Ten months of volunteering in Romania

And July arrived. It is the first time in my life during the summer that I stayed that much away from the sea and the model of “summer vacations”, that we used to have every summer in Greece. But somehow I don’t feel bad at all. When I decide to do my long term EVS in Târgu Frumos, Romania, I knew it is far from the sea side. And if I could measure everything, the opportunity of EVS was the most important. And I am happy I still believe that.

The month was full again with activities in the youth center and in the local area. At the beginning of the month we had a very big and important seminar, called “Sports Activator”. More than 42 volunteers national and international where participated during this seminar. We had activities every day and during this I learnt a lot of new methods and exercises. I really liked the fact that I met again some friends I did on a previous Erasmus+ projects and felt what others told me so many times, that the world is very small and in the Erasmus world you never say goodbye but see you soon

The highlight of the seminar was when one of the participants went on the stage on the Târgu Frumos’ center and made Zumba dances. Immediately almost all the place was full with children and teenagers dancing and sharing smiles and photos. Just like that, as it was needed for them and they were waiting a firewall to start dancing. We spent there almost two hours and we were all exhausted and laughing of dance.

During this month we arranged some new activities for the youth center. I participated in a workshop about girls to respect their body, that was facilitated by our international volunteer, Ebet. It was the first time that I saw something like this and as Ebet said to us, it is very common in their culture, in Mexico, to organize these workshops for young girls and boys. At the end you see yourself in a different way, more calm and without feeling ashamed by taboo topics. For sure it was useful and we should do it again soon for other teenagers to participate.

Also we did a dissemination workshop about a seminar we participated in Albania, called “Gender out of the box”. For the youngsters that participated the method and the topic about the gender equality and human rights was something completely new. We created the boxes of “The Real Lady” and “The Real Men” and we had a big discussion about what is going on in the society and how we can help to stop the discrimination of people who are not fitting in “the boxes” of the society. 

At the 24 of July we had a visit of Romanian National Agency to supervise our projects on the youth center. It was a routine visit as they said because I was the first EVS project of the association. The ladies that came where very polite to us and they wanted to make sure that we have good cooperation with our coordinator and with our mentors and generally we do the tasks of our EVS. I had very pleasant conversation with them and before they left I had a workshop in our youth center about multiple intelligence. At the end of the workshop we did a thank you circle and we spoke with honesty to each other about people and things that we are thankful for. It was the perfect moment for me also to share my feelings with them because the local volunteers are one of the reasons I love doing youth working and without their help I wouldn’t find out this about myself. That’s why it was the perfect moment to tell them thank you and that after I will finish my EVS in about two month I will not say goodbye.

At the end of the month we had a lot of things to arrange about the second phase of the “Sports Activator” seminar. We are expecting 15 participants from Greece, Turkey, Spain and Bulgaria and I can’t wait to meet new people and to learn new things.   

By Nikolia Papadopoulou

Building Bridges is a project funded by Erasmus+, a programme of the European Union. The content of this article is the exclusive responsibility of the authors, and the National Agency and the European Union are not responsible for how the content of the information will be used.


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