Q: What is the minimum length of time to volunteer?
A We prefer that volunteers come for a minimum of 10 days.
Q: Is there any medication that would be good to bring with me?
A: Yes, please be prepared that you will most likely come in contact with germs your body may not be used to. It is possible you could catch a cold or flu so please bring any medication you feel you may need under these circumstances.
Q: How many babies are in the hospital?
A: We mainly work on 2 floors in the hospital, which combined could have as many as 35 babies and as little as 4. It’s good to be prepared for anything; flexibility is a must while in Romania!
Q: Are all the babies abandoned?
A: Not all the babies in the hospital are fully abandoned; many of the babies left do have families, but for many different reasons they are not able to provide care for the child at that time. Although they may have parents, these babies are extremely neglected and sometimes left for months at a time in the hospital. There are also babies who are in placement homes or are awaiting placement.
Cost of Volunteering
Q: Is there a registration fee?
A: There is a registration fee to volunteer of 100 Euro, which can be paid at your orientation in Euro or USD.
Q: What are the travel expenses?
A: Flights from North America are on average 800 Euro roundtrip, and 300 Euro within Europe. Transport from the Bucharest airport to Brasov, by private driver, is 120 Euro roundtrip.
Q: What is the cost of accomidation?
A: The Firm Foundations volunteer apartment, Better Than A Hostel, is 15 Euro per night, or 100 Euro per week. Other accomidations around Brasov can be found at a similar cost.
Q: What is the cost of living?
A: While it is quite subjective, and dependent on the individual, cost of food and entertainment per week is on average between 75 - 100 Euro.
Q: What is the currency in Romania?
A: RON is the official country currency. About 3.2 RON = $1 and about 4.25 RON = 1 euro.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: Romania has four clearly defined seasons, but with the mountains surrounding Brasov the elements can be a bit more extreme. In the summer we enjoy hot days and in the winter we experience extreme colds.
Q: What kind of food is there?
A: Traditional Romanian food is fantastic! Some of the most common dishes are shnitzel (breaded chicken/pork), sarmale (cabbage rolls), and mamaliga (polenta). For those who prefer to skip traditional Romanian fair, there are McDonalds' and pizza/pasta places usually within walking distance.
Q: How expensive is food?
A: Food prices, on average, are slightly less than North America or Western Europe. For example, a loaf of bread is 2 RON ($0.60), and a medium pizza 17 RON ($5.00). However, there are a variety of restaurants with varying price ranges, but you will find most grocery stores to be fairly consitent in cost.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Pack accordingly to the season, as summers can be very warm and winters very cold.
-Good walking shoes are important.
-You can find most everything you need here, however it is advisable to bring your own personal hygiene products, as some brands you are used to may not be available here.
-If you plan on traveling or sightseeing, it’s a good idea to bring a good bag or backpack … as there are pick pockets to be aware of.
Q: Am I safe in Brasov?
A: The crime rate in Brasov is very low, but it is always best to remain cautious and not travel alone at night. The greatest crime any volunteer has been a victim of is pick pocketing. Always be aware of your surroundings, and even if you’re lost walk confidently as with a purpose.
Q: Are there any tourist attractions around Brasov?
A. Brasov is a beautiful city built by the Germans hundreds of years ago and the Old Center of Brasov has become one of Romania’s finest tourist attractions. Also, just outside of Brasov is Bran, home of “Dracula’s Castle,” Sinaia with Peles castle, and many other cities with great sites to see.
Q: How is the language barrier?
A: Most of the younger people speak at least some English. The older generations are not as proficient, but you will always find somebody to help translate.
Romanian is a Latin based language, close to Italian, French and Spanish.
More about Brasov and the history of Romania go to