Nov. 29, 2006

Student visits Romanian orphanages

SMU sophomore journalism and history major Sommer Saadi traveled to Romania recently with HUG Internationally president and founder Judy Bloom and worked on-site at a HUG orphanage in Alexandria. She spent time feeding and playing with children and painted the playground at the orphanage. “I like the idea of doing something that will last even after we go,” Saadi said.

The 2005 Plano Senior High graduate interned for HUG Internationally, located in Richardson, a group that establishes orphanages and makes improvements on aging facilities throughout Romania. HUG Internationally has worked in Romania since the fall of the Communist regime in 1992 and regularly sends volunteers to assist the orphanages. Saadi’s internship was funded by the Maguire Center for Ethics and Irby Family Public Service internship sponsored by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

HUG’s challenging objectives drew Saadi to the position. She used her journalism skills to write press releases and to draw media attention to the group’s events and goals. She also organized several fund-raising events, including a golf tournament, a cruise, and garage sales to raise money for future trips and projects.

Many of the children she helped were severely handicapped and were happy to receive attention from Saadi. “Now I completely understand the cause, the purpose, and the effect of our efforts,” she said. “Every child was absolutely beautiful.”

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Nancy George
Tele. 214-768-7650