In August 2019, our 4 international volunteers that came in Baia Mare through Erasmus Plus Program in October 2018 ended their volunteering service: Catarina Barbosa Martins (Portugal), Olatz Lago Silvestre (Spain), Cindy Gourmelon (France), Alejandro Chacon Castro (Spain), hosting organisation being YMCA Romania Federation.
In their activities with children and young people from Baia Mare and Cavnic, they promoted inclusion and civic engagement, empowering them to become Change Agents, supporting diversity, tolerance, critical thinking, equality, volunteering, core values and principles to create a democratic society in the spirit of human rights.
The volunteers implemented activities in schools, highschools, educational and fun activitives in foster care houses, in summer camps, created many non formal educational workshops during the “ Scoala Altfel” Program in highschools, various public intercultural, consultations and raising awereness events, run in community partnership the “ ThisTimeImVotingCampaign”, being involved as well also in activities and events organized by the Baia Mare Youth Centre and by Baia Mare- Nationa Youth Capital Program 2018-2019.
They created as well their own projects based on abilities and interests. The Spanish volunteer Olatz cooperated with Baia Mare Astronomical Complex-Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory, translating brochures and promotional materials into English and Spanish, being involved as well in the guiding tours for the foreign visitors. The French volunteer Cindy, being passionate about animals, she volunteered at a dog shelter and created through the PhotoVoice method an exhibition to raise awarenes about animals` rights. The Portuguese volunteer Catarina, organized 2 collection campaigns – one for food and one for cloths, shoes and toys that were distributed to the vulnerable communities in Pirita, Combinat, Craica and helped in preparing and distributigng the food for the beneficiaries of the Night Shelter that belongs to Somaschi Foundation.The Spanish volunteer Alejandro run a weekly educational workshop on topics related with non discimination, gender equality, LGBTQIA+ education.
Between 3-8 August 2019, 3 international volunteers attended together with young people from Baia Mare, Arad, Bucharest – members and volunteers of YMCA – the YMCA175 event in London, an event that celebrated the 175 years anniversary of the association with guests as the President of United National general Assembly – María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, United Nations Youth Envoy – Jayathma Wickramanayake, Amnesty International General Secretary Kumi Naidoo, with more than 3000 delegates from 100 countries.
The locals partners were : Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale de Tneret din Maramures, Asociatia YMCA Baia Mare , Asociatia YMCA Cavnic, Complexul Astronomic Baia Mare-Planetariu și Observator Astronomic , Colegiul Economic “Pintea Viteazul” Cavnic , Directia Generala de Asistenta Sociala si Protectia Copilului Maramures, Directia Judeteana pentru Sport si Tineret – Centrul de Tineret Baia Mare, Fundatia de Voluntari Somaschi, Federatia Organizatiilor Neguvernamentale de Tineret Maramures, Hope and Homes for Children Romania, Liceul Teoretic “Nemeth Laszo” Baia Mare, Scoala gimnaziala “Lucian Blaga” Baia Mare , Colegiul National „ Mihai Eminescu”, Gradinita „Otilia Cazimir”, Scoala gimnaziala „Ion Popescu de Coas”, Scoala Gimnaziala „Nichita Stanescu” Baia Mare, etc.
„I have developed a lot of competences: communication in English and Romanian languages, working with kids and young people, planning , organising and evaluating and event, facilitating activities, adapting to new contexts and situations, socially and culturally. I want to work in social field, but after this volunteering service in Europe I would like to do as well volunteering in another continent” – Cindy Gourmelon, 27 years old.
„The impact of this project was in my personal area, I became more independent and more firm intended . I have discovered that my most important values ae honesty and responsibility. I realized that I am more of a leader than I could thought of myself. Attitude makes a big difference”- Olatz Lago Silvestre, 24 years old.
„This project was a bright chapter of my life. My learning outcomes: if you treat yourself better, you will do better; if you treat the ones next to you with care, love , equal, you will create the change you want to see in the world; never fear of what will come; learn from your past to build a future; I become more rich inside and i tried to be authentic; volunteering is an intense and mutual learning process” – Catarina Martins Barbosa , 21 years old.
„ I learnt to be proud of my work, to be aware of my strenghts, to be open to other opinis. I have realized that I am good working with children and young people, I am more independent, I am very creative. I did a lot and various activities, events, I learnt a lot and this makes me feel fulfilled. I touched many taboo and sensitive subjects with different target groups and I am happy that we opened the mind of young people for tolerance, responsibility, equity and equality.” – Alejandro Chacon de Castro , 27 years old.
„Youth Power Space II” project is co-funded by European Union through Erasmus Plus Program together with our international partners- the sending organizations of the volunteers: Asociacion Building Bridges-Spain, ProAtlântico – Associação Juvenil -Portugal, Ville de Nevers- France.