International Volunteering funded through the Erasmus plus program – EVS and by the European Solidarity Corps since 2018.
- [hosting] Vitamin T18
- [partnership] ME+ntor_ESC
- [partnership] LE MO N (LEarning Mobility Network) reloaded
- [partnership][sending][hosting] Youth Network Reloaded
- [partnership] Arts Empowering Youth
- [hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 17
- [hosting][ongoing] ESD - European Solidarity Design
- [hosting][ongoing] PAC - Parenting as Citizenship
- [hosting] EU&ME – Volunteers for a New Europe - Davide Pappalardo & Giulio Micillo
- [hosting] SPRING - Denys, Jeremy, Pauline & Urgen
- [hosting] Smile&GO
- [sending] Art & Equality - Youth Exchange in Sammalniemi, Juupajoki, Finland
- [training course] GLOBAL COACHING in Hollókő, Hungary
- [sending] Youth Project-run for Change - Youth Exchange in Stockholm, Sweeden
- [sending] New Tools for Employability - Youth Exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
- [sending][training course] Activism explosion - street art as a tool for spreading social messages- in Leszno, Poland
- [sending] "Da cosa nasce cosa" - Youth Exchange in Latronico, Italy
- [sending] Meet A.C.T.O.R.'s volunteers of 2019!
- [hosting][ongoing] ESD - European Solidarity Design - Second Flow
- [hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 17
- [hosting][ongoing] A.I.R.: Active Involved Responsible
- [hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 18
- [hosting][ongoing] PAC: Parenting as Citizenship
- [sending] "Welcome, Wilkommen, Bienvenue" - youth exchange in Poland
- [sending] "Welcome, Wilkommen, Bienvenue" - youth exchange in Finland
- [sending] Empower U - youth exchange in Wexford, Ireland
- [sending][training course] Empower U - in Wexford, Ireland
- [sending] Lacio Drom - youth exchange in Cinisello Balsamo, Italy
- [sending][training course] Strengthen your power - in France
- [partnership] Job shadow - in Iceland
- [sending] GREEN CONNECTION - youth exchange in Spain
- [sending] Music Connection - youth exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
- [sending] ACT - youth exchange in Portugal
- [sending][training course] Six Steps to Global Citizenship: A Youth Worker's Guide - in Italy
- [sending][event] Human Capital - conference in Italy
- [sending][event] EVS trainers Forum - in Italy
- [partnership][ongoing] E-Learning for EVS plus - in Strasbourg, France
- [partnership] LEMON network meeting - in Pau, France
- [partnership] Art Empowering Youth - in Denmark
- [partnership] Effective Learning - in Cornwall, UK
- [hosting] A.I.R. - Active Involved Responsible - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Vitamin T 17 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Here There 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Vitamina T - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Vitamin T 18 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] PAC : Parenting as Citizenship - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] ESD : European Solidarity Design - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [sending] Europe TakeTwo - youth exchange in Portugal
- [sending] DonkeInk - youth exchange in Italy
- [sending] Empowering You - youth exchange in Ireland
- [sending][training course] Back pack - training course in Poland
- [partnership] SVigoE Punto de encuentro
- [partnership] E-Learning for EVS plus
- [event] European Solidarity Corps Workshop in Bucharest
- [event]Closing ceremony of 30 year of Erasmus in Bucharest
- [partnership] LEMON - meeting in Slovenia
- [partnership] LEMON - meeting in Rome, Italy
- [sending] Meet the 12 Romanian volunteers of 2017!
- [hosting] AIM Competencies 1 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] AIM Competencies 2 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Dreams Made Real - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Cross Border - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Trip See - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Act to Be Part of Europe - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] All Roads to EU - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] "Round II: Shall I be your angel?" - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Step I - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Vitamina T+ - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] HT+ - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Here There 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [hosting] Vitamina T 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
- [partnership] NEC : New European Citizens
- [partnership] YiA4SDG : Youth in Action for Sustainable Development Goals
- [hosting] Hosting of an Erasmus student - Viktoria Ladanovska
- [sending] Myself to Yourself - Youth Exchange in Spain
- [sending] E-POSS - Youth Exchange in Liepāja, Latvia
- [sending] Youth European in Progress - Youth Exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
- [sending][training course] Empowerment through coaching within Erasmus+ - in The Netherlands
- [sending] Dare to experience - Youth Exchange in Austria
- [sending] „Friends you can keep” - Youth Exchange in Estonia
- [sending][training course] „Make it visible!” - in Lorca, Spain
- [sending] Sol & Arte - Youth Exchange in Portugal
- [sending] Equal Life Changes for Youth - in Ireland
- [partnership][ongoing] New Life to Traditional Stories
- [hosting][ongoing] Aici Acolo 13-14
- [hosting][ongoing] Here There Everywhere
- [training course] European Projects design, management and funding: how to develop a good learning project and get the funds - Grundvig workshop
- [partnership] Education Against Racism
- [training course] CLEARLY POSITIVE CULTURES
- [sending][training course] “Be Your Own Leader!” - in Ireland
- [sending] Northern Summer Lights - Youth Exchange in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
- [sending] Youth4Com-2014 - Youth Exchange in Stubbekøbing, Denmark
- [sending] Vagalume - Youth Exchange in Cinisello Balsamo, Italy
- [sending] Cultures on the Road - Youth Exchange in Italy
- [partnership] GLOBAL PLACE
- [training course][sending] "Circus training" - in Denmark
- [partnership] Drums for Peace-Meeting & "Meeting Other Ways of Living" (MOWL)
- [training course] Sustainable Future – in Denmark
- [sending] Bridges - Youth Exchange in Denmark
[hosting] Vitamin T18
From June 2019 to December 2019 A.C.T.O.R. hosted an EVS project named Vitamin T18. There were two different flows with this EVS. One started in June and ended in August and the other one started in September and ended in December.
Objectives of Vitamin T:
– Create awareness of the importance of cultural diversity.
– Developing artistic skills (origami, theatre, crafts etc) to create social artistic events for youth in different communities.
– Build cooperation between the stakeholders of the educational environment through non formal and art methods.
– Cultivate the importance of performing arts in art-education and art-therapy in different communities.
– Promoting an active participation and volunteering attitude, the cultural diversity and the UE values to young generations of the hosting and sending communities.
The activities the volunteer were:
- Attending to trainings (On Arrival Training and Mid Term by National Agency and basic trainings in ACTOR about socio-cultural animation – ex. psycho-pedagogy trainings, clinical animation, movie making/visibility, balloon modelling, origami, puppet/ shadow theatre, face painting etc…);
- Designing and leading non-formal activities (in the field of art for education) for children in schools (primary level) and kindergartens;
- Designing and leading clinical animation sessions for children & youngsters in hospitals & social centers in Bucharest and rural areas;
- Promoting volunteering through non-formal activities and Forum Theatre sessions with youngsters;
- Organising the Christmas Fundraiser for children & youngsters who are in hospitals & social centers;
- Designing and performing artistic social events for disadvantaged children in different communities of Romania.
- Running the visibility of the project (writing articles, managing the blog and the Facebook page of the project);
- Creating a toolkit about artistic practices and non-formal activities for children.
Between November 15 and 18, the A.C.T.O.R. ‘s team has launched a new project dedicated to quality research and promotion in mentoring in an international context called : ME+ntorESC (2019-2-RO01-KA205-064134)
It was an Erasmus Plus project, Key Action 2, which was coordinated by A.C.T.O.R. for 19 months, starting with 1.09.19, with partners from Spain (Asociación Juvenil Almenaras), Greece (Hellenic Youth Participation – Greece) and (Pistes Solidaires) France.
The objectives of the meeting were to develop a common understanding between partners about what this project aims for in the long term, to develop a common strategy for project management, as well as to create the final results of the project.
The main idea behind the project was that during an international ESC project, one of the most important figures in the volunteers’ life is the one of the Mentors. The Mentor’s role is complex and they are in contact with different dimensions of the development process of their mentees. ME+ntorESC tries to equip Mentors with a strategy and different tools to operate in the dimensions and reality of their mentees, which in itself is a daily learning process in a diversity contrasted reality. A successful mentoring process is the one that involves the planning and detail design that can support the potential cultural and emotional shocks that the mentee might have. In this way, not only does the volunteer benefits from this strategy, but it is also fundamental for the hosting organisations and the communities where the mentees will work to have emotionally stable and consciously stable individuals to develop a work in favour of solidarity
You can find the video of the kick-off meeting here
[partnership] LE MO N (LEarning Mobility Network) reloaded
Pistes Solidaire from Pau France has been coordinating for 3 years the establishment of a European network that aimed to develop quality standards in youth work in learning mobility in an intercultural context.
The first three years have helped us to know and grow our organizations in Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Great Britain, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Spain and Slovenia, coordinated and strategically, through close cooperation monitored through regular meetings.
Last year, a similar new project was approved, and the first meeting (24-26 September 2018) was held in Pau. As usual, the way of working was intense and very thoroughly planned.
The results of LE MO N (LEarning MObility Network) projects have been analyzed and these have proved to be very good at the network level.
A very interesting moment was the comparison of the SWOT analysis of each of the organizations, which gave us the opportunity to understand our organizational strategies in a European context, in a realistic way, helped us to understand that in fact to face very similar challenges in spite of the differences in local and national situations, but it has helped us in particular to develop new strategies for writing and implementing projects that will effectively address the needs of the target groups we work with.
We are glad that this is a new beginning and that we have two more years of cooperation in this valuable network.
The project is financially supported by Erasmus Plus Program/ Key Action 3 coordinated by Pistes Solidaire France.
[partnership][sending][hosting] Youth Network Reloaded
[partnership] Arts Empowering Youth
[hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 17
[hosting][ongoing] ESD - European Solidarity Design
[hosting][ongoing] PAC - Parenting as Citizenship
[hosting] EU&ME – Volunteers for a New Europe - Davide Pappalardo & Giulio Micillo
[hosting] SPRING - Denys, Jeremy, Pauline & Urgen
When I left I did not know in the least what awaited me, my friends took me for a ride, on the one hand I was afraid on the other I was intrigued by what could wait for me. In my life I was only a guitarist and worked in a fish shop or in the kitchen … This was my life before leaving, a routine with many vices in the middle that were destroying me. The first day I arrived i was shocked, I didn’t know a word of English, Romanian even less, my first thought was a bottle of wine and sleep. Slowly I went into this experience, and I understood one thing, if I ended up in Bucharest there is a reason, I’m here to change myself and go back to Italy different, with another head, I will never be the same person who I was before, working with children in schools and hospitals, traveling, living alone, with people completely different from me, working all together for a single purpose, that is to give a little bit of happiness to a child who is sick in hospital, I transmit my passion for music in a school, I think this road is right for me, I played in front of many people but when I played in a classroom or in the hospital and I saw the curious eyes of a child I felt special, I imagined myself as a child I saw my first guitar … now only 2 months have passed, I still have 4 months of adventures in Bucharest, what awaits me i will find out just by living.
SMILE&GO project is financially supported by Erasmus Plus Program (European Voluntary Service, coordinated by CEMEA MEZZOGIORNO Onlus (Italy) and implemented by A.C.T.O.R. (Romania)
Article written by Gian Fillipo Alba, volunteer in A.C.T.O.R.
[sending] Art & Equality - Youth Exchange in Sammalniemi, Juupajoki, Finland
[training course] GLOBAL COACHING in Hollókő, Hungary
[sending] Youth Project-run for Change - Youth Exchange in Stockholm, Sweeden
The youth exchange aimed at training young people in Sweden and participating European countries in project management skills, with key elements in planning and implementing a social project, presentation skills and led also arranged in order to foster intercultural understanding between and within the groups, in order to evaluate to further empower and encourage the youth. The training was to empower the youth to carry on with the local change they desire.
[sending] New Tools for Employability - Youth Exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
[sending] "Da cosa nasce cosa" - Youth Exchange in Latronico, Italy
[sending] Meet A.C.T.O.R.'s volunteers of 2019!
Csibi Krisztina Zsuzsanna/EVS/ New wave/ Kaposvar Compass HU
Krisztina Beata Gabor/ EVS/ New wave/ Kaposvar Compass HU
Renáta Gál/EVS/ New wave/ Kaposvar Compass HU
Benedek Gál/ EVS/ New wave/ Kaposvar Compass HU
Alexandra Petrisor /PeaceWorks/ Sweden
Claudia Cornea/ Youth Mediators/ USB Greece
Cristian Lupu/Youth Mediators/ USB Greece
Alina Sluser/ Let’s gardening with the elders! Patronado- Spain
Corina Steflea / CEMEEA / Italy
Anca Ștefania Zaharia/ Human Capital LINK / Italy
Elena Loghin ,Otilia Stroe, Andreea Cadar in Iceland / SEEDS
[hosting][ongoing] ESD - European Solidarity Design - Second Flow
01 September 2018.
This is the exact moment when the designing of solidarity began.
And you may ask: What is ESD project about? The experience consists in 6 months project in which we were promoting non formal education in individual lessons in schools and doing clinical animation in hospitals and special schools.
In addition, we did lots of workshops, team-buildings, meetings and trainings. Especially in ESD we focused in fomenting the creativity and art with the children and the visual design as a way to promote the solidarity.
For more information on the adventurous ESD you can browse the official magazine of the project by clicking here.
The project’s Facebook page can be seen by clicking here.
[hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 17
[hosting][ongoing] A.I.R.: Active Involved Responsible
[hosting][ongoing] Vitamin T 18
[hosting][ongoing] PAC: Parenting as Citizenship
[sending] "Welcome, Wilkommen, Bienvenue" - youth exchange in Poland
[sending] "Welcome, Wilkommen, Bienvenue" - youth exchange in Finland
[sending] Empower U - youth exchange in Wexford, Ireland
[sending][training course] Empower U - in Wexford, Ireland
[sending] Lacio Drom - youth exchange in Cinisello Balsamo, Italy
[sending][training course] Strengthen your power - in France
[partnership] Job shadow - in Iceland
[sending] GREEN CONNECTION - youth exchange in Spain
[sending] Music Connection - youth exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
[sending] ACT - youth exchange in Portugal
[sending][training course] Six Steps to Global Citizenship: A Youth Worker's Guide - in Italy
[sending][event] Human Capital - conference in Italy
[sending][event] EVS trainers Forum - in Italy
[partnership][ongoing] E-Learning for EVS plus - in Strasbourg, France
[partnership] LEMON network meeting - in Pau, France
[partnership] Art Empowering Youth - in Denmark
[partnership] Effective Learning - in Cornwall, UK
[hosting] A.I.R. - Active Involved Responsible - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
The volunteers’ team developed social entrepreneurship competences in an intercultural context for EVS and local volunteers. This was accomplished through stimulation of cross-sectorial interactions and involvement of non-formal and formal education methodologies.
- active participation promotion amongst youngsters and Romanian educational system representatives;
- active participation promotion among native communities of the 14 EVS volunteers in A.I.R.
The volunteers promoted cultural diversity values amongst the target groups of all the partner organizations (emphasising on young generations).
The project activities aimed at the creation and growth of social entrepreneurship campaigns, dedicated to disadvantaged social groups from the native communities of the European partners. In this way, the problems of the target groups would become as visible as possible in those communities. Moreover, the young volunteers involved have become aware of the importance of their active and strategic involvement in social issues.
By the end of the EVS stage, the A.I.R. volunteers tried to have created fundraising strategies that they would be able to apply in their own communities as piloting actions – assisted by their sending organizations.
You can find more about the project by clicking here.
A.I.R. magazine can be found here.
[hosting] Vitamin T 17 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
The biggest achievement of the project is to give kids in different unconventional spaces the opportunity to be part of theatre performances. With time this became something normal for A.C.T.O.R. At the same time the group of volunteers which are staying between 6 and 12 months in Romania, being creative, enthusiastic and responsible, thinking strategically, grow up as socio-cultural animator through arts. And this is more efficient and useful than any kind of formal education process we saw. Many volunteers involved in this Vitamin T Project
are still, years after, developing art education in the field of schools and youth projects. Some of them even with their own organizations. The intercultural dimension of Vitamin-T projects opened the mind of all types of people involved in Bucharest at a local level, but also in every organization with the role of sending volunteers abroad.
You can check out the VT17 magazine here.
More information on the project here.
[hosting] Here There 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Vitamina T - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Vitamin T 18 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] PAC : Parenting as Citizenship - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] ESD : European Solidarity Design - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[sending] Europe TakeTwo - youth exchange in Portugal
[sending] DonkeInk - youth exchange in Italy
[sending] Empowering You - youth exchange in Ireland
[sending][training course] Back pack - training course in Poland
[partnership] SVigoE Punto de encuentro
[partnership] E-Learning for EVS plus
[event] European Solidarity Corps Workshop in Bucharest
[event]Closing ceremony of 30 year of Erasmus in Bucharest
[partnership] LEMON - meeting in Slovenia
[partnership] LEMON - meeting in Rome, Italy
[sending] Meet the 12 Romanian volunteers of 2017!
[hosting] AIM Competencies 1 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] AIM Competencies 2 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Dreams Made Real - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Cross Border - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Trip See - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Act to Be Part of Europe - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] All Roads to EU - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] "Round II: Shall I be your angel?" - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Step I - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Vitamina T+ - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] HT+ - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Here There 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[hosting] Vitamina T 16 - A.C.T.O.R. EVS hosting
[partnership] NEC : New European Citizens
[partnership] YiA4SDG : Youth in Action for Sustainable Development Goals
[hosting] Hosting of an Erasmus student - Viktoria Ladanovska
Erasmus plus Program offered to A.C.T.O.R. the opportunity to host the first Erasmus student from Lithuania – Viktoria Ladanovska. She discovered between October and December how to organise a campaign. Together with Alina Vatavu and Andreea Vasilescu she have been part of the staff for Toy Toy Let’s Make a Joy Campaign in 2014
Here is her testimony about this experience:
Several years ago in European volunteering service organization A.C.T.O.R. was born great idea how to share happiness. The main idea is that kids from the schools are sharing their old toys with other kids from the hospitals. The idea is to teach kids about sharing power and to bring little joy to kids, who does not have that much toys and make their Christmas even more exciting.
In the beginning A.C.T.O.R. was collecting toys from their own kids, brothers, sisters, family and friends and years by years it was growing and growing.
I was wondering how much toys we are going to collect, I was sure that it will not be that much, maybe a few bags, but I was nicely surprised. It is not couple of dozens, not even hundreds, it is thousands of toys! From little toys from kinder surprise to giant fluffy teddy bears, ponies, dolls, cars, board games, puzzles etc… And the most exciting thing, that it is not just “Let’s clean our flat and get rid of old dirty unwanted toys”. Some of them are completely new, not even opened, carefully sorted. Kids are also writing posters, painting; they are wishing all the best. They honestly want to make sure that their toys, which brought so much joy into their lives, will make happy another owner.
A.C.T.O.R. also wants to be a part of this miracle, so this year together with toys volunteers are bringing a present all around the world- performance. They are going to show their own united fairy tale. Volunteers are turning to the characters of classic fairy tales such as “Pinocchio”, “Little red riding hood”, “Snow queen”, “Gretel and Hansel”. And together with games, music and dances will try to make children’s day unforgettable.
The best quote to describe this Christmas campaign is “Happiness only real when shared”. This is what A.C.T.O.R. wants to teach all the kids and this massive interest and attendance shows that we are more than succeeding.
[sending] Myself to Yourself - Youth Exchange in Spain
[sending] E-POSS - Youth Exchange in Liepāja, Latvia
[sending] Youth European in Progress - Youth Exchange in Ciudad Real, Spain
[sending][training course] Empowerment through coaching within Erasmus+ - in The Netherlands
“Empowerment through coaching within Erasmus+” was training that showed youth workers & EVS mentors how to use coaching techniques for empowerment of young people in non-formal learning activities in E+.
Therefore, the general objective of the ’empowerment through coaching’ training was to train and empower educators (youth workers, youth leaders, EVS mentors,…) in using coaching techniques and competences in an Erasmus+/Youth in Action context (grassroots youth-work, youth exchanges, EVS framework etc.)
In European youth-work, the importance of being able to support ‚learners’ individually – whether at the grassroots, everyday level or within a European youth exchange or the EVS framework – has become more and more evident. With the ‘Empowerment through coaching’ training, I had the opportunity to practice coaching skills and techniques to use in my own work and projects to empower the individuals I work with to take more ownership of their life paths and choices. The process of the training started with empowering participants themselves! This happened through practicing coaching techniques directly with each other – using real life issues and choices participants were facing either on a professional or personal level.
The training methodology was based on non-formal education principles, encouraged self-directed learning and learning-by-doing, included individual and group reflection and relied on peer-to-peer learning and experience sharing.
Article by Andreea Iosif
[sending] Dare to experience - Youth Exchange in Austria
„Just imagine: the mountains like some sleepy giants, forested by the shadow of the conifers, the refreshing air barely warmed up by the summery sun, the gilded houses with characteristic floral arrangements in warm colours, the Achensee Lake with its paradisiac waters in the distance.
On 12th of July, 8 Romanian volunteers were ready for a new challenge settled in Eben am Achensee, Austria.
For their first project, I can say that is was amazing and I didn’t expected something like this. It had a little bit of everything: a group of Lithuanians, Irish, Austrians and Romanians, a lot of interesting and tiring activities, two intercultural evenings, sweet messages, traditional food and sandwiches, games until dawn, free time for shopping at the local supermarket, for walking and bathing in the lake.
We talked about discrimination (with the help of Theatre Forum organised by Andreea), about the place in society of the disadvantaged people, about alcohol and its consequences (Thanks to the No Name Club), feeling upset and interested at the same time by the subjects. All we did was to realise some unpleasant things that happen in real life around us and that we can not ignore, that we have to be more aware of people because they all have a story behind.
Another cool session that I really loved was about our dreams. So we were asked to write our dreams on two pieces of papers that we clung to another two balloons. All that was preventing us for reaching our goals was written on balloons. What happened next? Poppings all over the room. Pop there, pop here. What was left? Just dreams, ready to be fulfilled.
The Paparazzi team was prepared everyday to catch us in different hypostasis and then we would have had in the evening a slideshow with the adventures of the day.
In the day with multiple intelligences, we had the opportunity to try many types of activities and find out which ones suit us the best: Bodily Kinaesthetic, Interpersonal, Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, Interpersonal, Visual-Spatial and Musical. The attraction of the day was a red cylinder filled with air on which we jumped until we got dizzy.
The whether was perfect, coolness in the morning, in the noon the sun would heat too much sometimes (the fact that we came back burned tells you something?) and the evening ideal for talking.
We taught the other ones at Origami, making together a colourful ball. After this, for the final evaluation and Youthpass, we ascended with the telecabin in the top of the mountain, we walked around there and we had an adventure with the Flying Foxes, from which the Romanians returned screaming like in cartoons.
And because being a volunteer implies helping the ones around you, we went to an alms house and we worked in three groups: some snatched the weeds, some planted strawberries and some arranged a pathway.
It had been an amazing unforgettable week and I met remarkable people with who I hope we will keep in touch a long time from now. It should have never ended. Never.”
– text written by Simona Matei –
[sending] „Friends you can keep” - Youth Exchange in Estonia
“What can happen when you stick 10 people together, who have just met, in an airplane flying to Tallinn? I think the answers will be discovered through these lines.
I tend to believe that we’ve all had a gram of fear, emotion and excitement. Estonia was a country totally unfamiliar to us and the idea of visiting it really appealed to us.
The departure day turned out to be extremely exhausting, having a layover of 5 hours in Frankfurt and arriving in Tallinn at midnight. However, during all these hours, we’ve become closer, got to know each other better and became a real team.
When we’ve finally arrived in Tallinn, we couldn’t wait to meet the other participants, from Italy and Estonia. At the airport, unknown faces were waiting for us, which until the end of this exchange turned out to be unforgettable.
The bus took us to the place where we were about to live together for six day, in approximately two hours. Our reactions were extremely hilarious, thinking about them now : we woke up in the middle of nowhere, on a rainy and cold day, having to stay in small wood cabins of four people. However, during that first night of “shock”, the view was the one to compensate everything.
I’m sure that I was not the only one who got panicked at the thought of having to survive here during all this time, and the first night was the hardest, but also the funniest. We’ve hardly caught some hours of sleep and, in the morning, we woke up with high hopes.
After breakfast, we’ve had warm-up games, where we got to know each other better and which also brought us to life.
After lunch, we’ve had another few games and also information regarding the theme of the project, the future workshops and the place where we were staying…”
[sending][training course] „Make it visible!” - in Lorca, Spain
„Make it visible! Project was about embodying our ideas against racism in creative educational tools that can help building intercultural communication bridges, tolerance, mutual trust and respect between humans, no matter the gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other features.
Starting with a deep reflection on good and bad treatment towards ourselves and others we got into various approaches of discrimination, presenting our regional realities and fostering collaboration in problem solving (for example, through forum theatre, an excellent nonformal educational method). Because besides the differences, we were all concerned about finding efficient ways to combat invisible racism and discrimination and to fight against microviolences in youth contexts.
After 8 training days we may not have dug so deep into the theoretical complexity of the topic, nor reached a well-defined common understanding of the issue, but we certainly gained an eye-opening experience. I’ve realized that the problem of racism has many more angles, from which it can be tackled, that the topic itself is extremely tricky and that continuous effort is needed in order to reduce manifestations of discrimination of any kind.
The most important lesson was that the change starts with us. The whole project challenged us to get involved, dare to put things into motion, share ideas and best practices, so that we were fully responsible to enrich our learning process. The metaphor of our invisible friend that treated us good during the training can be extrapolated to the whole project. In the current global cultural puzzle, identity is a topic of reformation and the relation with the other varies from agreement to cultural conflict. The roots of antagonisms and discrepancies can be found in the different perception of reality: the way of seeing things, the manner of thinking, meanings, symbols, representations, background. The foreigner involves awareness. Human history is nothing but a string of attempts to cancel distances. However, these spaces involve not only differences, but also freedom. At the end of them, stands the other. The images that we build of each other oscillate from phobia to mirage. The foreigner deserves to be respected for its precisely different essence. A true image of the other must be created only after a discovery of him throughout ourselves, mixing here with there. This representation should be designed to give the other the opportunity to be you in a situation of intercultural communication.
By doing and receiving good, in a resourceful intercultural open space offered by the project, we turned from strangers to friends. Not only we made visible bad treatment examples so we can identify them in our communities and start fighting against, but we also focused on giving a concrete body and soul to good treatment, as a must in promoting a culture of peace.”
Article written by Ioniță Diana-Adela
[sending] Sol & Arte - Youth Exchange in Portugal
„As the saying normally goes, time flies when one’s having fun. Well, in Portugal, if anything happens quickly, it means one hasn’t understood anything about life. Out here, every second has a specific span, which usually varies according to the number of bites of your cake you have left and to how fast you’re comfortable with chewing. Everyone is late, from the waiter whom you asked for a simple cup of coffee half an hour ago and whose only client are you, to airplanes. This is the only place I’ve been to where the airport’s information tables flash a retina-burning „LAST CALL” for your flight, you start dreadfully running and violently pushing people and pieces of luggage out of your way, you get to your gate all sweaty and hopeless, and are welcomed there with a serene smile and with the information that boarding isn’t actually going to begin for another 30 minutes. So, lesson number one: wheter you’re referring to Portuguese or internationally accepted minutes, there’s always more than enough time for another coffee in Portugal.
That’s how the first impressions look like for the eight A.C.T.O.R. volunteers who participated, between the 26th of July and the 2nd of August, in the „Sol & Arte” youth exchange, hosted by Gaiac, in the town of Guimaraes, Portugal. Apart from us and our hosts, there were also participants from Italy, Latvia, Estonia and Finland, thus composing an unusually diverse, but surprisingly homogeneous, group. Each participant has brought along certain expectations, which were met, exceeded and turned into more or less enjoyable surprises. For instance, Finland and Estonia came seeking the true face of the Sun and, in order for them to never underestimate its power again, they returned home with bristling burns. Meanwhile, Romania was looking for shelter from the extreme heat, searching a place with wind and chilly nights, and we were given the occasion to learn that one should never leave home without a sweater, so that we’ll never criticise Bucharest’s incandescent summer nights. Jokes aside, I was glad to notice how easily borders and personal limits disappeared and how natural and comfortable it was for laughter to burst and for hugs to tighten all along the week. I can honestly say that this was the most fluid exchange so far, especially when it comes to the communication and collaboration between participants. I don’t know whether it’s the fault of the Portuguese spirit or of everyone’s readiness, but it still had a remarkable effect…”
[sending] Equal Life Changes for Youth - in Ireland
[partnership][ongoing] New Life to Traditional Stories
[hosting][ongoing] Aici Acolo 13-14
[hosting][ongoing] Here There Everywhere
[training course] European Projects design, management and funding: how to develop a good learning project and get the funds - Grundvig workshop
[partnership] Education Against Racism
4 months, 2 weeks and 3 days!
Here am I! At the end of Education Against Racism project! or well known by its abbreviation – EAR!
A project that brought me experience as youth worker, starting on 15th of January 2015 with a two weeks training and followed by a mobility program outside Romanian borders.
Starting with a training as I said before, it brought together 4 European countries: Romania, Spain, Italy and Poland.
The road was harsh. Understanding the topic, keeping the name of the project or not finalized with giving away the idea of “racism”, but using the term of “discrimination”, for that was more extensive, like an umbrella containing all types of discrimination encountered by each in their own country.
Next key step: youth workers mobility.
By castling, I was the happier winner of … Spain, of course. The cultural shock was huge – and I’m talking about Danish culture (for I just landed just after a period of 9 months of EVS), a fair culture for me with a rigorous well done plan with more than 6 months organized in advance. And the Spanish culture were time expands … were there time doesn’t exist!
I could not predict cultural differences … yet in the end I had to set my watch according to that of my host.
Working as a youth worker involved sensitizing and informing about discrimination. During those 4 months I had time for plenty. Like a fairy tale that grows in one year like others in ten I have quickly learned Spanish, I planned and delivered workshops for students about the topic of discrimination and for teachers about Non Formal Education and Erasmus+ program, I’ve worked with a wonderful facilitators team, the JOY team (me and an Italian and Greek volunteer), I’ve interviewed teachers and questioned students for finding the real situation of discrimination at the High School “Sierra Almenara Purias”, I’ve wrote a part of the T-kit with the same name of the project, intended to be a tool for those who want to spoil discrimination. Of course, I’m joking! The T-kit represents the finality of the project and it is aimed to teachers, educators, parents who want to have access to some methods used by non formal education.
You can find lots of pictures on Facebook page: EAR – Education Against Racism.
Stay close for the final material, the T-kit!
Soon will come … just being coordinated by Spain, the term “soon” has no approximation.
Article by Denisa Ioana Speriatu
[training course] CLEARLY POSITIVE CULTURES
[sending][training course] “Be Your Own Leader!” - in Ireland
Between 21st – 28st of June 2014, Valentina Icăl and Mădălina Şerbu attended a training course on Leadership supported by Irene Rojnik (Austria), Deirdre Quinlan and Jack Talbot (Ireland). The training took place in southern Ireland near Wellington Bridge, Wexford, in a specific rural area away from the bustle of big cities. Apart from Ireland and Romania there where also participants from Italy, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, USA, Mexico and even Cameroon.
“Along with the 21 participants we had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things and participate in training sessions on various topics: multiple intelligence (linguistic, logical-mathematical, visual, music), theater forum, asking powerful questions and active listening but we also had some discussions about gender equality and acceptance of diversity or a human values or hunting (treasure hunt). We also had time to reflect both alone and with a partner chosen at random to discuss what we learned and how we think we can implement what we have learned.
Besides the activities meant to teach us how to become better leaders, we have also had the opportunity to discover so much about Ireland and about the other participating countries. Organisers of the “Lead II Ireland, Deirdre Quinlan and Jack Talbot, had prepared for us various recreational activities in the beautiful surroundings of Wexford. We also enjoyed the amazing Irish landscapes, the ocean and the typical big rocks emerging from the ocean, the ” HOOK lighthouse – the oldest lighthouse in the functional world and a wonderful garden called “Walled Garden”.
[sending] Northern Summer Lights - Youth Exchange in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
“The third day after returning home is always filled with the most intense and nostalgic of feelings, but what I want to try today is to use this in a constructive manner. So I will talk about how I spent the last week in Sweden, with eight other ACTOR volunteers, in an youth exchange about which I can easily say it was the best organised project I have ever taken part in.
On Monday, after two flights and an endless coach ride, the Romanian, Italian and Portuguese participants were welcomed by the Swedish group, if not with great warmth, at least with lots of light. But this is understandable, as summer in Sweden is quite chilly, but feels like an everlasting morning nevertheless, thanks to the never-setting sun. The workshops began the next morning and everybody had to choose between circus, music, dance and theatre. With great help from our trainers, Sebastian, Richardt, Pako and Andrea, we managed to create a very nice performance, after only 12 hours of work.
Apart from these activities and from the other specific aspects of every exchange, I must mention two unique moments, which have heavily contributed in turning this week into an unforgettable experience. The first would be our little trip to a nearby lake, where we spent a really pleasant evening, in a funny, camp-like atmosphere, surrounded by a charming view. The second and very interesting trip was to the moose farm, where we learned a lot of new things and we got the chance to interact with these amazingly cute animals.
Without getting too sentimental, I must close by saying that the links we created, the friendship beginnings, the laughter, the new things, the enthusiasm, the more or less serious talks and, in fact, every single moment of this week have made a special experience out of this week for all of us, no matter the number of previous participations in such projects. As I got used to saying, every exchange is the first, every exchange is the best, and the end of an exchange is never a “goodbye”, it is a “see you later”.”
Article by Andreea Smeu