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INTERNATIONAL PAEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY VOLUNTEER MEETING (IPOV)

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

March 19-22, 2015

91 young cancer survivors and paediatric oncology volunteers in attendance from 6 European countries: Romania, Republic of Moldova, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia

The focus of the two-day intensive training session addressing volunteers that work within or wish to set up a program in paediatric oncology units was to showcase good practice examples on developing psychosocial intervention tools and instruments for working with children and teenagers with cancer in a hospital setting within a structured framework.

Main topics centered around tools for therapeutic interventions, powerful storytelling, medical play, pain management, communication, dealing with loss, ethics in media representation of patients and were followed by practical group work sessions.

During the first day of the meeting young cancer survivors from Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Croatia shared with the Romanian and Moldovan participants their personal experience in going back to the hospital as volunteers and working with current patients.

In return, they were introduced to the specificity and complexity of the intervention program Little People volunteers and specialists carry out everyday in 10 paediatric oncology wards in Romania and Republic of Moldova.

“After all that we've learned here, I feel stronger and more motivated in my future work with children undergoing oncology treatment. I feel honoured for having the opportunity to attend this type of meeting as a Serbian representative, to meet and spend time with people who are not afraid of change, do not have prejudices, are ready to make great strides in raising awareness and willing to act selflessly and from the heart.” - Milica Simonovic, Serbian young cancer survivor and volunteer, Mladice organization

“I really enjoyed your training! It was so inspiring and full of useful information. You made me feel athome and inspired me to believe in our success in starting a hospital volunteering program here in our little country. Thank you again so much for the education we received, your smiling faces and inspirational speeches.” - Nemanja Kantar, Croatian young cancer survivor and volunteer, Firefly Organization

“Thank you again Little people, for the perfect days I had in Cluj, city I fell in love with - mainly because of the people J and for the perfect training. I feel very much inspired.” - Lubomir Harinek, Slovakian young cancer survivor and volunteer

“Through this meeting I was able to form better connections within my team, to get to know them better and appreciate them more. I am very eager to participate to future trainings to get to know other volunteers and spend time with people that have the same goals.” - Myriam Lazar, Romania,  Little People volunteer

“I think it’s really nice to meet people from other countries. To inspire and motivate each other.The most impressive thing for me is the motivation to do something of the other volunteers. It’s nice to see that somewhere it really works. It’s really something that can happen.” - Zuzana Wimmerova, Czech Republic young cancer survivor and volunteer

You can find photos of the event on our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1aKX2Zb