“Discover-Connect-Change” brings together 14 EVS volunteers from Austria, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Spain, UK , Netherlands and Romanians for a period of 2 months (01.07.2015-31.08.2015) and throughout the programs to learn from each other, develop skills, develop personal & professional competences, entrepreneurial skills, self confidence.
The EVS project is funded by European Union through Erasmus Plus Program.
The volunteers work in international team, learn to communicate in at least one foreign language, being aware of diversity, their potential for active involvement in the life of society, being motivated to participate and implement European projects.
Main activities: 3 educational camps for children and youth in Baia Mare city, and villages Copalnic Mănăştur and Suciu de Jos, 4 public events using the Living Library and World Cafe methods, mentoring, language courses.
The public events are implemented with the communities, involving all age groups and all stakeholders in the community. Responding to the needs identified in each community, the camps will have different themes: Baia Mare: “Healthy lifestyle and personal development”, Copalnic Mănăştur “Communication and interculturality”, Suciu de Jos “Equality and Diversity”.
Since their arrival in the beginning of July the EVS volunteers got training about organization, working methods, Erasmus Plus and EVS, media workshop, learning a lot from the EVS coordinator Andreea Lazar, from YMCA staff. Between 13-17 they implemented the first camp in Baia Mare, planning the entire schedule, budgeting, looking for logisticals and materials, creating media products. After the camp they went for On Arrival training in Sinaia, a great Romanian mountain resort where the National Agency welcome all the EVS volunteer which arrive in a certain month, learning their about interculturality, different aspects of EVS, insurance, but most of all getting to know Romanian culture, and creating friendships.
After their return from ON arrival training, the volunteers created their own project poster and Tshirt design and organized a World cafe public event in Baia Mare with the topics: sexual education, substance abuse, social media, environment, international volunteering opportunities, parenthood. The event took place in a cool cafe place in town where the local volunteers where engaged in the topics proposed.
Now they are planning the next two camps in Copalnic Manastur and Suciu de Jos(10-14 August and 17-21 August 2015).Meanwhile the Romanian lessons who started with interesting concepts in the middle of summer ( 34-36 degrees outside) like: “Vine iarna” ( Winter is coming) gave an entire new perspective on the non formal methods used by our Romanian teacher -Stefan Pozan.( volunteer). The meetings with the mentors ( Alexandra Canta, Marian Cupse, Adela Lakatos) brings new perspectives and insights about the time spent here, the learning process and the outcomes.
Here are some thoughts after 1 month of volunteering in YMCA Romania:
“My time doing EVS so far has been great! I’ve really enjoyed working with Alina and Dede at YMCA Romania, as soon as I arrived I was made to feel welcome in Baia Mare and made aware of customs and laws here that are different in England (my home country) that may affect me. I was also made aware of how to use my Axa insurance if it is ever needed. Working with everybody to plan and successfully have camps for Romanian children has been fun, even though its work I’ve really enjoyed it. Before coming I was worried that everybody being from different countries and speaking different languages communication would be an issue but everybody communicates and gets along really well. I also like how whilst we are here the YMCA Romania have organized for us to be able to go and see important historical sites within Maramures (the county we are staying in whilst doing our EVS in Romania). We have also had help with communicating with the children that we are doing camps for as some cannot speak English, what amazes me is how lots of the children within Romania speak fluent English from such a young age.My only wish is that this EVS was longer, Ive now been in Romania for just over a month (over half way through my two months here) and I am not looking forward to going back home to England, I wish that I could stay here volunteering in Romania for longer as its such a beautiful, relaxing country. Hopefully if I apply for another EVS in the future I will be accepted and get to have another great opportunity to do something like this again. I will always remember my time in Romania as it is completely different to England and I have been able to see how others live in different parts of the world. Before coming to Romania I did not think I had any stereotypes about the country but since being here I have found that I thought a lot of things about the country that were untrue, for instance I thought that I would see much more poverty than what I have seen, although the poverty is there in some places there isn’t as much as I thought there would be. Hopefully one day I get another life changing experience like this again.” – Daniel Watkins – United Kingdom (YMCA England)
“Here I am in Romania!I’m finally away from home, experimenting something different from my day life in Portugal.I remember the night we arrived in Baia Mare, it was night time, no cars in the street, the city was completely empty, I just thought why I’m here for two months!? But now everything is ok, Baia Mare it’s a city not big not small, it’s ok, I really like to wake up in the morning and see the hills by my window. All of the volunteers are good friends, It’s nice to work together in the camps with the children, and also to go out with them, having some fun and some party.I will remember this experience for the rest of my entire life! Working with kids is something I’ve never done before, so for me it’s also a challenge to work and take care of them. Here we have the opportunity to visit new places, meet new people, learn some Romanian and be in contact with a different culture, I really enjoy it. I think I’ve done the best choice of my life to come here for 2 months and make this EVS.” – Mara Marques – Portugal(ProAtlantico)
“I have done a lot of voluntary work in different countries with different organisations, but this is the first time that the organisation and the people who work for it looks also that I feel well and that I can learn also a lot for me. In other voluntary works there was no time for this. It was just working for the organisation. So I enjoy really the time in Rumania. From the organisation everything is well organised and we get all the important information in time. When we have problems there is somebody who tries to solve it with us.I like also the work in the camps. In my opinion I learned what important is by planning camps with children, how to work with children and manage difficult situations.In my free time I have a great time with the other volunteers. Here it is the same that we look that everybody feels well and when somebody has problems, there is always somebody who helps. In this time I learned a lot from the others and also something about different countries.The time on my own I spent in museums, go by stopping cars somewhere and with speaking with different people from Romania about there life. So I got used to the life here in Romania. In my opinion the people are very nice here and try to help.
The On-Arrival training was great too, we met other volunteers, got known to there work and spent a great time with time with them. We made great activities and I liked also the hotel.So I really like this voluntary service and I am happy that I have the opportunity to do it.” – Christina Ott-Austria ( 4YOUgend)
“Salut. Ce faci?I am Hristina from Macedonia and this is my first EVS experience. So, in short way I will tell you a little part of my time spend here, in purpose to motivate the young people to go on EVS. I am on short-term EVS(two months) in Baia Mare, Romania and I do a volunteering work, regarding working with children.My project started at 1 of July and before I arrived here I was a little bit scared how I will adapt in the new environment, but after one week spending with the other volunteers, they have become my second family. Till now we had just one camp, and I enjoyed that week spent with the kids where we were learning more about healthy lifestyle and personal development through playing games. Apart from the camp we have organized public events: Living library and World Coffee, my purpose to be in contact with Romanian people. In this month I have met Romanian friends, I have tried traditional food, have learnt something new about the Romanian culture and I have explored just little part of the country. And the most important thing about my EVS is that I know myself better, which is my weaknesses and strengths and where I see myself in the future.I can’t believe that I am here one month, because it passed so quickly. One month with a lot of new friends, new place for living, working with kids, parties… Beside the volunteering work, we have so much fun here. We have celebrated many birthdays, we have travelled in other cities, we went to parties every weekend, on karaoke every Thursday.I enjoy every day of my EVS because I will be here one more month and then I should go back to reality.” – Hristina Najdovska- Macedonia (YMCA Bitola)
Media articles regarding EVS project Discover – Connect-Change and the activities done:
More sharing in the upcoming days!
More photos from the project on Facebook page: YMCA ROMANIA