This annual humanitarian endeavor by Beaulieu Convent School began in 2014 and has since made a profound impact on the Oradea community. Besides volunteering they also supported Caritas programs with small financial donations. Thanks to them we were able to purchase portable ECG equipment for St. Elizabeth's Elderly Home and they also supported the feeding of several needy people at Caritas Social Canteen, among other things. Despite a pause due to the pandemic, the program roared back to life this year, thanks to the unwavering dedication of Ms. Karen Padidar, Sociology and Spanish teacher, and Mrs. Rose Helie, representative of the Mustard Seed Foundation in Jersey, who made a joint effort to relaunch the collaboration with Caritas Catolica.

The Jersey students took part in a number of volunteer activities throughout the week led by teachers Ms. Karen Padidar, Mrs Aisling Lawson, and Mr. Dean Darwin. On Monday, December 11, they distributed durable food packages in poverty-stricken communities of Sălacea village. The team was guided by the mayor of the commune, Mr. Béla Horváth – a longtime friend and good collaborator of Caritas. The young volunteers from UK showed a high level of empathy and openness, spending long hours treading through mud, visiting needy families from house to house, talking directly to people and trying to bring joy into the lives of beneficiaries with their closeness and a few kind words besides handing out gift packages. The atmosphere was even more cheerful due to the fact that the team was accompanied by a Santa Claus dressed in authentic clothes and an elf – personified by the foreign guests – who brought joy not only for the children visited, but also for the adults in the community.

In the second half of the day, the young ladies from Jersey organized playful activities for children participating in the afterschool program of Caritas branch office in Tășnad, programs included face painting, making Christmas tree decorations, plasticine, drawing and many other games. The youngsters understood each other without words, had a lot of fun and made memorable experiences on both sides.

On Wednesday, December 13, the team delighted the residents of St. Elizabeth's Elderly Home with beautiful Christmas carols. Thanks to the volunteers, elderly residents were able to enjoy their usual breakfast while listening to English Christmas songs such as Feliz Navidad, Jingle Bells or Silent Night. The volunteers then rolled up their sleeves and diligently began cleaning and chopping vegetables for Caritas Social Canteen – contributing to the preparation of next day’s meal for the homeless.

In the midday hours, continuing the traditional winter action of Caritas, scarves, hats and warm gloves were placed on the trees of Brătianu public park in Oradea, with the inscription "with much love to those in need". From 14 PM the girls distributed hot meals on the street to a large number of people gathered despite the rain. This week's menu was special Hungarian sausage called "hurka", with mashed potatoes and pickled cabbage.

On Thursday, December 14, the English team visited patients of Caritas Catolica's home care program in Oradea and Biharia. Jersey girls delighted the sick with authentic Christmas carols and sweets. The beneficiaries were very touched by the kindness of the unusual visitors. It was an extraordinary day for many patients who otherwise live in extremely difficult situations and are rarely or never visited by others than their caregivers.

The enthusiastic team of volunteers participated in a joint session with members of the Life with Autism Association at noon. They got acquainted with a simplistic embroidery technique under the guidance of Gabriella Bacsadi, the head of the association, and then sewed Christmas patterns on handmade cards. However, the highlight of the program was the dancing therapy led by Györgyi Boros, in which people with autism and students of the English girls' school participated together. The dance instructor developed her therapy program for people with autism a year earlier with the support of MOL company, and has since successfully applied it to members of the local association, who started out as a group of autistic children, but have since become young adults, and some of them proudly have stable jobs:  they make pockets for trousers of an Italian fashion company with enviable manual dexterity. Joint work and dancing brought the members of the association together with the young English girls, and the atmosphere was so good that parting was difficult at the end of the program.

However, in the afternoon, Jersey volunteers had an equally joyful and, if possible, even more liberating experience. The team visited the children's home in Săcueni, where they shared sweets and organized playful activities for children. In addition to educational games, and handcrafts, face painting was also a great success. While girls demanded more modest and festive images on their faces, boys opted for bolder models of superheroes and characters from horror movies. Although real works of art were created during the activity, the best fun was when the roles were reversed and the orphaned children were allowed to paint – or rather doodle – the faces of the Jersey girls. The end result was big laughs and unforgettable, happy moments for the whole team.

Reflecting on their experience, Tara and Sienna, two young volunteers, expressed, „It has been the most rewarding experience and we felt lucky to be able to bring smiles and joy to the children and villagers with whom we have worked this week. We would all recommend to others a trip like this.”

The teachers, Ms. Karen Padidar and Mrs. Aisling Lawson, reiterated the school's commitment to charity, compassion, and education: "Beaulieu Convent School was founded by the order of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from Brittany France with a focus on the importance of charity, compassion and female education. We hope we have embodied these values this week and helped others appreciate their importance in today's world." – they declared.

Caritas Catolica expresses its gratitude to the team in Jersey for daring to take the initiative after a long absence, for undertaking the journey that required a lot of preparation work and for bringing light into the lives of beneficiaries with the activities and human proximity of the volunteers. From participant feedback, it became clear that the program deserves continuity and is expected to be held annually.