After gathering some general data at office about the commuitty’s history, demography, institutions and after preparing a structured interview, we finally made a visit to Malu Mare.
On 15th of October we, that is Raluca, the project assistant, Luisa, Marco Marini and Lilit, volunteers, had an appointment with the former director of Grupul Scolar Malu Mare, Angela Dodocioiu, at 10 o’clock in the morning. We arrived earlier, so we decided to go to a bar near the school to take a coffee. We found there some students of the school and after the coffee, when we were coming back to the school together with them we even had ( mostly the volunteers ) a small conversation.
The teacher received us in her office, we made the presentations, of us of the organization and the purpose of the visit, and we started the interview. We addressed the questions according to the scheme designed in the previous days and we took notes. DomnaAngela Dodocioiu, during the meeting, demontrates us to be really interested in our proposal and opened minded in answering our questions. She was also interested to know the school system and the situation of the highschool in Italy and Armenia.
At the end of the meeting, once collected all the data we needed ( possible partners, infrastructures, activities...), we (Raluca mainly) arrange a round table with all the possible stakeholders interested in Malu Mare community at the implementation of our EVS project proposal.
After the interview, we decided to explore the school: we met some students in a classroom and we talked to them. Then, following the suggestion of Ms Dodocioiu we step towards to see the river Jiu.
Visit to Cârcea
On Tuesday 20th October we went to visit the community of Cârcea, in order to interview the Mayor as a first step of the Community Needs Analysis to establish a partnership in between ARDR and the City Council of Cârcea to implement an EVS project in this community.
Again we, that is Marco Salsi, Raluca, Luisa Maniezzo and Mr. Marini met very early in the morning at the train station of Craiova and we took the train. We arrived there at 9 o’clock sharp. The mayor was waiting for us. After a briefly introduction, we started the interview. Mr Valerica Pupaza is Mayor since 2004, when Carcea set up its own City Council and he was re-elected in the last elections with 84% of votes. He was very proud of his community and he described us all the wonderful projects he has for his people, like a big structure for young people with sport places, a library and a space for entertainment.
After the interview, we made some pictures together with the mayor, as we need them for the documentation of our activities and afterwards we went to walk a little bit in the village. Cârcea is a nice small rural village, with lots of family houses and a nice big school and it does not seem so poor as other rural villages, probably because of the presence of some factories.
Afterwards we walked until the Monastry and then to the train station, where we understood that we did not have so much luck with trains on that day: the first the train to go back was 3 hours later. So we decided to go back on the main street and to raise again our thumbs and in a few time we got a lift to the big city Craiova!
The visit to Carcea continued on 27th of October at Grupul Scolar Agricol Carcea. It was surprising to see that a large group of teachers, including the director, Mr Marius Buzatu gathered to listen to what we had to say. They were very interested in listening our questions. The meeting was quite interactive, as all the teachers were asking questions or trying to answer our owns. They also created a friendly atmosphere as they told us some funny stories about the community’s life and customs. The meeting ended with an engagement of coming back to start a possible collaboration.
On 23th of October we went to visit Daneti, a community at approximately 40 kilometers far from Craiova. We had two meetings in the same day: one with the director of Scoala de Arte si Meserii, Mr Ionel Goaga, and the other with the vicemayor, Mr Atitienei Mihai.
At school, the director gathered some other interested teachers: two young teachers of foreign languages, the deputy director and a teacher of technological education, who happened to be his wife. The interview lasted quite a while and we had a long conversation offering us a lot of information about their projects, partnerships, about the problems of the youngsters in the community. The director’s wife spent some time with our group – Raluca, Marco Salsi, Marco Marini and Lilit – and showed us the library, the Cultural House, the classrooms in the primary school and talked to us about the benefits that she thought an EVS project could bring to the youngsters from Daneti.
The teachers led us to the City Hall where we talked to the vicemayor. Although he was very busy and the meeting was short, he was very kind to offer us the information requested and he showed to be open to this kind of initiatives regarding youngsters.
Everybody enjoyed the visit to Daneti, a community which seemed to be well cared, with a pleasant environment and where we were so well received. We left the place very peased that we found there a group with such interest in community youth development through EVS.
Davit Manukyan finally managed to finish his reportage on stray dogs. He processed the filmed material with the help of TELE U, our partner local television, bringing the finshing touches. The reportage looks very professional, as it is very well documented, it contains suggestive images and music. Davit is proud of his work especially because he managed to get a little deeper in Craiova’s day by day problemsand he brought his contribution as a volunteer living in this community, by raising the awareness of the necessity of being an active citizen. Davit already posted the reportage on Youtube, trying to make it public.
Afo and Marco Marini have finished the documentary about the integration of Roma people in the labor market. The documentary contains images filmed along their entire stay in Romania, images from the different events and places where they have been. Altghough the informative part of the project can be improved, the artistic one is very good and suggestive.
Afo and Marco Marini are working with some Roma children from the school number 26 in Mofleni. The school belongs to a neighborhood in Craiova where the population is in its majority composed of Roma people.
The two boys are helping two other volunteers, Spanish girls – Sara and Nuria. They are doing some workshops with the children based on creative activities like juggling, games, dances, learning how to recycle by creating decorative objects from plastic bottles, and outdoor activities. They are working with the children two times a week after classes. Although it is quite difficult to work with them, the volunteers take this as a chalenge and they are trying to be as creative as they can in order to attract the children and to develop and develop their desire to engage in such activities.
This is the most practical and definite programme of the project. It is divided in 2 phases: before the European Elections and After the European Elections.
The programme before the European Parliamentary Elections contains along the capacity building programme two activities:Regional Information Caravan and Regional Conference.
The Information Caravan was actually a campaign that had as a goal to raise the awareness of young people towards active participation to the European Parliament Election and the democratic expression through vote. The campain took place in between 1-5 june, when the L.E.A.D. team started a series of workshops and information sessions that were run in three different towns: Valcea , Turnu Severin and Craiova .
The workshops started at Ramnicu Valcea on 2 nd June at the high school - The Colegiul Tehnic Energetic-. On 3rd of June, the Caravan stopped at Severin where the activities took place inside the Universitary Center and on 5th of June the caravan ended in Craiova where an international Seminary – the Regional Conference - was presented inside the Faculty of Agronomy, Aula Buia.
The activities conducted by our 8 volunteers were based on interactive debates involving also practical parties: the distribution of questionaires - in order to check the level of knowledge on European Union affairs -; presentations on topics regarding the legal and historical side of the European Union, the Parliament election system, the impact that the European Union have started to have in Romania, Bologna process. The volunteers used short movies to sustain their presentations and ideas – a 2 minutes video recorded on the main road of Musetesti, in which it shows how the volunteers practiced their knowledge of Romanian language and at the of the workshops a 15 minutes movie containing interviews with the studens in Craiova about UE.
The workshops also included dynamic activities like creating as many 10cm cubes as possible in 15 minutes or “the donkeys” which consisted on presenting a problem to students to resolve. The underlining meaning of these activities was to show that countries need to reach an agreement, and sometimes to compromise, in order to enjoy their resources.
To close the workshop, a series of prizes were delivered to the students with the highest scores in the questionnaire delivered at the beginning of the workshop.
The caravan was promoted also by the local media which was present throught it’s ongoing: in Severin a local newspaper – Informatia de Severin – wrote an article about the volunteer’s activities in their town and the local television from Craiova – Tele U – helped the volunteers process the 15 minutes movie projected at the end of each workshop. News about their activities and interviews also appeared in the telejurnals at local televisions – TVS in Craiova and the local television from Severin.
The audience targeted was students above 18 years old, therefore high schools and universities were ideal in order to reach this audience.
The three workshops were evaluated as positive, in terms of participation and interest by students. Therefore, it was considered a successful exercise. Also, a perfect exercise for the group of international volunteers to understand their roles within a group and to be able to work under pressure and with other team members.
After the European Parliamentary Elections, the L.E.A.D team focused it’s attention on another series of activities such as: work with the gypsy community – TRUST organization; working with Europe Direct Craiova; write a project for the Council of Europe; participate to a festival in Bucharest and starting to make a documentary about Roma people.
The volunteers chose the activities according to their professional interest. All the activities were covered, with most volunteers getting involved in more than one.
Demonstration in Harghita
At the beginning of August, Afo and Marco Marini decided to get actively involed in an antidiscrimination campaign concerning Roma people. they established a partnership with TRUST, a local Roma NGO active in the Human Rights, Youth and educational fields that helped them to get inside the Roma communities.
The demonstration took place in Harghita, and represented a raised voice that advocated for antidiscrimination and for ceasing violence against Roma people. The volunteers joined the crowd that was wearing posters and banners, walking on the streets, spreading antidiscrimination messages. Marco and Affo took a lot of pictures and even shooted something from this manifest. The manifest took place because in June racist events happenned in Transilvania: some Roma villages were burned by Romanian and Hungarian people.
Europe Direct Craiova
Luisa and Marco Salsi established a partnership with the the local desk of European Union in Craiova. They share their work on publishing of 4 informative brochures for Oltenian citizens about European Commission’s decisions dealing with: work mobility for young people, environment, business and agriculture issues (especially the first two, which should be ready for September/October). They will also help them to organize the distribution of the information materials, as well as supporting the organization in some events in schools at the start of the academic year (September/October ).
They finished the brochure concerning Climat change and Energy European Politics. The aim was to make the “burocratical language” easier to understand for common people. a The two volunteers started to work on the one on Job opportunities in the European market.
Art Fusion - Bucharest Festival
Afo, Giuseppe and Marco Marini participated at the Art Fusion Festival in Bucharest which took place at the middle of July. This festival was a cultural manifestation which gathered a diversity of artistic work crafts. Here, they got in contact with other organizations and volunteers. They considered this experience surely usefull for them because they need to reach information on how to create a documentary from some expert volunteers specialized in this topic. They also came back with expressive pictures and a short movie.
Project, Council of Europe
Giuseppe, Marco Salsi and Luisa had a great idea about writing a project for the organization TRUST, a local Roma NGO active in the Human Rights, Youth and educational fields. in order to ask for funds to the European Union under the YOUTH programme. The idea of the project concerns integration of Roma children in the social activities – especially educational activities - in which Romanian children are currently involved. They collected and studied a bibliography about school segregation concerning roma children; they also established a strong relationship of collaboration with TRUST.
The volunteers also assisted to some courses about fundraising and project management.
The work has been very hard and challenging as they spent a lot of time debating, speaking with stakeholders (like NGO T.R.U.S.T.) and trying to build contacts with possible future partners.
After collecting and studiing all the materials, they wrote the pilot project.
Actions in progress:
• Marco Marini, Marco Salsi , Luisa Maniezzo together with Lilyt Avetisyan from EPYD, are conducting a Community Needs Analysys. This analysys is practically a research through which they whant to discover the needs of 5 communities from Dolj County, especially educational needs, having as a target young people.
Purpose of such analysis is to determine if these communities have the minimum resources necessary and openness to host and conducted a European Voluntary Service project. In other words, this analysis is desired to find out if such a project would be the answer of the needs of these communities. The communities are Daneti, Dabuleni, Malu Mare, Carcea, and Amarastii de Jos. The volunteers will make visits in these communities to collect data and to establish if there could be a local action group interest in developing these kind of projects.The results obtained from a community needs analysis will help to create a voluntary project that meet the specific needs of these communities.
• David Manukyan is working on a reportage about Craiova’s stray dogs. He already gathered the material for it: he interviewed the director of Victor Babes hospital in Craiova, to ask statistic data about the persons bitten by stray dogs; he interviewed the director of Salubrity and Public Health Department of the City Hall, from whom he collected some information about the City Hall’s activity concerning this problem; he also interviewed the president of the association ,,Innocent Souls”, an association that works to protect animal’s rights. With the help of a local television – Tele U -, the reportage will be ready by the second half of October.
• Afo and Marco Marini are working on a documentary about the integration of Roma people in the labor market. In order to do this documentary, the volunteers planned to gather some statistics and information from some experts in this field, to interview a Roma worker and to film him during his working day, to talk to a Romanian employer who hires Roma workers, to talk to an institutional responsable in the field of work and social policies, to talk to a union leader of the Roma workers, to take some other interviews in the community to describe the different kinds of work that they used to do and that they are still practicing. Afo and Marco planned to have this documentary ready by the end of October.