Here you can find some testimonials of our passionate volunteers and leaders. Check out how YMCA influenced their personal and professional lives:

adela lakatosI’m in the beautiful family YMCA since 2005. It was the time when my local YMCA where at beginnings . I heard that they want to start a workshop called TenSing. We were a few  youngsters  starting to have fun: singing, dancing and acting. Then I saw  that YMCA is not just TenSing ,  is something much  more. Was the perfect place where I could do something for the community, for the youngsters from  Baia Mare, so I started getting involved in local activities. I was an  active  YMCA volunteer participating in different activities, national and international  projects. After a  couple of years, I was coordinating the  TenSing  group ,sharing my experience and skills , and supporting and coaching  new youngsters  to have fun and rock the world.

I accumulate a lot of information  and life lessons from YMCA. YMCA  has a great influence in my personal and professional development.

Since 2010 I’m Office Manager  and Assistant Project at YMCA Romania Federation , since 2011 I’m EVS coordinator and I’m sharing  my great experiences and learning outcomes  , supporting  the young people to be active for their communities. Aim high, dream big, act!

( Adela Lakatos, office manager&project assistant YMCA Romania – 25 yrs)

andreea lazarMy story started 4 years ago when one of my  high-school colleagues told me about YMCA team from Baia Mare, Romania. At that time I was just a 15 years shy girl , eager to know more things about all that is around me. Coming at YMCA I met more people who became my friends (also my boyfriend) and I improved my social skills being involved in projects. I become a responsible citizen participating in projects based on interaction of non disadvantaged young people with disadvantaged ones. Being involved in creativity and sports projects I learned how to play team sports and to cooperate with others. I learned by doing and by experience things that are not found in books and manuals,  participating in European projects in Italy, Ukraine, Greece. After I saw the community  reactions and actions toward our “16 days campaign against violence against women”, my attitude and awareness were changed . I was encouraged to create, develop and implement my own ideas and to be a model of active citizenship, volunteerism, social inclusion, tolerance and I developed leadership skills, creativity, communication, artistic skills  being involved in all Youth in Action projects- exchanges and trainings organized by YMCA Romania. YMCA taught me to go  for my best !

(Andreea Lazar- group leader, 20 yrs)

cristina hertaThe energy of a teenager can be focused to build a foundation for future. This is shortly my motivation in joining a youth NGO, the YMCA, and comes from my 6 years experience in the Y. My story began at my 16 , when I was  in high-school. Influenced by my lack of trust in myself and also by the certainty that something need to be done ( in life in general, and with my spare time, in particular), I decided to join the Baia Mare YMCA-Romania. Step by step I transformed my rebellion against everybody and everything in ideas for a better community, then in projects for youth like me.

I used my own creativity and the result was great: design for the promoting materials for the youth projects, coordination of research team, creating a procedure and passing the knowledge also to other youngsters. Step by step, I made new friends and even after all these years we meet and have fun together. We remember all the glorious moments that created a strong bond between us, the trainings, the abroad exchanges, all the interesting and funny and relevant events that we created together.

But the most important lesson that the Y taught me is that each of us has an incredible inner power that can take us further and can give us wings. We just have to trust in us and act. From a troubled kid I became a responsible young adult, working and preparing for my master degree in international relations. This is YMCA for me- transforming lives.  

(Cristina Herta – young leader, 22 yrs)

iulia greblesI am a volunteer for about 3 year. After this period I can say that Y has left its mark on me in a very obvious way. Like someone said, when I joined Y, at 14, I was       “the smallest and shyest, if she could hide under the floor , she would have done it with all the pleasure”. And that’s how I was. Shy, tiny, shameful, non confident and non communicative but at the same time I was curious. I was curious about what was happening at YMCA, what is with all those people that are doing something that I would probably  wouldn’t do. So I start constantly coming to the meetings and TenSing, where I managed to overcome the fear of singing in public, so I broke down a barrier that limited me what can and cannot do.

When I first join YMCA, I was looking for something to occupy my time with in a useful way and that is what I did, but with this I learned a lot of new things that radically changed me. If I could say a couple of words that have been introduced in my vocabulary along with their understanding, these would be: respect,  self-confidence, will, courage, open-minded.

In this moment YMCA is the place where I go to express freely my point of view, without being judged, the place where many ideas could come to life, the place where I can always find friends and open minded people, the place where I can do something relevant to me, to young people, to my community.

Why do I feel changed ? Because now I have a different vision, because now I really know the difference between “I can’t” and “ I won’t”, change them with , “ yes, I can do it”, all thanks to the Y spirit.

( Iulia Grebles –  volunteer, 17 yrs)

luiza dumitruI still remember the day I joined this huge family. It was a late afternoon on Volunteer’s Day, 4 years ago. Back then, I was a 9th grader, just starting a whole new stage of my life without even knowing,  a stage which proved itself to be a real wonderful adventure. So I went to a meeting and slowly I started going to every meeting, until I realized I became addicted. Going to YMCA was and is my sweet escape, my space, a space that I gladly share with everyone. Yes, I fell in love with YMCA for the activities, for the games, for what I learned, for it’s people. I believe that more than anything I love YMCA for the way youngsters, like me,  are empowered and are encouraged to explore their talents and their personalities, here.  It it so easy to take the lead, one almost can not believe it .

If you want to be a leader, you just have to want. I was offered the chance to became a leader and that was the moment I took things to another level. It is true, I worked for it, and I proved myself that I can be a leader by overstepping certain limits I had. I became, from a person who was ashamed to talk to people into a co- presentor for different YMCA Events. This summer  I even had the chance to be a young-leader in an International Exchange. I must confess I had both experiences: I was a participant and a leader in an exchange.  Both of the situations changed my attitude towards life, people and most important, myself.

Every step of the way I learned I am the only one who can decide how far I want to go, where my limits are and how I can push them further away. I also learned that everybody is special in it’s own way and that I should listen, think ,  analyze and then decide what’s best . In YMCA you forget what selfishness  is. I don’t understand the meaning of the word anymore. I learned to give and to receive, to trust others and trust myself to succeed.  I am more than proud to call myself part of this family.

( Luiza Dumitru – young leader, 18 yrs)

roxana pascanThere I was in 2004, just a normal teenager, wanting to do something more for my community, to get involved, to give my free time to volunteering activities. So I joined the local freshly founded YMCA, in Baia Mare, northern Romania. At that time we were only 6 volunteers, the first generation of Y volunteers in Baia Mare. We had good mentors, we learned how to work in a team, we became close friends, slowly forming a strong project team. We started working on our own projects, for local youth.  The team grew bigger, gathering youngsters sharing the same visions, the same goals: building a strong community, where youth played an important role. Slowly we found ourselves writing projects and implementing them: youth festivals, social inclusion camps for Roma children, anti-drugs campaigns, charity events, photo contests, basketball classes and competitions and many more.The YMCA offered so much more though. What is more important, it offered us the opportunity to travel abroad, to meet other youngsters from other countries, different cultures. It broaden our horizon, it made us realize how different we are, but how united and how many things we have in common. YMCA thought us to become more tolerant, flexible, open-minded, active, motivated in everything we do.

Years went by, I watched the organization growing from scratch, becoming a strong voice in the local community. Today I became the CEO of YMCA Baia Mare, playing an important role in empowering youth. I never imagined that from a simple Y volunteer, in years I would become a decision maker of the organization and community, working alongside with other local youth NGOs.

( Roxana Pascan- CEO YMCA Baia Mare, 25 yrs)

andrei tomsaPentru mine, a fi voluntar înseamnӑ a te dedica unui scop şi a uita complet de problemele personale, ‘target-ul’  tau fiind reprezentat de nevoile celor din jur.  Am învӑțat multe lucruri de când sunt voluntar în cadrul asociației YMCA Baia Mare, m-am dezvoltat pe plan personal, datoritӑ schimburilor de tineri în cadrul cӑrora am fost atât participant cât şi lider, am învӑțat sӑ respect, sӑ ajut şi sӑ fiu ajutat şi mai ales, am avut oportunitatea de a da sfaturi şi de a fi sfӑtuit de nişte persone, despre care pot spune cӑ mi-au schimbat viața, sau cel puțin m-au îndrumat înspre noi orizonturi. Am învӑțat ce înseamnӑ disciplina si pacea interioara prin faptul ca am ajutat, am incercat sa fiu mai bun si totodatӑ sӑ-i fac mândri pe cei care m-au susținut.

Lucrul de care sunt cel mai mândru pentru cӑ am optat sa-mi dedic timpul voluntariatului in cadrul activitatilor asociatiei YMCA Baia Mare este faptul cӑ am reuşit sӑ trec peste barierele lingvistice şi am descoperit culturi diverse din aceastӑ lume, dar cel mai important, am reuşit sӑ mӑ descopӑr, am învӑțat sӑ fiu eu.

Voluntar: ANDREI TOMSA, 19 ani

cristina gadeaA fi voluntar, din punctual meu de vedere,nu inseamna sa uiti de sine.   Dimpotriva, inseamna  sa te  aduci pe tine, asa cum esti,intr-un grup a carui valoare consta  in valorile  cumulate  ale fiecarui membru.  Inseamna sa oferi ceea ce esti, ceea ce stii, sa inveti din ceea  ce sunt  si ceea ce stiu  ceilalti, pentru  ca impreunasa obtineti ceva minunat.

In voluntariat, echipa este cea care obtine rezultatele, poate mai mult decat in orice alt tip de activitate.  Inveti sa te poti baza pe ceilalti, inveti ca esti  important pentru ca esti ce esti  si stii ce stii, inveti   sa accepti ca  ceea ce nu ai tu, poate aduce  un alt membru si ca ceea ce conteaza e ca proiectul sa fie un success rasunator.Pentru ca atunci cand esti voluntar, succesul nu inseamna profit, note sau  medalii. Atunci cand esti voluntar,succesul se masoara in zambetele celor pentru care pui pe picioare un proiect. In binele pe care il faci. In efectul pozitiv pe care il provoci in societate.

Cand lupti pentru asemenea teluri, munca nu mai e grea,responsabilitatea nu mai este o obligatie, ci un privilegiu.

Dupa aproape 4 ani de voluntariat in cadrul YMCA Dobrogea pot spune ca am acumulat  experienta  in lucrul cu toate grupele devarsta. Copilasi de gradinita “mici si voinici”, adolescenti si tineri care si-au unit fortele impotriva discriminarii, persoane de varsta a treia care ne-au oferit povestile lor Astazi  simt ca sunt parte din viata mea,asa  cum si eu sunt parte din viata lor. Si sunt mandra de asta.

Cristina Gadea, 29 ani, voluntar YMCA Dobrogea

daria sassDe programele de divertisment ale echipei de papusari YMCA Oradea s-au bucurat peste două sute de perechi de ochișori ai copiilor care se confruntă cu boli amenințătoare de viață sau au un membru din familie care suferă de cancer. Apreciem în mod deosebit implicarea voluntarilor YMCA care intotdeuna au transmis un mesaj viu și vibrant pe un limbaj corespunzător nivelului de înțelegere al copiilor. Bucuria și zâmbetele aduse precum și adevărurile și încurajările transmise într-un mod atât de plăcut copiilor sunt valuta forte pentru pacientii noștri.

Psiholog Daria Sass, Fundația Hospice Emanuel, Oradea Varsta : 27 ani

andreas novacoviciMinunatei echipe YMCA Timişoara: mulţumesc pentru tot ceea ce aţi făcut  pentru mine şi pentru Fundaţia Siguranţa pentru copii Checea. Să vă ţină Dumnezeu aşa cum sunteţi! All the best!

Andreas Novacovici, participant festival YMCA Praga 2013