S.A.V.E is a Group EVS project that will focus on social awareness raising and inclusion of people (in particular youngsters) with less opportunities from Targu Jiu, Targu Carbunesti and Suseni by means of non formal education, outdoor activities and cultural diversity set in place by ARDR with the support of European Volunteers.
The project objectives:
Raise awareness and tolerance of the society towards socially assisted persons by means of public information campaigns and social actions
Develop together with the 4 volunteers a model of work that stimulates autonomous organization, discussion and group work, the "learning by doing" and the individual responsibility in subjects
Develop and implement together with the 4 volunteers a variety of non formal educational and outdoor activities for over 100 socially assisted persons, in order to raise their confidence, social and communication skills.
Provide volunteers with the opportunity of initiating, developing and implementing new ideas and non formal educative activities in close co-operation with the beneficiary target group and the structures that cares/host them.
Support and encourage the 4 volunteers to acquire additional skills and aptitudes in the following fields:
- social inclusion and tolerance towards youngsters with less opportunities
- youth active participation
- cultural diversity and richness
- non formal educational methods and tools
- multilinguistic competences
Provide an efficient preparation and coaching of all volunteers by insuring their participation to the specific EVS training and evaluation meetings (Pre –departure, On Arrival, Final Evaluation etc).
Strengthen the role of the Local Institutions (Local Public Administration, Education Institutions) in the community non formal educative activities;
Increase the capacity of youth structures in managing European Voluntary Service programmes
Foster long term collaboration in between partner organizations in the framework of European Voluntary Service
The first month – is dedicated to the cultural and technical accommodation of the volunteers, training and coaching:
The first week upon arrival all volunteers will undergo a capacity building programme. The programme will focus on volunteers 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.
The next week the volunteers will have time to discover the community where the next eight months will stay and do specific activities.
The next week of the month through trainings and planning meetings all volunteers will make an activity schedule for the next 8 months helped by ARDR team.
The final week of the first month, the volunteers will participate at the On Arrival Training, with the National Agency.
The remaining 7 months will focus on the community and target group, and also personal development, during which the volunteers will get actively involved in developing non formal educational activities with the youngsters.
The hosting organization will provide each volunteer with a monthly food allowance from which they shall cover the alimentation costs. The allowance is enough for insuring a very good living standard (being much higher than the amount and average citizen from the region spends for food). However the allowance will not be enough for ensuring every day eating in a restaurant or bistro.
The local transportation costs of the volunteers necessary for the activities implementation will be covered 100% by the association from the project budget.
The international transport of the volunteer from his/her home to the site of the project shall be covered 90% - two ways (Economy flight tickets and/or 2nd class train tickets).
The personal transport of the volunteers (local, national or international) will be not in the responsibility of the association.
Due to the importance of communication with the people from the hosting communities (most of them can not speak any foreign languages) will be of crucial importance for the volunteers to learn the Romanian Language at a good speaking level.
The volunteers will have the responsibility to attend all language courses according to the schedule as well as to make every effort in studying and learning the language.
The Coordinating Organizations will arrange for Romanian Language Courses on weekly basis. The Romanian language lessons shall be provided by experienced language teachers. The content and structure of the language courses will be projected together with the volunteers, taking into consideration their learning abilities and needs.
The language courses will be provided free of charge for the volunteers.
The costs of the language training and all other costs related to it are to be covered by the hosting organization.
Each volunteer is entitled to receive a 60 Euro monthly allowance – pocket money, which they can spent as they choose/want/need.
- Working with youngsters - helping with non-formal language conversations in English or in the volunteer's mother tongue; organize non-formal educational activities, particularly in the areas of arts/drama, crafts, sport, developing practical and social skills; cultural activities – intercultural evenings, cooking workshops, country and tradition presentations ; outdoor activities – gardening, cleaning, camping, sports, walks, etc.
- Working with older people. The volunteers can play bingo and other group games with the people hosted, can accompany them for a walk or help the staff in providing them with food. Other activities in the house can be: working together in the garden, assisting in therapy sessions.
- Associazione Culturale Link - Italy
- NGO Youth exchange agency - Lithuania
- AYRUDZY - Armenia
Celebration of International Day of Children. C.S.E.I, Targu Jiu, 30th of May.
One of the biggest and most important celebrations during the year in the school is the International Day of Children. The celebration nicely falls in with an annual visit of volunteers from Great Britain and the atmosphere in school becomes very festive. Students are excited to see the new people that are coming for the first time and as well the old friends that they haven’t seen for one year. This one week of their stay and the celebration of International day of Children are truly magical.
The program of the show was very rich and took almost an hour and a half to complete. Songs were sung, modern dance numbers were performed, and hot air balloons were let fly in the sky. Slovakian volunteer Milada from Tismana came and sang few songs. Children from local high school prepared the Modern dance program with students from C.S.E.I. It was rich show and fun time for the spectators and participants. After the show students, parents and volunteers made artistic workshop and made bracelets. In this way everybody got to have a memory about that beautiful day. The British volunteers always bring small gifts for children which is culmination of the celebration. This time it ended right on time because rain started and everybody had to hide inside. Nevertheless weather conditions didn’t spoil anything.
This celebration brings together the school community makes children happier and more motivated. International Day of Children is waited with anticipation and celebrated with a great joy.
Impreuna in Europa! O lumea fara bariere! Targu Jiu, 29th of April
Newly opened day center for people with disabilities “Christian” decided to organize an event to mark the 5th of May, day against discrimination of disability. ARDR and their volunteers were invited to help and participate in the event. Volunteers had to promote the event, create flyers, posters and banner, and prepare an artistic program.
Benny was responsible for preparation of the spectacle. He had an idea to base the spectacle on the well-known computer game “Super Mario Bros” where two main characters of the game (Super Mario and his brother Super Luigi two Italian plumbers) where caught up in different situations regarding the discrimination of disabled people. Heroes as they were Mario and Luigi were mediating in the conflicts, revealing the acts of discrimination and educating discriminators. Spectacles carried the message of being in other’s shoes and try to understand the person in the difficulty rather than disregard him completely. Later all the participants formed the train and collected people from around the square to make a dance and remove the barrier between participants and spectators.
The event had a purpose to include as many people as possible and not only people who are directly connected with social work or disability. As well three EVS volunteers from project in Oradea came to help with preparation for the event. Different people were included, local youth, ARDR members, volunteers were participating in the interactive spectacle that was created by volunteer Benny.
Besides the spectacle there were beautiful performances from Palatul Copiilor. People from Targu Jiu got to see how many talented children and youth they have. Singers, dancers, cheerleading squad were part of the program and entertained spectators and by-passers.
Last half an hour was dedicated for students of C.S.E.I who made a clear statement that disability doesn’t limit creativity or enthusiasm. They performed dance program and Eurythmic program led by Mr. Gruia. Eurythmic is a form of therapy through music and movement and is a beautiful thing to see. It was the first time that eurythmic was performed publicly in Targu Jiu.
Event turned out to be successful and gave an opportunity to perform for the youth publicly; it had an atmosphere of acceptance and good will which was the actual message of the whole event.
Birthday party, C.S.E.I., Targu Jiu, 27th of March
Volunteers made little party for students born in March. This time Benny the clown came and made everyone laugh so hard that some people fell from the chairs. After volunteers and students made a great dance performance and ate the cake.
Mister and Miss competition, C.S.E.I. Targu Jiu, 26th of March
Every year before the spring holiday school organizes Mister and Miss Competition. This event is a nice distraction from every day routine and gives opportunity for the students to work on their individual skills and talents. In this way every participant has to find out what he does best, and then plan how to perform it. That helps students develop sense of determination and make them more independent. As well this competition acts as a boost for self-esteem; students can contemplate what makes them good and special and then present it to the others. It’s a great exercise to overcome shyness and see positive side of one’s personality.
Mister and Miss Competition include not only individual performances of the participants but students from regular high schools from the town. They prepare short acting sketches and musical program and as well act as presenters. These common activities are beneficial for both sides and are part of non-formal education against discrimination and intolerance towards people with special needs.
There were students who won and there were ones that didn’t but there weren’t losers. Every participant walked out from the stage with a round of applause and higher self-confidence.
Interview with Maria’s parents, Miluta, 15th of March
Maria is a little girl, sister of one student in C.S.E.I. she was born with a hearing impediment. Her disability could be fixed by operation and earlier it’s done the better because of her language development. Sadly but operation can’t be covered by state funds. If operation is done from private funds it would cost 25 000 euros which is impossible amount of money to be gathered by family with monthly income of approximately 300 lei. The hearing aid machine provided by state didn’t help the girl to hear well. According to the mother girl can sometimes hear with the right ear but no more than 20 percent.
When headmaster Nicu Baiu heard about the situation he decided to help the family. After discussing with A.R.D.R. and volunteers what can be done to solve this situation Nicu Baiu, A.R.D.R employees and volunteers paid a visit to a girl in little village of Miluta. The objective of the visit was to make an interview with Maria’s parents and make the girls’ problem visible to the public hoping to start the fund raising campaign and attract charitable organizations attention to the girl’s problem. During the interview girl was all the time smiling, curious and active. Mother showed all the Maria’s medical records she had and told the story of her disease. The interview gave the opportunity to see the conditions family is living and to get acquainted with the parents.
The family of five (girl have two more brothers) is living in a 20 square meter house with no plumbing. Therefore water for cooking and washing has to be carried from the well. House has only two small rooms occupied by beds one of the rooms is a kitchen as well. House is heated and food is cooked by burning wood in traditional Romanian fireplace called stoba. Even if the house is very modest it is clean and cozy. In the yard were some chickens. Family relies on the food their little farm produces. Both parents are unemployed so family is surviving out of social welfare and whatever they can grow. Father of Maria used to be a mechanic of trains in the mine but now there is no employment available for him. Mother is a housewife and never was employed. Both of them are above fifty, living in the rural area this means that employment for them is almost impossible. Having daughter with hearing impediment challenges family even more because the closest school for children with hearing impediment is in Craiova which 80 kilometers away.
Seeing this family one can understand that they could really use some help and have a chance in bringing healthy children with a possibility of better future for them.
Show for International Women’s Day in C.S.E.I., Targu Jiu, 8th of March
Women’s day is widely celebrated in Romania. Preparations in school for the celebration of 8th of March started one month before and almost all the students got to participate and perform in the show. Volunteers were not excluded too. Together with students and teacher Dana they prepared a short spectacle based on the tale of Snow White.
The idea of the activity was to learn how to create and work together. Repetitions took a lot of time and it helped for students to learn how to work in a group and be a part of the team. Volunteers had to learn their lines in Romanian language which was challenging as well. All in all everything went really good and show received a lot of applauds.
Birthday celebration for kids who were born in February, 28th of February
Time is flying and volunteers are proceeding with a nice tradition making birthday parties at school. Magical volunteer Benny again put up the incredible magic show which after everyone was taken back. Cake was tasty everybody had a good laugh and went at home with stomachs full of birthday cake.
Dragobete‘s Day Concert in C.S.E.I, Targu Jiu, 26th of February
Have you ever heard about Romanian St. Valentain‘s day version? If not let me tell you about it. It is celebrated on 24th of February and has an old tradition in Romanian culture. Celebration of Dragobete is all about love and springtime. It is around this time that the birds begin to build their nests and mate. On this day, considered locally the first day of spring, boys and girls gather vernal flowers and sing together. Maidens used to collect the snow that still lies on the ground in many villages and then melt it, using the water in magic potions throughout the rest of the year. Those who take part in Dragobete customs are supposed to be protected from illness, especially fevers, for the rest of the year. If the weather allows, girls and boys pick snowdrops or other early spring plants for the person they are courting.
To celebrate this beautiful traditional celebration volunteers decided to organize a concert in school. The idea was to include the local people who enjoy playing and invite them to celebrate Dragobete together in the school. The celebration contained two activities: face painting performed by local artist Adriana and the concert. Volunteers were lucky to find Oana and Eduard two enthusiastic people who also enjoy playing and performing music on stage. For children it was beneficiary in a way that they got to hear live music and sing a long which for some of them was completely new experience. Everyone had a great time, enjoyed music and musicians promised to come back and play more. Hopefully concerts in school will become a tradition and in a way will place the school closer to the community.
Trip to Baia de Fier, Baia de Fier 27th of January
Volunteers not only work in school but also travel and have the opportunity to discover the country they are in. So every weekend they gets out from the city and explores the beautiful Gorj county. This time two birds were killed with one stone - not only volunteers had extremely nice hike in the mountains but as well agreement of cooperation was established with mountain sport organization White Wolf. Combination of having fun and building something new is essential part of volunteering experience.
Birthday party, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 25th of January
School headmaster had a great idea to celebrate birthdays of the children that are born on going month on the last friday of that month. So the first birthday party was for children that were born on January. Volunteers and teachers prepared cake and a little magic show. Magic show was truly magical and not because of the tricks but more because of sincere children reactions. A lot of laughter, good mood and tasty cake.
Celebration of Ziua Unirii, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 24th of January
Historical events are celebrated at school. This time the activities were made in library. Teachers spoke about the story behind the celebration. Volunteers recited Hora Unirii and helped students with drawing and making puzzles. Everything was happening in a very educational spirit, fun and learning at the same time.
163th Anniversary of Mihai Eminescu, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 15th of January
Mihai Eminescu ( born Mihail Eminovici; January 15, 1850 – June 15, 1889) was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet.
At school it was celebrated 163th anniversary of this poet. S.A.V.E. volunteers with students and teachers participated in this beautiful event. At the end everybody were given a certificate for participation.
Christmas spectacle, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 20th of December
One of the biggest celebration of the year of course is
Christmas and to celebrate it teachers, students and volunteers made a show. Almost all students got to participate in it and also volunteers took part in it. They prepared two dances - tango and valtz. Idea was to make mixed couples one student - one volunteer. Repetitions and the final show were great fun. And it let to develop closer contact between volunteers and children.
The show is being eagerly awaited by children and this year it was even more anticipated because volunteers made a movie interviewing kids and teachers about Christmas meaning to them. Movie got warm acceptance from children which were very happy to see themselves and their friends on big screen. It can be seen here:
Conversații mici cu inimi mari from Ernesta Rosete Pidal on Vimeo.
St. Nicola's day, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 6th of December
St. Nicola's (Sf. Nicu) day is
very popular celebration in Romania. Without any question the children are waitting for St. Nicola's day to receive some sweets. It is like a preparation before the happiest celebration of the year - Christmas. Every year headmaster of the school and a very kind hearted person from United Kingdom - Neville buy some sweets, fruites and juice for each student of the school. This year volunteers from Targu Jiu and Arad helped to make a shopping and pack the gifts for children. Next day the celebration was made: the story of St. Nice was told and and gifts given. A lot of smilling children and a little agitation while distributing the gifts would conclude the story about this day.
Daily activities in C.S.E.I, November (On going)
What volunteers are doing besides all artistic and other extra - curriculum activities in school? Let me tell you about the regular day of volunteers in the school.
Classes in school starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 12 a.m. Volunteers arrive at school a bit earlier and after discussing with principle and professors splits into different classes. Special attention is given to the classes where children have severe disabilities for example class formed just out of children with Autism syndrome. In classes volunteers are doing educational activities with children, help them write and read, recognize colors, numbers, do handcrafts. After classes depending on the weekday volunteers either have free time or go to the one of the day centers.
Mondays and Thursdays volunteers come to school in the afternoon and spend time with kids doing handcrafts, dancing or playing football. If there are any upcoming celebrations time in the afternoons is dedicated for the preparation.
Tuesdays in the day center for children with social difficulties volunteers comes in the time of break from doing homework and plays with children various games. This activity gives children the opportunity to take brake from homework release their energy and to learn new games.
If it is Wednesday it means that volunteers are going to the day center for adults. There they are making English language lessons and spending time with people in the center.
All these activities strengthens connection between volunteers and the community they are working in and provides continuous learning experience both for volunteers and for the beneficiaries.
Spectacle, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 20th of November
Lithuania and Turkey came to school to sare the experience working with socialy assisted persons so teachers, students and volunteers used this opportunity to make a little show for them. The show room was full, everybody enjoyed the spectacle and had fun. Volunteers contributed with doing make-up and helping with other preparations.
Football match, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 8th of November
One afternoon dedicated for the king of sports - football. Opportunity to see who is faster, more accurate and of course to have fun.Teachers vs. students and volunteers.
International Day For Tolerance, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 6th of Novemeber
1 st. of November is International day for tolerance. Of course volunteers didn't forget about it - all the members of the school participated in different activities connected to this topic: discussion, movie and presentation watching, preparing for exhibition.
Capacity building program I, Targu Jiu, C.S.E.I, 1st - 4 th of November
Capacity building program was dedicated for necessary preparation for the project. Firstly to know each other better and start biulding a team. To build a team from people that just met is never easy task though absolutely important for the succes fulfilling the project goals. Team formation is a process which is continous and team can't be formed during one or few days though good start can give better chances to form functional team. What happened during those few days can be called a beginning of a beautiful friendship. Volunteers and their mentors had fun and bonded during the team biulding games, discusions and coffee breaks.
Second goal for volunteers during Capacity building program was to get acquainted with the organization (Centru Scoala pentru Educatie Inclusiva). The structure and main activities of C.S.E.I were presented as well volunteers discussed the possibilities for the future activities in the school with the headmaster (and their mentor). A lot of ideas were generated trying to figure out what can be done to have positive impact on beneficiaries. Also possible threats and obstacles that volunteers could face were discussed.
After Capacity building program was conducted volunteers and the mentor had established goals and plan for the project. Therefore Capacity building program was succesful and useful and can be called enriching experience.