Our Beneficiaries

Summer is Here

Summer is here and, as always, it has a good side and a bad side. In the good hand we can take a walk through the cherry trees that garnish the streets of Arad full of its red berries, if the weather is really hot we can go to the Neptun Lido, besides the fortress of Arad and have fun with the different swimming pools, someones with hot springs (smell of eucalyptus) another with slides and also there are several places to eat something and, why not, take a beer for only 2 lei!

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Another advantage that summer brings is the goods you can find in the open market a lot of fruits and vegetables very cheap (cheaper than the big supermarket chains where we are used to buy) and, definitely more tasty and healthy. Now is the best period to enjoy of the Romanian goods, it’s easier to eat better spending less money.

But not everything are advantages in this period for us, the schools and kindergarten shut down so we aren’t gonna work anymore with our children, after nine months we’ve taken a load of affection to them. We’ve tried to teach them and I think, in general, we’ve done a good job but, honestly, I think I’ve learnt more with them than they with me. Sometimes we forget the language is something else than connected words, the gestures, the looks, the expressions… children are able to remember you the worth of all of this. There are been 9 month full of emotions, hugs, dedicated drawings, smiles and tons of fun. We’ll remember them as, I’m sure, they’ll remind us.

Ne vedem!

P.R.

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Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Gastronomy, Our Beneficiaries, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

S.O.S. Balkans

The worst floods in the republics of Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia in over a hundred years have already caused more than forty deaths. Authorities fear that the death toll rises as waters recede and make the counting of damages. The economic damages will also be important: the losses amount to 1,000 million euros only in Serbia, a country that the floods have left without 40% of its power generation capacity.

The most affected areas are Obrenovac (Serbian town about 30 kilometers southwest of Belgrade, where on Sunday the bodies of 12 people were found) as well as Maglaj and Doboj (both in Bosnia), where thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes . In neighboring BosniaHerzegovina, nearly a third of its inhabitants have been affected. The situation is catastrophic,” said Serbian Prime Minister Aleksander Vucic, who canceled a planned trip to Austria.

The rains stopped over Sunday in the most affected areas (central and western Serbia and northeast Bosnia), but continue growing the Sava river in Belgrade where the soldiers are built a 12 kilometres wall of sandbags to protect the city. Thousands of soldiers and volunteers worked through the night on Saturday to build a 5 kilometres wall of sandbags to protect the Kostolac power plant, also the workers at the plant joined the effort, digging up a road in a bid to divert waters that threatened to flood nearby coal mines. The Kostolac plant supplies 20 percent of Serbia’s electricity needs.

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Otherwise, these floods could dig up thousands of landmines still remain especially in Bosnia and that were placed during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). Approximately one million people live in the affected region, where floods could dig up part of the 120,000 explosive devices that have yet to be detonated in Bosnian territory, officials said. There are also over 9,400 minefields carefully marked with signs and fences that could be affected by the rains.

The Mine Action Centre of Bosnia has warned of this risk to the residents of the affected areas. “As a result of this natural disaster, mine may have been displaced from the danger zones identified. Every possible measure to encourage residents should be taken,” said the organization.

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But the disaster has brought unexpected effect has aroused a feeling of unprecedented solidarity between communities that twenty years ago were declared enemies. Regardless of ethnicity or religion, the least affected neighbors have turned to help those who have lost everything. The constant references between affected the war that devastated the Balkans in the nineties give an idea of ​​the magnitude of the disaster.

In the Bosnian city of Maglaj, residents have already returned to see if there is still something to saveAfter the war I found my furniture, and I noticed I could use again, my couch and my cupboard. But now, now I have no cupboard, you can go and check it, we have nothing“, Hatidza Muhic, one of the affected lamented.

In Tuzla, another Bosnian town, predominantly Serbian, a similar image and despair are palpable. “In two days has destroyed everything we got when we returned to rebuild after the war,” said Nevenka Djuric, who has lost his home after a landslide caused by rains.

Gradually, the neighbors try to recover the few belongings that water and mud did not take. But among such loss, at least the stock has gained something: what could be the beginning of improvement in the relationship between opposing communities for many years. Croats, Serbs and Muslims have shown his human side facing the worst floods in the Balkans in the last century.

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There are various ways to help and get involved, either by actively assisting those in need, if you are in the area, or through donations. Many reputable organisations have opened accounts for this purpose, including the Red Cross Bosnia, Red Cross CroatiaRed Cross Serbia, Novak Djokovic Foundation, Government of Serbia, and Association Pomozi, just to mention a few. Please visit their websites and contribute what you can, or at least – help spread the word.

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Also, international organism as UN, EULEX, World Bank and countries as Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary… but even in our city, Arad. A group of EVS volunteers has taken contact with the serbian community in the city and we are gonna start a campaign to collect staple goods (mineral water, higienic goods, diapers, non-perishable food…) and send to the affected areas. Tomorrow we’ll start an informative campaign in schools, high schools, universities, supermarkets to try the most of people have the possibility of helping. And tomorrow, we try to raise awareness the people whose come to our barter market “Let’s Swap” about the neccesity to help in these critical moments.

 

Ne vedem!

P.R.

Categories: EVS Activities, Our Beneficiaries, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Swap

We are preparing a great event for the next week. The Thursday, 15th of May (Update: due to inclement weather of the past week, we are forced to postpone this event for next Thursday, May 22) We are gonna make a big barter market in Arad. It will be in Parcul Copiilor from 15:00 to 18:00. Swapping is simply exchanging things that you don’t want or need any more. So the idea is to just get together and exchange things that we don’t need any more, instead of throwing them away. We can exchange all kind of stuff like: cloths, children toys, accessories, books or even food. Every participant should bring at least one object to trade. The general rule is: NO MONEY INVOLVED. In the end, if some things will be not traded, there will be a possibility to donate them on behalf of the community members who are in need.

823533_253473031510747_1685034111285591004_oThe date of this event is Thursday, 22 May

We wanna make to know that everything is worth, maybe your have a lot of things in your house that you aren’t gonna use anymore but for another people your garbage can be truly treasures. This will be the first edition, because if this event is succesful we’ll keep doing new editions in next months. Our main goal is to prove you do not need money to get things necessary or that you really like. To escape a little of that maelstrom of unrestrained consumerism we are used to.

10275489_251890281669022_4827997081089070952_oThe date of this event is Thursday, 22 May

The biggest factor in this project is the willingness of the people. Residents have to be on board with the project and commit to the idea. It would be wise to win support from respected people within the community, people that everyone trusts, who would then lead by example. Additionally getting young people involved can help draw in families and encourage greater participation. Young people should be involved from the beginning and be asked to contribute just as much and perhaps more than anybody else.

This idea is not new at all, already in the neolithic period started to do this practice. And there is also another ways to trade without money as the time banks which, lately, are having a great boom around the world, although this method began to be used in the early nineteenth century with The Cincinnati Time Store. Regarding to the barter markets, one of the most famous in Europe is located in Barcelona.After the “Corralito” in Argentina began to proliferate a lot of barter markets around the country and in Mexico it’s still working out a barter market prior to the pre-hispanic times.

So… you know, if you have something that is useless for you or you aren’t gonna use anymore, come to visit us the next Thursday in Parcul Copiilor. You can also visit our facebook page, click here.

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Ne vedem!

P.R.

 

Categories: EVS Activities, Our Beneficiaries, Our City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Campaign against Human Trafficking

As you know one of the most important fields in which we’ve worked for our project has been the Human trafficking, and we’ve been doing diverse activities related with that:

– In the last October we attended the third International Symposium on Human Trafficking organized by our hosting organization The Pro Prietenia Arad Foundation.

– From September 2013 to February 2014 we attended a training in which we received a lot of information about this topic (you can also check our section in this blog, click here).

With all of this, we started to prepare our own campaign to raise awareness among young people of Arad County. We prepared the campaign working togheter with our mates from the “Unity in Diversity” project, and when we had all ready, we started our tour.

 

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We start our campaign in the High School of Curtici. The High School director assures to our organization the students could speak and understand english so we prepared the campaign in english language, and that was the great problem… most of them didn’t understand us, so we needed the help of Adina and Claudiu (our mentors) to translate them all the information. Quickly, the students were very interested in the topic and they participated more than we expected so we finish the first day with a very good feeling. Campaign was supposed to last a week but the next day when we showed up, the headmaster cancelled the rest of the campaign arguing that the students should prepare themselves for the exams then we had to leave Curtici very dissapointed by the lack of seriousness of the director and with the feeling that we have lost a good opportunity to continue raising awareness of youth there.

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Our next destination was the university Vasili Godis in Arad. We had in the audience some students from the university and also some Italian EVS volunteers who were really interested in this campaign. We didn’t have problems with the communication due to most of them understood perfectly English, so we have a really good feedback with the students and everything worked out as was expected. The campaign wasn’t only a bunch of information, we prepared exercises and examples to create a debate and clear any type of doubt that could present to our listeners.

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Our last target was Lipova, the second largest town in the Arad County. We made the campaign for two days, the first one was a very great experience, most of the students understood english and some of them helped the rest of the guys who couldn’t understand us, there was a really cool feedback with them and they were totally concerned in the topic, after the first minutes when they were very quiet and shy they woke up (at least a few of them) and we went out from there with a feeling of satisfaction for having passed on the message to listeners. Althought the second day the students were younger a most of them didn’t understand english so Claudia and Adina, again, were talking with the audience all the time.

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To conclude we only can say it’s been a great experience, even with the difficult of the bordier language (also for me, I’d never spoken in public in English) the result of the campaign has been very satisfying for us as well as for our organization.

 

Ne vedem!

P.R.

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Moș Crăciun pentru o zi!

Hey!

After  this long Christmas holidays pause, here we are again!

Someone came back home, someone used this free time to take a round. Personally I went to Poland with Aga and an Italian friend, we went by hitch-hicking and, honestly, it was a bit hard to come back home but after three days we did it and we had the possibility to see and appreciate some cities in Slovakia and Hungary, really nice places.

Anyway I would like to tell you about what we did for Christmas with our little friends, our “copii din Curtici” and maybe I’ll tell you about my trips in another post, why not!?

So as I said let me tell you about our “Moș Crăciun day” in Curtici.

Some days before the holidays we got a call from our organization, they asked us to help them to unload some packages from a truck, actually it was more than some package, it were “second hand” toys collected in Germany and sent to Romania to make happy Romanian kids that unfortunately couldn’t have the chance to enjoy this period as other children do. We stored all this presents and we took some of them to bring to Curtici and gave them to the children of the Curtici children center.

Some days after Aga, Antonio and me went with Cristina, our coordinator and Ana, local volunteer, to Curtici.download

The surprise for them was that we were wearing the costume of Santa Claus and  children were amused to see us in the shoes of Moș Crăciun ( as Santa Claus is known here in Romania).

Everybody was enjoying that moment,  children sang for us some Christmas songs (the little Aida was superb) and after we started to give them the presentsDSC00131

Laughs, hugs and kisses, great!

We spent with them some time and after giving the good wishes for a happy Christmas we left Curtici with a smile in our faces!

Here you can see some pics of the event…

La revedere my friends!

 

Luca G.

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Odd Socks

One of our first tasks in our project was to prepare a singular campaign for the collection of socks. Vis de Copil (A Child´s Dream) and Fundatia Pro Prietenia (our host organization) are the creators of this campaign, and we had the honour of preparing it all along. The main idea is to collect socks, but we accept all kind of clothes. The campaign to collect clothes are very common, but people usually give all kind of old or used pants, T-shirts, sweaters… but no many people think about socks. Here in Romania the Winter is very hard and long and for some months the temperatures are below freezing, so in this case socks are really important.

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We start the campaign designing a logo, visit cards, leaftleaves and, even, T-shirts. In mid September Vicky and me togheter with representants of Pro Prietenia and Vis de Copil appeared in TV talking about this campaign. And before September finished we´re out here in the streets to show the campaign to local people. We were till the end of October going every week to a very crowded shopping complex in Arad. We were a great reception from people we met, the most of them came to us to ask about the campaign and in what way they could get involved, thanks to the invaluable help of Georgiana and Denisa (local volunteers) we could convey to people about the goals of the campaign and finally, we collected many socks, there were people whose even bought new socks and put them into the big sack we had for this.

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Although our work on the streets has finished, the campaign continues; Odd Socks campaign collects socks for the poor in Romania but you can help us from anywhere in the world, so if you really care this difficult situation in which many families are going through in our host city, you can visit the Odd Socks facebook page, click here.
Ne Vedem!
PR
Categories: EVS Activities, Our Beneficiaries, Our City, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NGO Fair

The past weekend Fundatia Pro Prietenia participed in the the fifteenth edition of theNGO Fair (organized by the Directorate of Development and Community Assistance) togheter with several organizations from Arad, as Fundatia Takacs, Asociatia Europa pentru Europa, our friends from Vis de Copil, Fundatia Caminul Sperantei, Foto Club Arad, Societatea de Cruce Rosie, Fundatia Animed Arad

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This fair had place in a excellent and centric situation, in front of the City Hall. For a few days we were playing with children in a several ways: doing balloon modeling, origami, face-painting, juggling balls, figures with plasticine and drawing. The wind was disturbing a little bit the first day but on Friday we enjoy of a great day. Each organization offered something different so what every body could enjoy:

  • Youth activities
  • First aid demonstration
  • Execution paintings
  • Photo projections
  • Regional dances
  • Martial Arts Demonstrations

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Definetely, it was a great experience in which we can know many local organizations, we had our first contact with local children and also we met many EVS volunteers whose were helping in other stands and overall we enjoy with samples of what Romanian culture can offer us.

And if you want more evidence about our job, click here 😉

Ne vedem!

PR

Categories: Art & Culture, EVS Activities, Our Beneficiaries, Our City, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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EVS experiences in Arad

Empower your EU citizenship

EVS experiences in Arad