainable volunteer work in Romania which has already made a sizeable impact in the community and in the lives of those who have been recipients of our efforts. Care2Travel’s outreach has proved to be a positive force for good for the local people and we intend to augment our exertion in touching the lives of many more.
If you'd like to read more about our history, please click here.