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EVS Project Experiencing Active Citizenship in Rural Areas
Gorj, Romania

EVS PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Type: EVS GROUP

EI Ref: RO-21-54-2009-R5

Duration of Service: 9 Months

Period of EVS Service: March 10th, 2010 – December 9th, 2010

Number of Volunteers:16

Project details Volunteers Activities Volunteers of the month

November

EVS Garden, 9th of November, Musetesti

The idea of making EVS Garden came from Armenian EVS volunteer Srbuhi Aghababyan and it was supported by Georgian volunteer Natia Agladze. According to final decesion, the idea of EVS garden  was implemented in Tismana and in Musetesti in 9th of November, in paralel regime , the same time.
 On 11th, volunteers from different countries: Georgia, Denmark, Peru, Cameroon, Siera Leone planted trees and made EVS Garden in the centre of Tismana. EVS Garden gave each of the volunteers the opportunity to have their own tree with their names in this country and for all of them to become the founder of EVS garden in Musetesti and in Tismana. Their decided to take care of those trees until leaving this country and after them future volunteers will be asked to take care of the garden. 
“It was first time for me when I plant the tree, that’s why feelings and responsibility was the highest. We, volunteers were established 9 November as a symbolic day in Volunteers’ life and every 9 November, new volunteers will be asked to do the same and keep this tradition” said Natia Agladze – EVS volunteer.
Step by Step, the garden is going to be more beautiful and add different kind of flowers. Finally, volunteers are planning to make map, where will be signed the trees and mentioned the names of volunteers who took part and plant the tree in EVS garden.

One important role of  City Hall and Forest Administration in Tismana and all the volunteers tell them thanks for collaboration.

October

Socialising programme - Free hugs, 25th of October 2010, Targu Jiu

Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to people in public places. The campaign was started in 2004 by an Australian man known only by the pseudonym “Juan Mann” and it became famous internationally in 2006.
In 25th of October, in Tg.Jiu, by iniciative of Georgian Volunteer Natia Agladze was started „Socializing Program” which consists of three parts. Today we, volunteers from 15 different countries: Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Argentina, Peru, Cameroon, Siera Leone, Lituania, Latvia, Romania, Austria and Students from National College „Spiru Haret” (in Tg.Jiu) organized  the first part of this program which is called „Free Hugs Campaign”.

Volunteers decided to change people's routine, daily life at least couple of seconds/minutes, make them feel better and increase of people willing to be hugged.
Group of volunteers were moving by Posters in Tg.Jiu, in public places and offer „Free Hugs” to people. The reactions, attitude, feelings, emotions was different from people. „We are glad because most of them got and understood our message and joint us. Free Hugs Campaign was positive step from our side towards society and one more opportunity for socialize” - Natia Agladze.
One important role had the partners of „Free Hugs Campaign”: Asociatia Regionala pentru Dezvoltare Rurala (ARDR), Tineri fara Frontiere (TFF), Asociatia Libera Initiativa si Antreprenoriat Tismana (ALIAT) and National College „Spiru Haret” in Targu Jiu.
The next parts of that Socializing  Program will be „EVS Caravan” and „Chain of Solidarity”.

Armenian presentation, 15th of October 2010, Motru

On 15 October, Arman had a presentation about Armenia at 12E class from the school where he is implementing his activities. The presentation consisted in electronic posters and with a short movie and it was about history, culture, art, tradition about the country. Was also information about world history in general. The students especially were impressed when they knew that Armenia is the first country which accepted Christeanity as a state religion in the world in 301, and also when knew that just 3 days ago they aremenians celebrated 2792 years of the capital Yerevan. Also was interesting for them to see our alphabet and to listen the pronaunsation of our letters.

Human Rights Seminar, 14th of October 2010, Motru

On the 14th of October Arman from Armenia had had two seminars about human rights and democracy principles in the school at 12-th classes. The seminars were in interactive, discussion form, so the students were able to have participation and share their opinion, their knowledge about this topics. The volunteer explained them the main principles and criterias about democracy, and the general rights of human within the framework of UN 1948 December 10 declaration and the Constitution of Romania. The students were even very interested and they had active participation.

There have been disscusion about democracy and its future in Romania, compering with Armenia and western European countries. The students in one of the classes mentioned that they don't have enough information about this topics and considered that one of the main problems not to have real democracy is that the education doesn't give them such kind of opportunity and that they would like to have a class our about democracy and human rights.

Also we discussed about discrimination, about gipcies problem, and they thought that this people don't have enough opportunity. Besides the discussion Arman presented also the theoretic side of this topics, to make the seminars also as an educative process.

I think I gave them some knowledge and information about this important and very actual topics, before they didn't know, which will help them in future to be more motivated in the participation in their local governance, and social life” said Arman.

September

Prietenii fotbalului (Football friends), 30.09.2010, Prigoria

A football competition took place, Prietenii fotbalului (Football friends), activity that joined together about 150 young people from  4 localities.
The activity was organized by the volunteer hosted in Rosia de Amaradia, Vincent, with the help of volunteers from Bustuchin, Omur and Laura.

After the competition the volunteers presented the possibilities that the young people are offered by European Comission through Youth in Action Programme, mainly Action 1.1, youth exchanges and Action 2, EVS.he youngsters were very interested and were asking a lot of info about how can they use this programme. As well teachers from 4 schools joined the young people in the activity.

 

International Language day, 29.09.2010, Bustuchin

Wednesday, 29.09.2010 at 13.00 at the School of Hurezani, Euro-House Association Bustuchin EACRA project along with volunteers have organized a dedicated educational action with the International Day of Languages.

In this action school students had brief descriptions of several countries, as well as poetry and specific to these countries in the respective language.

Volunteers, student presentations excited, and they each recited a poem in their native language. At the end of the show was a contest with general knowledge questions about countries they come from volunteers. Students proved well informed and were thus rewarded with prizes, juice and cookies.

The show has proved a real success in that it managed to unite many countries for a better day and managed to make the volunteers feel at home, making it a joy for everyone.

Let's do it, Romania! Ecological Campaign in Musetesti and Rosia de Amaradia, 25th of September 1010

Let's do it, Romania! is the biggest environomental project implemented in Romania, all over the country with the help of simple citizens with civic and ready to make the nature healthier.

One of the groups between more than 200 people will be EACRA volunteers team. They decided to join the activity without hesitation and will come saturday morning (25th of September) ready for a long day but, for sure, with best results in terms of ecology.

Let's do it, Romania! means to involve the citizens, local authorities, privat companies, operators of sanitation, public figures and mass media to mobilized the people to clean the natural areas.

The main objective of the project is to clean all the garbage from the nature and to make the people
responsable regarding the natural areas and to inprove the fines.

The 15 volunteers will be distributed in 2 teams: in Musetesti and in Rosia de Amaradia and together with the local people, children from schools and local comunities to start the cleaning day.

Let's do it!

 

August

EVS Campaign, 15th of August 2010

ARDR together with EHB, YWB and ALIAT and the EVS volunteers have made a campaign to promote EVS. On the 15th of August the people of Tismana celebrate the days of the town. During this day there is a festival with carnival rides, music, beer and the Romanian traditional food, the “mici”. The volunteer used this opportunity to promote EVS. They came prepared with white t-shirt, caps and flyers to promote EVS.

Oxygen for Terra, 7th of August 2010

Three of the volunteers presented in Romania – Raquel, Amadeus and Sander – took part of the activity implemented in partnership with Gorj County Youth Foundation named “Oxygen for Terra”. Action aimed at raising awareness among children about the effects of pollution and firing a warning sign regarding this phenomenon.

The initiative was carried out on 7 August 2010 Susita river - "The Nuts", Targu Jiu and consisted in an environmental education by painting on rock the portrayed of good and evil in the nature. Initiative addressed to all children who wanted to set an example in terms of environmental pollution. The theme has been painting some edible mushrooms symbolizing good for nature and some poisonous mushrooms that have symbolized evil in nature.

Raquel, Amadeus and Sander helped the kids with the portrait and put in practice their own ideas regarding this phenomenon

Chess Competition, 3rd of August 2010

On the 3rd August 2010 Arman Sahakyan from Armenia managed to organize a chess competition in Motru which was gather in the Cultural House. The preparation for this event started with 10 days before and consisted in making announcements and put them on the special walls in Motru, in setting up a list with interested people, making posters with chess competition and with the chess masters in the world. The maximum number of the participants supposed to be 15 chess players but at the end 13 players were on the list. Have been made 4 groups with 3 and 4 players and the winner for each group was in the final.
  
The activity addressed to all including youngsters and old people, but between the 13 participants were few young people.

The competition was strong and interesting. Have been prepared special presents for the winners, provided by ARDR (books, heads and diplomas).

The winners were:
1st rank: Dan Matei
2nd rank: Stroescu Ionel
3rd rank:  Stoican Valerica.

EVS camp for friendship, 2-4th of August 2010

EVS camp is ready for adventures…
All summer camps aim is to reach certain goals at the end of the camp. The whole idea of ‘’EVS camp for friendship’’ was to interchange youngsters from Musetesti and Celei. 10 youngsters, one teacher from Celei and Volunteers from different countries (Georgia, Armenia, France, Argentina, Peru) were motivated to take part in summer camp during 3 days (2-4 August, 2010) which was in collaboration with Asociatia Regionala pentru Dezvoltare Rurala (ARDR).
The summer camp program was full of activities, cooking, music, outdoor games, energizers and sharing of information/experiences. The summer camp was visited by parents of youngsters, other EVS volunteers and staff of ARDR. Campers enjoyed a variety of activities and they stayed in sleeping bags and tents during the camp. The participants had a great time making new friends, learning new skills and experiencing summer camp with EVS volunteers from different countries.
The volunteers (Organizers of the summer camp), who worked permanently with youngsters during 3 days were: Natia Agladze (from Georgia) and Srbuhi Aghababyan (from Armenia). The volunteers who offered youngsters different kind of games/shows during this camp were: Luci (from France), Guadalupe (from Argentina) and Jovana (from peru).
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the summer camp, we used the method of Reflection Group. It was time when participants expressed their opinions, ideas and wishes about summer camp. After it, campers gave us interesting recommendations which will be useful for our future working with youngsters.

Finally, EVS camp for friendship finished by Diploma Ceremony.

July

Interculinary and intercultural exchange, 29th of July 2010

29 July was the day of „International Cultural and Inter culinary Exchange’’ in Pestisani. The preparation started before, which was really hard and long process for volunteers. Volunteers from different countries (Argentina, Austria, France, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, Peru) made Posters and Flyers for publicity and spread out different kind of places.
In „International Cultural and Inter culinary Exchange’’ took part local youngsters/adults: from Pestisani and Rovinari. They were dancing modern dances. As for, Singer group from Celei, they presented Romanian traditional songs and dances.
The most interesting part of this activity was Volunteers part. They were singing songs (in their native languages) which was modern and full of energy. At the same time, there was presented traditional food from each country and all visitors had opportunity to taste all food from different countries. During this activity, we had surprise special for Romanian People. We had guest/volunteer from France who was singing Romanian popular songs.
            „International Cultural and Inter culinary Exchange’’ was new and interesting for local people, because similar activities are not so often in their routine life. Finally, there was a disco from French Proffessional DJ Nico.
            The activity continued about 5 hours and additionally mentor from Tismana and Pestisani were taking part and supported in this activity.

Days of the commune Bustuchin, 24-25 July 2010, Bustuchin

On the 24th and 25th of July were celebrated the days of Bustuchin commune. During this holiday, the volunteers from the commune organized a series of activities taking the opportunity to make themselves noticed in the the community but also from the ones around.

 “Moldova are nevoie de noi” – “Moldova needs us”

1st Part:

Moldova is a region in the NW of Romania which was affected by major floods and which left behind homeless people, disoriented and scared children.

Volunteers presented for EVS in Romania were mobilized and triggered a full share in support of victims from Moldova. The action started with a fundraising consisted in clothes, food or other useful products for flooded people implemented in three of the hosting communities: Tismana, Pestisani and Rosia de Amaradia. The campaign was marked by a charity concert supported by skilled volunteers in Tismana and will continue to be promoted during other activities implemented in hosted communities.

The campaign “Moldova needs us” will be implemented during July 2010. At the end all the donations will be sent to Moldova to the people who really need our help, especially to Dorohoi.

CHARITY CONCERT for the flooded people:
The show consisted in karaoke - international songs –, was sustained in the Center of Tismana City – Cultural House - and gathered over 40 volunteers from 16 countries and local people. The surprise of the concert was a French volunteer who sang Romanian songs and who managed to attract a lot of curious local people.

 2nd Part
“Come with us to Dorohoi”
To be united means we care.

The region affected where volunteers decided to be closer to the flooded locals was Dorohoi, a small city in the North of Moldova, and its surroundings. 

Flooding waters shared suffering and losses caused dozens of villages in Moldova.

With the help of Gorj County Prefecture and Botosani County Prefecture, a group of 13th volunteers and their manager went for 1 week to Dorohoi to be next to the persons that have been affected by water flood. During the week in Dorohoi (15th July – 23rd July) the 13 volunteers worked day by day in the centers where were gather all the donations from all Romania and not only. Alexandre, Natia, Srbuhi, Arman, Lucie, Rodrigo, Levan, Samy, Maxime, Amine, Guadalupe, Aram, Sargis and Andreea helped in unloading, sorting and distribution of the donations to people affected by floods from Dorohoi and villages around it.

The 13 volunteers went in the villages affected and saw the reality – demolished houses, desperate people, no water, no food, no money etc.-. They were very disappointed and marked of the situation, of the faces of the kids and people. After this they decided to reserved one day to go there and to improve the mood of the children.
Without any preparation of the show 3 of the volunteers (Rodrigo, Lucie and Guadalupe) disguise in clowns managed to bring smile of the kids faces and not only. All the audience enjoyed the activity and received well the volunteers. 

 

Camping, 14th-15th of July, Poiana

Volunteers from Bustuchin community together with community volunteers from Hurezani and Rosia Amaradia organized their communities for young people in a camp that took place over a period of two days, 14, 15 in July 2010. The purpose of this activity was that of raising the awareness of the importance of the protection of the environment has and the activities they do together with family, friends, colleagues to be in favor of the environment, green space that society needs.
The place where the camp took place was on the edge of a lake near the village of Poiana, the lake is also surrounded by a huge forest, forming a beautiful landscape for young people and carry out activities that they propose.

Football, networking and health, 12 of July, Hurezani

Volunteers from Bustuchin community together with volunteers from Hurezani organized a football competition in Hurezani. The activity was divided into two matches girls vs girls and boys vs boys. At the end of the activity everybody received diplomas,juice and were encouraged to communicate between each other.

International Cultural Exchange, 8th of July, Cultural House in Tismana

08 July is the day of „International Cultural Exchange“ in Tismana. Before the cultural exchange, there is a long process of preparation. Volunteers from Tismana made a posters and set these different kind of places.
In ’’International Cultural Exchange’’ will take part participants from different countries, such as: France, Georgia, Armenia, Argentina, Italy, Czech, Norway, Germany, Turkey, Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Peru, Spain, Sweeden and they will sing their traditional or national songs. Also, we will have Romanian Band who will play and sing traditional Romanian songs.

During this activity, we have surprise special for Romanian People. We will have guest/volunteer from France who will sing Romanian popular song.

June

International Children's Day, 1st of June, C-tin Brancusi Park in Targu Jiu

The volunteers will gather in the Central Park "Constantin Brancusi", in Targu Jiu in order to celebrate International Children's Day in 2010.

The activities include:

- fun balloons and a clown;

- fun animals with balloons;

- face painting for kids;

- asphalt drawing;

- and many more.

May

Interculinary European Bufet „Taste the World“

15 May, 14:30 in Tismana.

There was an activity of International Food Day „Taste the World“ in Tismana. Before the activity, Tismana Volunteers made a posters and set these to the center of Tismana on Thursday 13th of May.
In this activity took part volunteers  from different countries – Romania, France, Spain, Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Netherlands, Sweden. Visiting volunteers were also from Craiova. In total 11 countries participated and offered their favourite and traditional food cooked by themself. All participants prepared the food in short time and presented their countries’ cuisine.
Local people were amazed about the event. There was many people from Tismana and from other places. They tasted different food from different countries. All people liked this activity and they were satisfied. The event ended at 20:00 a clock. After there was a party.

Romanian hosts and friends from the community brought some international music for backround. President of A.R.D.R was also taking part. Additionally mentor from Tismana and mentor Adelin from Musetesti were taking part.

First monthly evaluation! 6-7th of May, 2010 - Musetesti

On 6th and 7th of May all volunteers took part at their first monthly evaluation gather at Nature Inn Pension in Musetesti. This was also the first opportunity when all 16 volunteers were together.  During the 2 days of the evaluation, the volunteers had the opportunity to share with the others valuable information about their activities, their problems or their best moments in host communities.

Day 1:

The evaluation started on 6th in the afternoon once all volunteers arrived and the accommodation has been made. First “activity” was the reimbursement for the local transport for the project. After this, volunteers presented their activities during April in their host communities by using power point presentation, movies etc. and not only, their funny moments and also their not so good moments. 
At the end of the presentations has been introduced the voting for volunteer of the month, the project of the month and the team of the month. First day ended with private discussions in between ARDR and EHB Staff and teams from each community. During these discussions volunteers had the opportunity to talk about their problems regarding their community, regarding their relationship as a team and regarding their relationship with the mentors.

Day 2:

The second day of the monthly evaluation started in the morning with the planning for the next month – MAY – made by each team. Volunteers had 1 hour and a half to prepare this plan. When all finished the planning, they presented in plenary their plans and their future activities they want to develop during next month. Due to the fact that most of the volunteers decided to have environment actions, in agreement with all volunteers, MAY has been named “Environment month”.

National Youths Day, 2nd of May, 2010, Targu Jiu

National Youths Day has been celebrated thru sport by tens of youngsters who participated to several contests (cross competition, basket competition, roller competition) organized in Central Park from Targu Jiu. The program has been made by Youths Direction from Gorj County in collaboration with Regional Association for Rural Development where, along the participation at the competition with youths came from host communities, volunteers had a special part reserved for them. Their program consisted in promoting European Voluntary Service among all youngsters present in Central Park to celebrate National Youths Day. The technical support for this action has been facilitated by Regional Association for Rural Development who provided fliers, posters and roll up necessary for a better visibility of the EVS. The volunteers formed small groups and approached all students, youngsters and all persons from the park and giving information about their volunteering in Romania.  

Volunteers joined the event and the sport competition enthusiastically and managed to mobilize some students from their host communities to take part at the contests. ARDR has been again next to the volunteers and offered it’s support to their initiative by providing the transport from the host communities to Targu Jiu for the students participated at the competition.

On the other hand, the youngsters manifested joy due to the fact that for them an opportunity to participate at this kind of events is not so often and also because they received an award consisted in t-shirts and diploma. Among the awarded people were counted the volunteers themselves and the student’s teachers.

National Youths Day ended at around 13.00 Targu Jiu with a small show offered by young artists from the Children's Palace.

April

ECO Caravan - 22th of April

Our colleagues from HAI HUI NGO, Targu Jiu launched an invitation for all organizations from Targu Jiu to participate at one of their activity organized to celebrate Earth Day. The activity consisted in greening the Sohodol Valley (a wonderful mountains valley) and our volunteers joined it without hesitation. 
The Earth Day has been celebrated by about 80 youngsters from different organization and schools. Our colleagues from “HAI HUI” supported this campaign through to provide the garbage bags and protective gloves. The transport of the garbages bags filled with recyclable materials collected by the young volunteers has been provided by Polaris Holding - local waste collection company – under a partneship made between them and „HAI HUI” NGO.
IMPORTANT NOTE: all volunteers supported by themselves the transport to Sohodol Valley to provee that the civic spirit in terms of environmental protection exist and money can’t do everything.  So everybody can do something for the environoment and for it’s protection.

ECO CARAVAN has been made in RESPECT of the environoment !

Capacity Building Programme – 2nd Part

Wednesday, April 7, 2010, began the second part of the capacity Building Programme, which ran for 5 days in the same place as the previous one: Nature Inn Musetesti, Gorj.
The 6 volunteers, Portugal, Estonia, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands who participated in the first part of the program were joined 12 volunteers from non EU countries (Georgia, Armenia, Turkey) and other 2 EU (Spain, France).

During this program volunteers attended training on project management, time management, financial management, intercultural dialogue, conflict management, animation courses.

Most Beautiful Painted Eggs - Exhibition - 5th April 2010

Volunteer Mikk Tammik from Estonia, hosted in Tismana managed to organize a program related to Easter which involved volunteers from 7 communities (Motru, Rosia de Amaradia, Hurezani, Bustuchin, Musetesti, Rovinari and Godinesti). Was launched a call to all volunteers and schools from hosted communities to support this initiative by involving children to paint eggs.

All received the invitation with delight and have mobilized very quickly, eggs being painted in less than 2 days.

In the first day of Easter (5th of April) was organized an exhibition with the most beautiful painted eggs which was gather in the Center of Tismana. Managed to be exposed 85 eggs beautifully painted by kids and volunteers, each School having it own basket which was voted by more than 200 visitors. At the end of the exhibition the basket who had the most votes was the winner, but all participants were rewarded with a diploma.

Volunteers enjoyed the support of all mentors from their communities and the support of the Mayor from Tismana who provided the place where to be located the exhibition.

Volunteer`s initiative was well received by Tismana community and the children from schools, but the most excited were volunteers themselves giving the fact that this was the first Romanian tradition in which they got involved during their volunteering in Romania.

Easter Eggs 1 Easter Eggs 2 Easter Eggs 3

Easter Eggs 4 Easter Eggs 5 Easter Eggs 6

March

Capacity building Programme 1st Part, March, 10-14,2010, Musetesti


On 10th of March, with the arrival of 6 volunteers has been started the “Experiencing Active Citizenship in Rural Areas” Project.
Starting with the first day and till 14th of March the 6 volunteers took part of Capacity Building Programme where all sessions focused on volunteer’s skills development in terms of project management and non formal education methods. Furthermore, technical information regarding accommodation, food, working methods, financial aspects, etc. will be clearly explained.
This Capacity Building Programme was gather in Musetesti at Nature Inn Pension and was based on a number of factors such as socialization, integration, community discovery and detailed presentation of the concept of European voluntary service.
Thus during the five days were held knowledge of volunteer activities, country of origin of the volunteers, their education and training and which are their skills, their expectations and fears in this project.
During first part of this Programme has been presented volunteer’s White Book, were developed detailed discussion regarding it importance and the purpose of this book. Moreover, ARDR and EHN staff presented Romania as a country, life style in Romania and the social context.
The last two days started with Romanian Lessons. The purpose of these lessons was to learn basic concepts such as being able to have a short discussion with people and children from the communities where they will be distributed.
They held many activities to highlight how the volunteers manage to integrate and communicate themselves when they have to be part of one group.
After a session of highly complex and very much information, followed the 'final step': presenting the communities where volunteers will be hosted during the project and necessary information that will adjust their integration.

 Meet a volunteer

Hello, my name is Justina, I am 24 years old, I came from Druskininkai, Lithuania. I volunteered in NGO Lietuvos Atgaja and worked as journalist before EVS. And now I came in Romania, Gorj county to be part of W.A.V.E.2 project. I live in very small Musetesti community (there are only 2000 people, but they are so friendly and open-minded). I would never change this place in any other. Other here I work with different age kids (from 4 to 16): teach them English language, different kids of painting, we are playing, acting and more other. And this is only start of project, but I know that this experience will change my life
 
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.