C.A.R.E. trough volunteering – Close, aware, responsible, engaged together

 

C.A.R.E  through volunteering  – close, aware, responsible, engaged together was conceived as a seven days training course aiming at bringing together 28 youngsters who are either actively involved in voluntary work, or who are willing to start their voluntary  activities, especially in the field of fighting against discrimination of any kind.

Who was involved… the participants were young people from both EU and non EU countries,  like  Albania, Armenia, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland,  Romania,  Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

 

This project was organized by Centrul de Resurse pentru Comunitate, a Romanian non-  governmental  organization, together  with 13 partners (from the 13 participating countries)  and it  was financially      supported by the Youth in Action Program.

What we’ve done the theme of our training course was the fight against discrimination, the care for the other, through the means of volunteering.

 Why... we are all aware that the political attempts to solve the problems recorded at both national and European level are insufficient, unless they are backed and supported by the active, constant, voluntary involvement of the civil society. One change produced at micro-social level can have a huge impact, in time, at the macro-social level, and volunteering has a major role here.

Therefore, the purpose of the project was to make the young people coming from different societies sensitive to the value and importance of volunteering, as a form of active engagement and as a combat tool against hatred, motivated violence, racism, social discrimination and exclusion. It also aimed at improving the participants’ ability to find, either alone or together with the others, new and creative ways of actively engaging in voluntary activities which could lead to reducing discrimination.

Objectives:

  •      Promoting volunteerism as a tool to encourage young people’s active participation in society
  •      Recovering the new European strategy of investing in young people and encouraging them, by creating new opportunities for their personal and professional development using non – formal education and focusing on voluntary actions.
  •      Developing the mutual understanding, the skill of discovering and sharing creative ways of expression, possibilities of fighting against discrimination, accepting differences, facing the problems and finding common ways of solving them
  •      Introducing the general opportunities offered by the Program Youth in Action, with special emphasis on the European Voluntary Service
  •      Increasing the international cooperation by airning an important experience in a mixt and interactiv group and by developing usefull contacts for future projects, binding of international friendships.
  •      Expanding the social, civic, cultural horizons of the participants and encourage their activity as multipliers and promoters of a greater involvement in society and community.
  •    Integrating young people with fewer opportunities, people experiencing poverty and social exclusion in the society

Methods…all this was achieved through non-formal education activities such as:

  •      Exercises of self-knowledge and personal development
  •      Exercises of group cohesion
  •      Presentation sessions
  •      Workshops
  •      Teamwork
  •      Forum Theatre
  •      Ice-breaking games, energizers and intercultural activities

Where… the training course took place in Ramet and Coltesti, the district of Alba. Coltesti is a Transylvanian multicultural rural area which was carefully rebuilt as a place where cultural and ethnic diversity is affirmed in a constructive and pragmatic manner.

…and they said afterwards:

” I would like to say that this project was a very special one for me due to more reasons. The main ones concern the very friendly team that we had, though I have to admit that it was a big group, perhaps the biggest I had to be part of in a training course. We still try to maintain the cohesion of the created group through different means of communication. 

The studying methods used during the project covered my expectations and provided me with useful information, I would especially like to mention here the stereotypes fighting exercise and EVS simulation activity.

As regarding the volunteering, I would say that C.A.R.E training was an opportunity for me to find out that there are committed people for the civil engagement in all the participating countries and that due to the activities that all the participants are involved in as volunteers or initiatives generators, proved that there is a better future for the humanity.”

Cristina Turcu, Moldova

 

This project has been a great experience, I really enjoyed. Also, I have to mention that I learned a lot: about other people and their countries, about volunteering and I am glad I had the chance to learn from much more experienced colleagues.

I have also learned a lot about myself and I am, if I may say so, a bit proud of myself, because it is not always easy to manage among people you don’t know. But I love our group and it would definitely be nice if we’d meet again. So many different mentalities, attitudes and opinions…but we managed, tolerance above all.

And about Romania, it is definitely a place I would like to visit again, and it is not so different from my home country.”

                                                                                                                                                                  Sanja Nikolic, Serbia

 

“This training was very valuable experience for me as I discovered how volunteers work in other European countries, in what type of volunteering they are more involved, what are the hottest topics in each participant country, what is an EVS and got an idea how I can become more active part of volunteer movement in my country.

Group of participants was the best I have ever met-all were very enthusiastic about the volunteering they do and was eager to share their experience, talk about the problems they face and was positively influencing the intercultural spirit of the group.

During the course, I met a lot of wonderful and “very, very, very interesting and crazy people” and made many good friends.

Topics were vital and trainers put many efforts to initiate discussions between participants. We were discussing our ideas about volunteering, discrimination, about the image and reality that different countries have, we learned how to write a project proposal and how to implement it in real life.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Viktorya Ayvazyan, Armenia

 

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