Posts Tagged With: Arad

Manu Chao in Timisoara!

Another of the good things, that summer brings, are the music live… there are several music festivals and concerts almost every weekends around Romania. I went already to Electric Castle Festival in the county of Cluj the last weekend (but I’ll write about that later on, because this experience deserves a post by itself) and the last Wednesday, for example we went to Timisoara to watch Manu Chao.

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One of the things with which I enjoy the most here in Romania is that for any event whenever we get together a lot of friends from that great family which is EVS (and not only EVS, also friends that work or study here) so people from Craiova, Cluj, Oradea, Arad, Resita… from more than ten different countries met us for the Manu Chao’s concert. And it was a really great night: after one hard day due to the heavy rain that was falling during most of the day we arrived at “Muzeul Satului Banatean” and then the rain stopped and we could enjoy with  more than two hours of show in which we didn’t stop dancing.

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After the concert we went to the backstage and then Manu Chao appeared sharing food and drinks for all of us, taking pictures, signing autographs and the most important, talking with us, he was surprised to see a big group of friends together from so different countries. We explained him about EVS, about our different projects and also we were talking about a load of topics with him, I think everybody left the concert with a great satisfaction; after the great show they made on the stage, he was really kind with all of us, despite being a world-famous star, no ceases to be a completely sociable, talkative and close person.

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Ne Vedem!

P.R.

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Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

Revoluția Română

Today is the 24th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution beggining. Everything started in Timişoara, very close to our city, Arad; and soon spread throughout the country. It ultimately resulted in the violent overthrow and execution of longtime President of Romania Nicolae Ceauşescu, and the end of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Romania was under a hard authoritarian regime headed by Ceauşescu for more than 24 years.

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In the first years, the  Ceauşescu´s government is constructed based on repression, austerity, and grandiloquent investment a systematic abuse of the laws. All of this balanced with well proportioned odds at truculent nationalism, and feeding an open challenge to the Soviet Union. In parallel, Romania enjoys a more favorable economic situation, given the growing demand for food that the country is able to provide. Rural areas have abundant cultivable space and an equally nurtured human resources to work with.

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The leader becomes extremely popular, but never leaves aside the prerogatives of his secret agenda: Party infiltration continues stoking in every social sphere, while giving way to what would become the most feared secret police of the Eastern bloc, the Securitate. This context presents him with the opportunity to paint his figure with the brush of the cult of personality. Official propaganda (focused exclusively on his desires) refers to him with high sounding epithets: ‘‘The Great Conductor,” ”The Genius of the Carpathians” and ”The Danube of Thought.” And the structures fall under his complete dominance: the armed forces the intelligence services, police, media and economic activity in all its dimensions.

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After his visit to North Korea and China, Ceauşescu wants to transform Romania into an industrial power. For this purpose, initially proposes two major objectives: to increase the birth rate in the country and pay all external debt of Romania. He gets the first goal but the austerity programs to pay the external debt sorted by Ceauşescu, in early 1980, will pass the bill to the quality of life of the population and the rationing of food and heating (from energy shortages, many people die from extreme cold) will do that  the unpopularity of the government and the Communist Party soar. However, major riots don´t occur and the rate of social conflict remains low due to the high discretion displaying repressive leader. The agrarian program designed by the president reconstitution (‘systematization’) exacerbates the problem of food availability. But Ceauşescu not see it that way: the leader has lost all sense of reality. Continue with his agenda, and even conducts public presentations on farms and stables that have been provided previously well-fed animals and plastic fruits and vegetables.

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It´s such a day like today 24 years ago when started the Timişoara uprising from the Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Mitropolitană). The protest broke out to repudiate government persecution of a political opponent, embodied in the figure of the Hungarian Reformed church pastor László Tőkés whose had made critical comments against the regime’s Systematization policy and complained that the Romanians don´t even know their human rights to foreign media. State repression leads to the worsening of the social scene, and subsequent days are characterized by demonstrations staged by students, workers and ordinary citizens, who seem to have lost their fear. The Romanian flag with socialist shield ripped from its center becomes a symbol that runs throughout the country.To these reactions, the system responds with an increasingly brutal persecution and accusations of fascist coup and agitation‘.

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The last public speech of Nicolae Ceauşescu takes place the 21th on December in the central square of Bucharest. The president proposed to take advantage of what was called a public meeting to be tailor made ​​to condemn the events in Timisoara , and he did. Most citizens boos him and, in an attempt to calm down , advertises ridiculous increases in the minimum salary. But this is not enough: the masses react negatively and his security advisers recommend him that safeguards inside the building. The speech is broadcast live and direct around the country and although the air is removed and replaced with a still image, most of the population has realized that something strange is happening. Everyone naturally turns to the streets in major cities under the slogans of “Death to the dictator” and “Down with the government”. Communist Party committees are looted and set on fire documents.

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After that, Ceauşescu and his wife take a helicopter to run away but finally they were arrested by police just hours later. And have no doubt: in the streets, the army also failed to respond, whereas the main references of the state and its activists are executed on the spot. And the same forces which will lead to summary trial the president the 25th on December. After two hours they were executed by a firing squad.

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In the wake of the revolution, 1,104 people died, 162 of these occurring in the protests that took place from 16 to 22 December 1989 and brought an end to the Ceauşescu regime and the remaining 942 in the riots before the seizure of power by a new political structure, the National Salvation Front. Most deaths occurred in cities such as Timişoara, Bucharest, Sibiu and Arad. The number of injured reached 3,352, of which 1,107 are for the period in which Ceauşescu still held power, and the remaining 2,245 are for the period after the seizure of power by the National Salvation Front.

References:

http://www.analitica.com/bitblio/ramonet/conflictos.asp

http://publicaciones.ua.es/filespubli/pdf/15793311RD35322090.pdf

http://www.elojodigital.com/contenido/11391-senor-presidente-hay-una-revolucion-aqui-afuera-usted-esta-solo-buena-suerte

http://modestine4.blogspot.ro/2010/09/transylvania-5.html

http://www.wikipedia.org/

Ne Vedem!

PR

Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Like kids in a school trip

The last tuesday, we had the first “activity” with our new collegues from Zimbawe. It wasn’t an activity, it was kind of a trip, as I said already in the title; we went to the turnul de apa of Arad, our city!

The Water Tower it’s really beautiful and it’s a piece of history, a monument of Arad.

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It was built in 1896, located in Piață Pompierilor,  used to spread the drinking water to the citizens and it was able to provide it for all the city. Restored in 1927 , now hosts many art exhibitions and paintings.  The Tower is 38 meters high , built in the vicinity of the barracks fire,  and it was the tallest building in the city .

The project comes from the idea of the famous architect Miklós Ybl, who used as a model a dungeon of a medieval fortress . At the top was mounted a giant pool of water, which ensured supply to the entire city with drinking water.

The tower was in activity until 1956 and since 1990 it’s a private property.

When we arrived a kind man received us, he was our guide, an old man really passionate in his role as an “information giver”.

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In the entrance we can find a collection of city maps, some of them are really old, from the Austro-Hungarian empire, some are newer, for sure it’s really interesting to look at them to have an idea of the development of the city.

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It is possible to see a lot of curious and old objects in the different rooms of the tower, objects used in relation with the water, of course; we saw “strange” bottles and a lot of different pipes to pump the water into the houses, some old bidets (not everybody uses bidet, in Italy we do; for more infos click on it) and other small objects.

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In one of the floors it is possible to admire an art collection, there are paintings made from romanian artists and some great pictures as well.

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In another floor are exposed the different uniforms used by the fireman in different times.

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After climbing the small and narrow spiral staircases (some of you could have problems with vertigo), we arrived on the top floor of the building, a “giant pool” that can hold 400 tons of water. Before it was even possible to perform plays due to the perfect acoustic.

From this point of the tower we could admire a really nice Panorama, all Arad was under our sight, beautiful!

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The End…

Hey you, if you are reading this article and you are curious enough, just go there and take a look at the history.

Arrivederci!

Luca G.    

Categories: Art & Culture, Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Our City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bella Ciao

We´ve lost a member of our family… Grazia Calapai finished her EVS project on November after 10 months and yesterday she came back to Italy. She was the first EVS volunteer I met in Arad, I still remember when I left my room and I could see, in the end of the corridor, to Grazia with Pitta and Nana (Marco came after) since the first moment I felt very comfortable clearing my doubts about this adventure, called EVS, which began for me. She took me to Kf for the first time, Kf is the meeting point for the most of the EVS volunteers in Arad, and I could met a lot of volunteers coming from several countries: Peru, Jordan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey…

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I also remember the first weekend, my first hitch-hick… we went to Timisoara where we were with my roommate Luca and thanks to them I met her friend Pippo and his girlfriend whose gave us place to sleep. I discovered this great city with them, the nightlife as well as we took a walk by the downtown under an awesome sun… And I could keep telling stories about her, about the time that we spend togheter and all the experiences we lived togheter in these three busy months. Budapest, chocolat cakes, the surprise when we arrived from Predeal, tiramisú, a lot of words, sensations and emotions with a common nexus: Grazia

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But anyway, althought you aren´t here in a physical way you´ll be always here with us. Now this is our house ´cause you did that possible you made we felt like in our own homes and I´m sure our ways will meet again.

Pupici! Ne vedem!

PR

Categories: Volunteer´s life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

International Symposium on Human Trafficking

The last week we had the opportunity to take part in the third International Symposium on Human Trafficking which was held in Arad and was organized by The Friendship Foundation (UK – Romania) in partnership with our hosting association, Pro Prietenia Arad and with the collaboration of Pointman Leadership Institute.

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Our tasks during the week were to help in the logistics part with the help of many local volunteers, but we could also enjoy with the different lectures that occurred throughout the event.

The first day the lectures were focused about the principle-based leadership in the fight against human trafficking and they were carried on by Michael Craig and Quintus Smit. On Tuesday the same speakers opened the day with a speech about the need of a multidisciplinary approach.

After the lunch break the symposium continued with new speakers: Marius Roman spooke about the fight against the human trafficking. Laurentiu Dinca and Claudia Sarbescu spoke about the prevention and Mihaela Tomita finished the conference speaking about connections between drug trafficking and human trafficking.

The Third day was focused on point out models of best practice for combating the human trafficking; in UK with Michael Craig, Brian Gregory and Cristina English; in Romania with George Iuga, Marius Grec and Cristian Rafaila; in Switzerland with Corinne Estermann and Mariana Petersel; and in Netherlands with Foka Van de Beek.

On Thursday, Filip Ologeanu and Emanuel Popa opened the day with a very interesting exposure about their project. MATTOO (Men Against the Trafficking of Others) is an international organization that uses the empowerment of boys and men to stop the threat of sex trafficking by showing the direct correlation between the demand in the sex trade industry and the supply of humans through trafficking. After that, Tiberiu Medeanu (professor at the Vest Timisoara University) talked about the new penal codes related with the human trafficking. And in the afternoon we could go at the opera in Timisoara to see the Romanian premier of the British award-winning anti-trafficking opera  Anya17.

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The last day we could check how the fatigue had punished the assistants and the organizers after a hard week. To close this third symposium Michel Craig and Smit Quintus were the responsible ones and they did it speaking about prevention and combating the corruption.

We can say this third edition was a real succes and we hope this symposium can have many more editions and increase its call and its importance every year.

PR

(UK – Romania)
(UK – Romania)in partnership with our hosting association, Pro Prietenia A
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Classy Romania

Little after the beginning of October the folks at our foundation, Pro Prietenia told us about a surprise activity scheduled for the 10th of October, with the only warning of having to go as best dressed as we could. The day arrived and so we tried to present ourselves in the most fashionable way (with a little help from the good old Arad’s 2nd hand shops of course).

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The volunteers at FILARMONICA DE STAT ARAD

The surprise activity to our amusement turned out to be the chance to watch a Mozart concert live at FILARMONICA DE STAT ARAD. Built with lush and classic architecture, the building turned out to be the perfect place to recreate the feeling such music would need.

Conducted by maestro Dorin Frandeş, the concert opened with Overture, Abduction (from Seraglio and The Magic Flute), with the power, but also the beauty of the notes played by the orchestra to open this musical evening with great joy and ecstasy.

Then it was time for the talent of Ekaterina Litvintseva to shine on the piano. The soloist alongside the orchestra played the following:

  • Concerto in E-flat Major for Piano and Orchestra
  • Concerto in A major for piano and orchestra
  • Concerto in B flat major

In the end people seemed to fully enjoy the experience. However more classical music was on the way of the EVS Volunteers, this time with a much serious matter.

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Concert poster (source: http://party-arad.ghidularadean.ro)

Timişoara was the city that hosted the opera Anya 17, a dramatic piece written by Adam Gorb, whose subject revolves around the topic of Human Trafficking, in a week in which the Symposium of Human Traffic took place in Arad from 21 to 25 of October. As the great zenith of such event, this opera perfectly portrayed the decay and anguish of all the people (especially women) that fell victims to the scourge of Human Trafficking.

Through the sinister, non melodic and powerful sounds coming from the orchestra, together with the sorrowful singers’ words, the Filarmonica Banatul’s Sala Capitol was invaded with a restless, oppressive and yet somehow beautiful atmosphere that failed to get unnoticed by every single person in the room due to its intensity. A high note on a very important and busy week, organized both by Pro Prietenia and Pro Friendship associations in order to prevent and alert people for the reality of Human Traffic.

La revedere..

AS

Categories: Art & Culture, EVS Activities, Our City, Volunteer´s life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Let´s Do It Romania

After to go to Predeal for our arrival training, we´ve participated in the campaign “Let´s Do it Romania“. It has been the fourth consecutive edition of this singular campaign which has counted with more than 200.000 volunteers throughout Romania. In all the country we´ve collected nearly 300,000 bags of trash. Here in Arad we were with a lot of local volunteers, the most of them are members of boys scouts.

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This year the city with more movilized volunteers has been Botoșani which has counted with more than 15.000 volunteers, ahead of Gorj (which was the city with more volunteers in 2012) with more than 13.000 volunteers. After these cities we find Bihor (more than 11 000),  Iași (over 10 000) and Dâmbovița (around 9 600). Here, in Arad we were more than 7.000 volunteers… far away from Botoșani, but if we compare these dates with the first edition in 2010, this year we´ve been more than double.

The best news this year has been than the 40% of the collected waste is recycable increasing the results of previous years (30% in 2012, 26% in 2011 and 17% in 2010) and if we add all these editions more than 1´6 millions of trash bags have been recollected by more than 650.000 volunteers. With this action Romania is taking awareness about the need to recycle, and statistics show us the evidence.

Enjoy with the pictures taken by Party Arad, click here.

And you can follow the facebook page if you’re interested, Let´s Do It, Romania!

Ne vedem

PR

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

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EVS experiences in Arad

Empower your EU citizenship

EVS experiences in Arad