In August 2015 ended the European Voluntary Service for 4 young people : Orla McGreal (Irlanda- 10 months), Judith Bertrand (France-10 months) Sopiko Mirashvili (Georgia-10 months ), Lucas Lalot (France – 5 months), their host organization the YMCA Romania Federation. The project hosted as well the German volunteer Sarah Kidan for 4 months. The project was funded by European Union through Erasmus Plus program.
“Through this EVS project entitled” 4 Youth Performers ” we wanted to improve the skills of young people, including those with fewer opportunities for their participation in democratic life in Europe and the labor market, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, inclusion, solidarity, creating a international working environment which led to the awareness of linguistic diversity and interculturalism.
In their work with children and young people from Baia Mare, Cavnic and Copalnic Manastur, the 4 volunteers, together with Romanian volunteers used many methods educational non formal, such as storytelling, simulations, role plays, energizing moments of reflection, work team coaching, a class divide, photo voice, living library, using tools such as: media, ICT, music, dance, theater, language and communication workshops, flashmob, games, summer camps, sports and outdoor activities. All these methods have led a learning process with a major impact on the volunteers and beneficiaries, stimulating creativity, active participation, initiative and entrepreneurship. “- Andreea Lazar, project coordinator.
Throughout the project “4 Youth Performers” the 4 EVS volunteers performed the following activities:
– Weekly workshops organized by them: book club, art club, German workshop, theater and improvisation, cultural diversity, legends and myths from around the world – in the workshops attended 40 young people aged 15 -30 years;
– Non formal activities – after school classes – who leaded weekly workshops for students aged between 6-9 years ( Laszo Nemeth High School – primary school teaching in Hungarian – the beneficiaries were 15 students;
– Inclusion activities with preschool children: 35 children, partnership with kindergarten Otilia Cazimir in Baia Mare
– Inclusion activities with children aged 6- 15 years at ROMANI Multifunctional Community Center Baia Mare, the beneficiaries are 30 children -Program in partnership with the Public Service Social Baia Mare;
– Inclusion activities with 15 children in foster homes – partnership with the General Directorate of Social Assistance and HHC Romania;
– Inclusion activities with 30 children and young people aged 6-19 years in Cavnic – a program in partnership with the Economic College and YMCA Cavnic
– Inclusion activities with 80 children and youth aged 6-14 in Copalnic Manastur- program in partnership with Copalnic Manastur School
– leading non-formal workshops with students from 4 units – National College Gheorghe Sincai, the National College Mihai Eminescu, the National College Vasile Lucaciu, High School Nemeth Laszo within the “Education in tolerance and citizenship” organized by the School Inspectorate in partnership with County Educational Resources Centre and Assistance Maramures – beneficiaries were 150 high school students.
– Campaigning against violence against women (26 November -10 December 2014) by organizing evening of vigil, attended by 50 people.
– Involvement and coordination of activities within the community event organized for Volunteer Day: NGO Fair (December 2014), 100 children and youth beneficiaries
– Involvement in organizing and coordinating creative recycling activities in the children-parents program “Eu si ai mei ” (December 2014), the beneficiaries were 30 children with their parents, a program in partnership with Kindergarten Otilia Cazimir
– Involvement and coordination of activities in the “ Scoala Altfel” nonformal week in schools – Cavnic -beneficiaries were 30 young people aged 14-18 years
-Participation, actively supported video presentation created by them for “Europe Day” – partnership with Europe Direct Centre Maramures – 100 young beneficiaries and teachers
– Coordination of activities during National Volunteer Week: World cafe, flashmob, photovoice – 40 young beneficiaries
– participation to General cleaning day – Let`s Do It Romania – along with hundreds of young people from Baia Mare
– Participation in filming a video for the World Alliance of YMCA World and organizing activities for the day of June 6, the day of YMCA World Challenge “Kicking goals for youth empowerment” – 40 children and youth beneficiaries
– Participated in organizing and implementing various activities / programs of the YMCA Romania Federation: national and local events, national and international projects, trainings, volunteers interacting with both Romanian and foreign volunteers from different countries;
– Short films created videos on different topics and about project activities and organizations;
– Planned, implemented and organized 3 educational summer camps for children with Romanian volunteers in Baia Mare, Cavnic and Copalnic Manastur, beneficiaries are 150 children aged 5-16 years.
– Implemented photovoice events in Baia Mare and Cavnic participants- 50 children and young people
– Intercultural workshops were held in the camps and educational SHINE camps and 2 events of “Living library”, adapted version for 120 children aged 5-16 years
– Have traveled and known cities, traditions, customs, places, people, expanding their horizons social, cultural, geographic, managed to overcome the stereotypes, prejudices, practicing the language skills learned in language classes and Romanian culture offered by the host organization.
“My experience of EVS (The European Voluntary Services) was an incredible one. In my daily working life I developed my interpersonal , communication and team working skills further than I had ever before in my 5 years of working prior to EVS. Working in the local schools and Roma center made me more culturally aware both of the Romanian culture and that of minorities that are in our community. My EVS afforded me many opportunities to travel all over Romania and to neighbouring countries like Hungary and the Ukraine. I made many friends from different countries and learnt how to work as part of an international team. EVS also gave me the opportunity to develop my interests and I organised events and activities in areas of my interests. The advice I would give to anybody considering an EVS: Don’t think about it, just do it.”- Orla McGreal – EVS volunteer from Ireland
“My first activity, participating in an international event for autism, initiated me to new, non-formal techniques of teaching that I kept using and developing throughout my EVS project, learning more and more about the process of teaching, about children and young students, and about myself. From this point on, Romania has been the location of many events and new activities that showed me a completely new approach to skills and aspects of life I never had considered beforehand. I now know more about my limits in regard to teaching, learning, adapting to new situations and interacting with people of very different backgrounds and cultures. I welcomed the opportunity to practice English and enjoyed trying my hand at Romanian, although I never quite got the hang of it.
I’m still not sure if 5 months were enough to live this experience to its fullest. However, I am certain that it added a wealth of experience and unforgettable moments to my life, and I am grateful beyond words for that great opportunity.”- Lucas Lalot, EVS volunteer from France
“I arrived in Romania the 2nd of November with a deep desire of adventures and discoveries. I met with my new flat mates, with the other volunteers, with all the staff of the office. Was a huge wave of discoveries in a really short time. My desire was fulfilled almost the first week, i didn’t knew that was just the beginning. The all 10 months which followed this first week went better and better.I never stop to meet with new people, to discover Romanian city and landscapes, to learn about myself, to improve my work with the children.When we started to work in Schools, i discovered pretty quickly that i didn’t like that much to work with children. So this work experience turned into a personal challenge. How manage to enjoy as much as i can to work with children ? I just realized if you create activities that you like also, children will feel it and follow you. So with the help of my flatmates/colleagues, and some learning process on myself i ended this ten months with handling children better than i could expect. EVS it’s a lot of human relationships, you meet with so many people from all around the world, that was an amazing part of this experience. It opened my mind as never happen before !
But it’s also arriving in a new country with a new culture and a new language. Was amazing to realized how my « relation » with the ladies from markets change time after time. At the beginning they were thinking i was a robber and now we communicate and give to each other big large smiles.During all the travels i did around Romania i discover people but also all the landscapes that Romania is offering. Was beautiful to see how the country changed between winter and spring, was like a metamorphose.For me EVS changed lot of things in my life, in my mind. It’s most entire experience i never experienced.” – Judith Bertrand, EVS volunteer from France
“My unforgetable EVS journey started at the moment when I decided to apply for a volunteering service in Romania. I kmew almost nothing about Romania and I was planning to go on this strange land during 10 month. Also i have never been during such a long time away from my family, especially in abroad. It was a challenge for me, an amazing chance for a new life. Every step I did during my EVS, was a step forward, step for self-developing and step for finding myself in this huge universe.A bigger challenge for me was realizing how different was my everyday life from my new -EVS life, how different were people, and also how different was our cultural backgrounds. But exactly these differences helped me to change – in a good way. I became open-minded, I learnt how to be open to people, how to share my feelings, I learnt that communication is the best way for solving problems. I learnt that if you want to do something-you must just go and get it, their is no trying, trying is doing. I met amazing people, my second family, they changed me. I learnt to be more tolerant. Everything is about attitude. During my EVS experience cultural differences are not obstacles anymore, but an opportunity to learn from people about their backgrounds, lifestyle and culture.My EVS showed me that happiness is outside of comfort zone, that we can be happy because of details. Now i can appreciate every second of my life. I am happy that I did my EVS. That i stepped over my “safe zone” and found myself. Multumesc foarte mult.”- Sopiko Mirashvili, EVS volunteer from Georgia
Check out their project video :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGEgSvcTm3s
Partners: MARDI -Ireland, Ville de Nevers- France, YMCA Georgia – Georgia, Freiwilligen-Zentrum Augsburg – Germany.
Excellent service 4 Youth Performers!