DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Breaking the cycle of poverty is at the heart of a volunteer mission for a trio of local residents that will be traveling to Romania later this month.
On July 6, Sandra MacDougall, David Morrison and Lilliana Lamanna will depart for an 11-day volunteer experience on the outskirts of Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
“Throughout the trip we’ll be volunteering with Break the Cycle, which was started by Jen Iacob, who is also from Uxbridge,” Ms. MacDougall told The Standard. “We’ll be helping to break the cycle of poverty by assisting with the programs Jen has started for gypsy children, assisting with schooling, after-school programs, boy’s club, girl’s club and kid’s club. We’ll also be supporting moms and tots through Moms Bucharest, which is a peer-to peer mom-to-mom support group.”
Ms. MacDougall explained that Break the Cycle was started by Ms. Iacob, after she had spent time volunteering in Romanian orphanages as a way to offer assistance to children living on the streets of Bucharest.
The opportunity to provide better opportunities to these young people is at the heart of Break the Cycle’s
mission, and is the primary reason for the trio’s upcoming trip, according to Ms. MacDougall.
“Because we’re all products of our environment, children often don’t know the options that are available to them. Hopefully by showing these children daily living skills and assisting them with their studies and offering support, we will be able show them that they don’t have to resort to some of the things they’re often surrounded by, like drugs, prostitution or human trafficking.
The community has rallied behind the cause in recent months, with North Durham showing great support for the group’s fundraisers in support of their volunteer efforts.
“Our yard and bake sale was extremely successful, and our ongoing bottle drive has been very well received by the community. Every little bit, and everyone doing their part has helped to make our efforts successful,” added Ms. MacDougall.
The group hopes to be able to turn these volunteer efforts into an ongoing engagement, and foster a relationship between communities in Uxbridge and Romania. Ms. MacDougall noted that in the interim, the group is focused on making a lasting impact on those they encounter during their trip.
“Even if we only change one life, we will have achieved our goal.”
The Break the Cycle bottle drive is an ongoing fundraiser - accepting beer and liquor bottles, with several drop-off locations in Uxbridge, including: 83 Munro Cres., 8200 Conc. 6, 26 Nelkydd Lane and 11 Silver Spring Cres. Contact 905-852-9597 to arrange for a pick-up or for information on making a financial contribution to the efforts to eliminate poverty in Romania.
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