Meeting with local Councillors, Novaci, 16th February
The volunteers from Novaci, together with the A.R.D.R.'s Project Manager and the Counterpark, have organized a meeting with the Local Councillors.
The objectives of this meeting were to promote the active participation in the life of the community and to present to them the activities that the volunteers has done up to this moment: the Project Manager showed them a presentation with pictures and objectives of the activities, explained the goals of For.W.A.R.D. project and in general how the A.R.D.R. is working in the communities.
It was a very productive meeting: the Local Concillors listened with interest the whole presentation, asking about the activities and about the association. It was an important step to improve the relationship between the community,the A.R.D.R. staff, and the volunteers.
Social Campaign " Smile for Tomorrow, 1st to 21st December 2011
This winter, the Social Campaign has been focused on:
-The senior house in Novaci
-The foster House “Nos enfants d’ailleurs” in Targu-Jiu
-The Social canteen and Hospital in Rovinari
-A general clothes and toys collecting campaign over the five communities of FOR.W.A.R.D project
As a coordinator, I experimented the hard job of collecting ideas, asking people for information, results and motivation toward a group project, in which they might not agree with everything.
But, in general, it has been a nice experience. Even if some moments were pretty stressful and pushing me down on motivation. Such as the day when we were at the Social Canteen and our manager asked his colleague: why she was not at the office? and for which activities she was meeting us? After more than a month while he would repeat that this campaign is a really important activity for the project; discovering that finally he had forgotten what we were doing that days.. I must confess, I felt lonely. But, looking backward, I think it was a great opportunity to build concrete actions toward the communities, to trust myself better, and enjoy the beautiful team energy I felt with the other volunteers. A nice way to leave I would say.
Then apart from coordinating, I organized the activity in the Foster house. To describe shortly, the idea was to spend time with the kids there and prepare Christmas, with manual activities like cooking cakes, modeling salty dough, painting it to create decorations, or create Christmas paper socks –coloring them.
After all, I’d like to thank a million times again the whole group for their spontaneity and imagination. Their arms wide open to receive the kids and play with them, sing or simply be with them. I keep thinking that the activities I prepared were not essential at all, it brought some Christmas spirit around there! And let some people discovered some cheap, easy way to create things, decorations
Senior House, Novaci, 9th December 2011
The volunteers spent one afternoon with the elders in the senior house near to Novaci; they played chess and a romanian game called "tabla" (for english speaker, it's backgammon). They had also time to dance and sing all together.
Foster House, Targu Jiu, 10th-11th December 2011
The volunteers went in the Foster House “Nos enfants d’ailleurs” in Targu-Jiu, for two days: saturday and sunday. Laurene organized that wonderful weekend and the activities that they did with the children: in fact, they prepared with them the decorations for the Christmas Tree and they had a lot of funnies moments!
The children were really excited to stay with us, playing and spending time together.
Rovinari, Social Canteen and Hospital, 19th December 2011
The Social Campaign in Rovinari has been made in two places: the social canteen and the hospital. Gintare and Benjii did a great job, preparing the children and all their performances: in fact, during the day the students of the general school sang and danced in front of the people that usually come in the canteen; also we distribute the clothes that we collected in ours communities.In the afternoon, the students went to the hospital to sing Christmas song for the kids.
That day was full of emotions and very intense: specially for Gintare and Benjii that had to follow every single performances in the days before; thanks also at all the others volunteers that prepared the decorations for the canteen, working up till late at night. Great teamwork!
Christmas carol in Senior House, Novaci, 20th December 2011
In December, Davide and Cici, together with the Director of the Kindergarten, organized one event in the Senior House of Novaci: they brought there one class from Kindergarten that sang the Christmas carol to the elders. After that, they accompanied the children into the rooms to give fresh fruits to the elders.
It was a powerful event, with a big impact for the community: more than 30 person were in the Senior House of Novaci.
The Christmas Choir, Baia de Fier, December 2011
To get into the Christmas spirit, the two volunteers in Baia de Fier organized a weekly Christmas Choir.
The goal of the activity was to teach the children how to sing Christmas carols in another language - English.
The two volunteers and the 8 participants met once a week for one hour and sang together. It was rather difficult for the children to remember the lyrics to the songs and also some of the melodies, as they had never heard them before.
At the end, all of the children could sing at least one song in English - and remember some parts of the other three songs they learned.
Sport Class at General School, Novaci, November and Dicember 2011
In Novaci there's a good opportunity to use the structures that the two school has (High School and General School); so, in November, Davide and Cici planned to organize a Sport Course: each Tuesday, after the school, for two hours they played with children at football and volleyball.
It was a good time for the community: the children cannot use the Sport Room or the Football field without the presence of a responsible. Instead, thanks to our activity, they were able to use them.
In all this period, they had almost 20 children every time, and also 5/6 girls!
Social Theme in General School, Novaci, November and Dicember 2011
In the Novaci's General School,the volunteers Davide and Cici, menage to organize a „Cultural Hour” each Thursday. They gave to the students information about different theme: we talked about Italy and France, their native country; after they spoke about Ecology and about Europe.
The objective of this extracurricula activity is to improve their knowledge about topic that they don't approach at school. It's important to give to the students a different point of view of the reality.
They involved about 10/15 students every activity.
Intercultural Afternoon, Bumbesti-Jiu, 25th November 2011
The Bumbesti-jiu Team organised an intercultural afternoon with the participation of the 8 other FOR.W.A.R.D volunteers, in the cultural house of the town.
Each volunteer prepared a presentation about their country, for which the interaction was fundamental. The volunteers from Bumbesti-Jiu invited one class from the 8th grade in the Gymnasium and the students with who they had been working in Gymnasium and High School.
They even had some guests of honour from a round table in which they had participated in the day before, together with other FORWARD volunteers: some people from Asociatia Persoanelor cu Handicap din Oltenia. The event started with a game, which tested the students' knowledge about the volunteers' 7 countries (they had to match some key-words with the correct map) and then they began singing, dancing, watching videos, depending on each volunteer's presentation. After sharing some traditional food the volunteers had prepared, one of the guests from A.P.H.O. sang two songs of his composition. Everyone had a lot of fun and the participants learned a lot about other countries' cultures, facts and curisioties.
Charity Party in High School, Bumbesti-Jiu, 3rd November 2011
Roxana Munteanu, sports teacher in Colegiul National Mihai Viteazul, in Bumbesti-Jiu, organised a charity party on the 3rd of November to collect funds to buy Christmas presents to children with special needs.
The two volunteers in Bumbesti-Jiu were invited to this event in which their contribution was to decorate the room and, of course, to be present at the event. The party consisted in many student's artistic presentations (dance, theater, singing), followed by a general culture quizz and there were around 30 students attending. It ended with a disco party, during which was a cakes sale, which were made by the students' parents, to get money to by the above mentioned presents.
The teacher was very happy about the decorations the volunteers created, because she thought their were very beautiful and creative.
Link to the Video
Thanks giving day with a movie, Musetesti, 24th November 2011
volunteers in Mușetești had an idea to spread information and inform children about different celebrations in other countries. One of them was 24th of November - Thanks giving day in America and Canada.
Sima and Inma decided to link their monthly activity (movie afternoon) and this day together. The movie afternoon took place in old kindergarten in Mușetești. Before starting a movie together with children volunteers talked about the Thanksgiving celebration – they explained about the traditions in America and gave a small candy with written information about the celebration. Children were sharing their opinions as well. After small discussion they showed a movie.
This time it was a “Ratatouille” – a movie that sends a message of family values and importance of following dreams. This time small cinema was even more crowded – more than 30kids came. One of nicest part was that children were involved in preparations as well – they helped to cover windows, to find chairs and to bring heavy speakers!
Mușetești team started to reach one of their goals – to become one team with kids.
Hello Week, Baia De Fier, 21st November 2011
In celebration of the World Hello Day, the two volunteers in Baia de Fier, Eva and Vanessa, organized a whole week of activities about different cultures and languages. They focused on European countries and languages, as there are already quite a few differences.
The objective was to give the children a better feeling of Europe and what it means to be part of the European Union.
On the first day, a big map of Europe was created together with about 30 children from kindergarten. The children had to color the different countries.
The second time, the volunteers taught the children where the different countries are (and most importantly - where Romania is).
At the third and last meeting, the children got to know how to say "Hello" in all the different languages. In order to remember, they put little speech bubbles with the words on the countries and hung the poster up on the walls of kindergarten.
Even though the children were really small, they remembered a lot and learned at least one new way of how to say Hello.
Tolerance Day, Baia de Fier, 16th November 2011
For the International Tolerance Day, the two volunteers in Baia de Fier organized an educational activity about Tolerance and respect for others.
With a group of about 15 children, the volunteers made a discussion about why it is important to be tolerant and other topics like that. Then, all the participants created a big poster together, where they put their hand prints on a big piece of paper in order to sign an agreement to be tolerant and respect each other. Every child who took part in the activity was also asked to write a short sentence about tolerance on the poster - "Nu toleram intoleranta" or similar things.
The activity lasted for about an hour and in the end, the posters were displayed in the halls of the school.
Video Club, Bumbesti-Jiu, October 2011
In October started the Video Club in Scoala Generala No. 1, with the objectives of providing some knowledge about professions; learning about how to make an interview; and acquiring some filming skills and knowledge.
The volunteers gathered a group that came to be very instable: it started with 11 pupils and ended with only 5, but very interested ones. They chose their "dream job" and then they wrote the interview questions to ask to someone who had that job, if that could be arranged. Then, there was a session about filming techniques and another one for filming practice.
The pupils learned a bit more about filming and had the opportunity (the first,for some of them) to use a video camera.
Halloween party, Musetesti, 28th OCtober 2011
The idea to organize Halloween party for kids in Mușetești came during the talking with them. Life in a small community is not full of social activities or bigger events, so volunteers decided to make something out of routine.
According to Sima and Inma the nicest part was the preparation for the party. Everyone was involved in it – starting with all volunteers and ending with kids who draw decorations, made masks etc. During the party there were 5 spots with different kind of tasks at. Children had to “Catch the ghost” – put a stone from a distance in a decorated toilet paper rolls; “To kill the vampire” by taking the ball and try to hit three bottles with it; also they had to “Find a magic pill” – the pill (candy) was hiding in a balloon so kids had to blow it till it explodes and get a candy; one of most difficult tasks were the ”Time traveler” – using a mirrow go backwards and follow lines on a floor. Also, for those who hadn’t have masks, volunteers made a special corner for making them there. The corner was very popular at the beginning of the event (everyone wanted to have a Halloween mask).
There were around 30 children in a party, they had music and dances as well. Mușetești team assume Halloween party as a successful event.
Halloween party, Rovinari, 31th October 2011
Halloween is one of the most famous celebrations in October and it would be a sin to skip
such a great festival especially when it is always fun for children. Since there were some people organizing Halloween in our school, we were just a part of it, mostly responsible for making decorations and proposing games.
The preparation for the party started a week before by making decorations. I consider it
being a very important part of the party because happiness is not the result, it is a process and that is how we got children involved in organizing. And for wonder children took it very responsibly! They even prepared some decorations at home (paintings, carved pumpkins) and brought it to the class. We, in turn, prepared some templates for children to colour; we have also made origami all together. Everybody had fun, I believe everybody learned something new and were proud to see their work being used for decorating the classroom.
In the end of the week we had amazing Halloween party with “The best costume” contest
(which was extremely difficult to judge, because children were prepared very well). They had an
opportunity to show their talents afterwards (dance and sing), we also played traditional Halloween game “Apple in the water” which was really fun for everybody - we have actually ran out of apples very quickly!
Halloween Party in Galbenu, Baia de Fier,
31th october 2011
For Halloween, the two volunteers in Baia de Fier went to the Roma community there - Galbenu - and made a little Halloween party for the children there.
At the Roma school, they don't have a lot of resources and there is usually no or only very little effort put into educating the children and making extra-curricular activities there, so the goal was to do something nice for the Roma children and make them take part in the Halloween celebrations. Two classes participated in the activities, which consisted of two games and then a face-painting session. All of the activities lasted the whole morning and the children enjoyed it a lot - especially the face painting was a success.
In the end, there were about 30 children with painted faces and happy smiles.
Halloween Party in Liceul, Baia de Fier,
27th october 2011
As the first big activity the volunteers in Baia de Fier, Vanessa and Eva, organized a Halloween Party for the children of the Liceul in Baia de Fier.
The objective of the activity was to get to know the children better and to offer them entertainment for Halloween, which otherwise would have been neglected. Together with one class, they organized the event - the children taking care of the sound system and the location, the volunteers working on the games and activities for the party. Four different games were played with the children who were present - about 30 to 40 kids - and even the teachers enjoyed the party.
It lasted for one hour. It showed that the volunteers in Baia are able to work on their own and organize fun and interesting events.
Movie afternoon, Musetesti, 22th october 2011
During first week in Mușetești community volunteers discovered that the life there is a little bit different that they were used to – no entertainment places like cinema, theater and etc. Sima and Inma decided to implement a little change in the community – to make a monthly activity – to show movies with a message about different values of life.
The first movie afternoon was considered as successful event – there were about 25 children, who seemed very excited about the movie and popcorns (which is a very important part in cinema culture). For them it was something new – kind of a real cinema theater! The movie “UP” - a story of an old man and a young child becoming friends, traveling together and having amazing adventures - teaches of respect and value of friendship, which is very important in nowadays.
Mușetești team considers their first bigger event as successful because after the movie kids looked very excited! Some of them said thanks; some of them didn’t say anything - just came and gave them a hug and etc. It shows that these kind of activities are necessary for this community.
English Course in the Kindergarten, Bumbesti Jiu, October 2011
English in Kindergarten is a wekly activity that takes place every Tuesday in Bumbesti-Jiu's Kindergarten, from 10:30 to 11:00. In October it was developed in the 6 classes with children with 5 or 6 years old. Since January, it was decided to be only with one class that doesn't have an englih teacher.
The objectives are to get the children used to the english language and to teach them basic words in english. It consists in games in which the volunteers introduce some basic words to the kids (5 to 8 per session) so that they can learn while having fun. They learn about colors, numbers, animals, vegetables, fruits, family, body parts and objects in the classroom. Most of the times the volunteers create their games and the pedagogical materials.
In the end of the activities, the kids usually know the words they were intended to learn; and if not, another session on the same subject is provided...
Weekly English and Spanish courses, Musetesti, October 2011 - May 2012
During the first meeting with Mușetești children volunteers noticed that it is really hard to communicate with them. The main reason – language barrier – they don’t know any foreign language. Using their Romanian skills, Inma and Sima talked to children and found out that they think English is very important and they want to learn this language for understanding movies, communicating, traveling, future working and etc.
As long as they have English classes, the volunteers are not teaching them grammar or other lines from books. Girls use the non formal education style - most of the time they speak to them in English, playing funny games and etc. It is the same with Spanish activities. There are several kids that are motivated to learn the language and come to volunteers’ office once week.
Girls started these activities in October and they have a plan to continue them till May. It is weekly activities in Mușetești – 5 English classes and 1 Spanish lesson during the week. According to volunteers the influence can be seen already - children start using phrases they taught them.
"Play with English", Novaci, October 2011
The volunteers from Novaci, Davide and Cyril started to organize in the Kindergarted of Novaci, English Workshop on every Thursday.
The volunteers are making the workshop in order the improve the English level of the children from the Kindergarted of Novaci.
The first workshop was made on October 2011, and they worked with the children of the "grup mare", namely the kids 5/6 years old. The duration of the lesson is about one hour, and the volunteer were focusing the attentions on subjects like numbers, colors, animals.
The workshop will be implemented until the end of the project, in May.
Rando Carpati, Baia de Fier, 8th October 2011
On 8 of October the volunteers participated to a mountain contest organized by White Wolf Mountain Club from Baia de Fier together with teams from Valcea, Dolj and Bucharest and “this was the first time when at this competition participated international teams” as Chiriac Gabriel the president of this NGO says.
The contest consisted of two samples: mountain raid and orientation.
The mountain raid, team captain (together with two teammates) received at the entry in the contest, a map with the route and a summary of the contest. For each checkpoint there was a contest entry sheet designated, competitors will like, once in position, mark the appropriate box in which the channel number. The start was given in block-start system, all teams starting at the same time. Each team chose one route that has approached stations and mountain time trial raid was made on arrival last teammate. The team that traveled the route in the shortest time received 600 points, the following classes being marked down 2 points / minute, the time the first team.
In the sample orientation, the starting point, each component of the team received an orientation map, scale 1:10.000, which was marked all control stations and a summary of the contest. The team that traveled the route in the shortest time received 400 points, the following classes being marked down by 1 punct/10 during the first seconds of the team.
Competition equipment required included: shoes / sportswear, rain coat, backpack, water bottle, alarm whistle, flashlight, compass, medical kit.
Walking contest was a category that adressed to all people willing to go on tourist routes pre-marked on the map and on the ground. The team, consisting of 2-3 persons(regardless of age or sex), had to travel a route with low degree of difficulty, with the difference of 150-300 m, a period of 3-5 hours and requiring moderate physical effort.
Capacity Building Programme, Musetesti, 1-22nd September 2011
The volunteers took part on a Capacity Building Programme consisted in gathering all the volunteers in one location. During the first part of the Capacity Bulding Programme the project team presented the project details, rules of the house, ice breaking games, and the duty volunteers of the day (2 volunteers per day) in charge with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first part of the Capacity Building Programme started with a welcoming speech. The volunteers from different countries (Vanessa Graf from Austria, Eva Maria Lorrite from Spain, Davide Rapacchiale from Italy, Cyril Angevin from France, Simona Sialuytyte from Lithuania, Inmaculada Camarero from Spain, Patricia Dias from Portugal, Benjamin Sten Evald and Gintare Turskyte from Lithuania) were received with pleasure by the staff in Romania and in the FOR W.A.R.D. project. At the first part of the Capacity Building Programme we focussed on the team building games for the volunteers and also to explain them the important objectives that they have to focus on during the 9 months that they will spend in this project. At the end of this part the staff established the matchmaking between the 5 communities and the volunteers. Based on the observations made in the previous days of the Capacity Building Programme, on the personal profile of each volunteer and on the profile of the communities the matching was:
Rovinari: Gintare Turskyte and Benjamin Sten Evald
Bumbesti Jiu: Patricia Dias and Laurène Hilaire
Musetesti: Inmaculada Camarero and Simona Siaulytyte
Novaci: Davide Rapacchiale and Cyril Angevin
Baia de Fier; Vanessa Graf and Eva Maria Lorite
During the second part of Capacity Bulding Programme the volunteers had to discover the community together with their counterpart and also to gather materials to present them at the third part of Capacity Building Programme. The volunteers were introduced to the mayor and the local council, to all the teachers in the schools where they will develop activities and to the others stakeholders from their communities.
The main objective at the third part of the Capacity Building Programme was for the volunteers to get a clear picture about the activities that they would like to develop in their communities and also the instruments that they will use for this. After each team presented in plenary the SWOT and stakeholders analysis and the community mapping the project team explained using power point presentations the importance of long term planning and also short term planning. They also had some sessions on conflict management and personal and professional development.