2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, International Development (2008 - 2015)

Orla O’ Connell, Outreach Moldova (ORM)

Kildare , Category Winner

Orla O’Connell began volunteering with Outreach Moldova (ORM) in 2001 and she has been a dedicated supporter & advocate for the children in institutional care in Moldova for 12 years.

For the past 12 years Orla has dedicated her time to traveling to Moldova once a year to work with children that have been orphaned or abandoned, children with special needs and children with terminal illness.
Her time in Moldova is dedicated to working with the children in Casa De Copii Hincesti, an orphanage for girls with special needs and terminal illness. While at home in Ireland she fundraises to raise money to ensure the children’s quality of life can continue to improve. 

Not only has Orla dedicated her time and incredible fundraising skills to ORM but she has also acted as a representative by recruiting volunteers & supporters to join the ORM family and work to protect neglected children living in institutionalised care.

In 2010 Orla launched a summer English programme and guitar lessons to compliment the educational programmes offered by ORM. For the past three summers Orla has dedicated two months to teaching English classes and guitar lessons. By launching new and creative programmes, Orla allowed the children opportunities for new experiences, methods of expression and the chance to master new skills and develop confidence.

Jacqui Costigan of Outreach Moldova nominated Orla for a Volunteer Ireland Award, she said "As a retired teacher Orla has a wealth of knowledge, she is enthusiastic, passionate & determined to ensure the children in the care of ORM are cared for physically, emotionally, medically & intellectually.”

Photography by Majella Carroll.