Posts Tagged With: EVS

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

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

Mid-Term Training (1/2)

The last week we were in Predeal again for the Mid-Term Training, and it was a bittersweet feeling. On one hand we can come back to the Hotel Eden and enjoy Predeal with a lot of EVS volunteers (we were 66) from the five continents (from Africa – Tunicia, Marroco-, from Asia -Nepal-. from Oceania – New Caledonia- , from America – Perú- and the rest from Europe), almost half of them were with us in the arrival training and we had met many others volunteers in these months in Romania; the sessions were, in general, better and more interesting that in the arrival training, the nights were more quite but maybe, more intense. On the other hand, we met with a lot of volunteers who will leave Romania soon and it´s difficult to meet them again in a short time; another negative side is that this training means we already spent the half of our time as EVS volunteers.

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I started this trip with Luca and Aga, we decided to squeeze the long trip to Predeal, and we made a stop in the amazing city of Sighișoara, we spent one day in this beautiful place roaming the narrow streets of the citadel, visiting The History Museum inside the Clock Tower and we even entered the house where the famous national hero Vlad Tepes was born, now reconverted in a hotel with restaurant. It looked like a good place to rest and eat something but the prices are prohibitively expensive for our pockets so we ended up into a small pension eating the most typical Romanian dish (șarmale cu mamaliga și smântână), it was my first time. After that we went to the train station, under the snow which began to fall minutes before, towards Brașov.

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In Brașov our friends were waiting for us in “Casa De Cultura a Studentilor Brașov” where they were helping to the “Incubator107 Brașov” in a multicultural event. There we met a lot of unknown volunteers (local ones, EVS from Craiova, Baia Mare…) and other ones already known, after this meeting our friends showed us the nightlife in Brașov (we already knew the city by day) so we went in a taxi to the downtown (it was my first time I was been driven under a snowfall) and we came to a wonderful place, at least for me, Beraria Ciucas. We ate and drank something to go after to another club: For SALE PUB, a typical irish bar where between beers and peanuts where we took shelter from the bitter cold that Brașov offered us that night.

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If in our first trip to Predeal we ended up spending the night in Brașov, this time we slept in Brașov just before going to Predeal. So on Sunday  came to Predeal… but that part of the story I will tell you the coming week.

It shall continue… (click here)

Ne vedem saptimana vitioare!

P.R.

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

Learning other languages

As every new year, the most of us do ourselves a lot of new purposes, the most common: go to the Gym, give up smoking… And we´ve also started the year keeping our main purpose that is none other than to continue our learning process. For this reason my mates António and Aga have started to teach their mother tongues (Portuguese and Polish, respectively). Then every monday and wednesday appear in our dormitory a lot of EVS volunteers of Arad.

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So, right now I talk the most of my time in English (with a pitiful accent, by the way) and I´m learning Romanian, Polish and Portuguese. With Romanian I can, more or less, understand “un pic” and to ask for basic things (after five months is the least I could do), I´m improving my level every week thanks to our weekly Romanian lessons and also everyday interacting with our neighboors, bartenders, beneficiaries and overall with the children… And I hope, in no more than a week, we´ll have the chance to watch Romanian TV.

With Portuguese language I´ve got a real problem, everybody thinks Portuguese and Spanish language are very similar; In fact, I can understand the most of written Portuguese but it´s almost impossible for me to understand them when they speak, and I´m really used to listen to in the dorm, almost everyday I witness a Portuguese conversation between Rita and António. So I´ve joined the Portuguese lessons for that reason and also because of another thing: the most of Portuguese people are able to understand Spanish language very well, so they take advantage of me and I want to fix that.

And finally, Aga is teaching us Polish. It´s a extremely difficult language for me, they have a lot of differents letter and too many different sounds for what I am used. Only the first day we were for almost two hours to understand and to know the different letters and pronunciations… It´s another world for me, nothing to do with latin languages or english, if you see something written in Polish looks like impossible but when you start learning you can see similarities in grammar with latin languages and, although I still think, it´s really complicated but I think after a few months learning I might survive if someday I get lost in Poland.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PolishPod101

Ne vedem!

Vemos mais tarde

Zobaczenia później!

PR

Categories: Art & Culture, Volunteer´s life, Volunteers | 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

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Colors and Outlines

It was somewhere in November that the EVS volunteers had the chance to visit Lipova’s orphanage. Alongside with other Romanian volunteers from Pro Prietenia (Denisa, Georgiana and Ruben) we were delegated with the task of painting the walls, not with solid color but with happy motives so that the building would have a more cheerful look, thus more appealing to children.

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After a long, yet interesting walk from Lipova’s train station through the village where we had the chance to appreciate and know it better, we finally arrived at the orphanage. Even though this was a state’s orphanage, it must be said the conditions were surprisingly good with a very welcoming atmosphere and provided with lots of didactic and playful items for the copii. In addition to that, most of the children there were really nice and polite, with some of them showing a considerable potential in the fields of arts and sports, having won already some distinctions.

The activities started right after dinner with a quick brainstorming of what the motives would be. Of a total of six walls to paint, it was then decided that references to both Madagascar and Ratatouille movies would have each one its own wall, and the subsequent ones would portray motives of each season of the year. The day finished with the drawing of the outlines.

It was early in the morning of the following day that the “hard work” took place. Although painting walls it’s no easy thing to do, especially when you have to respect the outlines and multiplicity of colors, the ambience was still filled with great mood and interaction between the volunteers, the children and the women working at the orphanage.

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Later in the afternoon, after an exhausting day with pretty much everything done, we went back to Arad not only with the feeling of job well done, but also with the will and desire to repeat the experience in a near future.

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La revedere…

AS

Categories: Art & Culture, EVS Activities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EVS TRAINING IN PREDEAL

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From 30 September to 6 October we were in Predeal for our EVS arrival training.

First I would like to write a short information about one of the famous towns in Romania. Predeal is a well known tourist destination in Romania, especially in winter, when many people come to spend the holidays. Predeal has 5 major ski runs, depending on the difficulty grade and it’s a town in Brasov County. It is the highest town and one of the most important mountain resorts in Romania.Image

During this week we had the possibility to meet a lot of volunteers (we were 85!) that are taking part in EVS project in different romanian cities. We met people that live in Bucharest, Baia Mare, Iasi and many other cities.

We were divided into 4 group, each group had 2 “coaches” and we had 4 sessions per day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Ok, stop with the technical description!Image

It was a great experience, not only because of the funny atmosphere that normally is in the air when a lot of young people live together, it was great, as well, for the activities that we made in our groups.

We had the possibility to compare our points of view with other people, we learnt more about the EVS project and personally I knew more about myself, it was an intense stay even if it was only for one week!

One of the most interesting moments was the intercultural night in which each Country had to present himself in a funny way, it was really amusing and I really enjoyed to know more about countries that I didn’t know a lot about!

What can I say more, Predeal it’s a “legend” for all the romanian EVS volunteers, we were there and we really appreciated the town and  his beautiful landscape, volunteers, trainers, hotel staff, everything was perfect!

I hope you enjoyed this short thought about what we did,

See ya soon

La revedere!!

Luca G.

Categories: Discovering Romania, EVS Activities, Volunteer´s life | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

“The bursting of a bubble”

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Having lived for the most part of my life in a small city in the interior of Portugal, the chance of going abroad can be presented both as an exciting and scary experience. The feeling of leaving everyone and everything behind, counters with the opportunity of meeting new people, discovering new cultures and most of all expanding one’s horizons through EVS Volunteering.

Somewhere along the road, after 4 hours of plane and traveling half Hungary by car, the first buildings of Arad come into view and with them a very peculiar scenery with an architectonic mix of the modern and the classic. Once inside the dormitories, time to get to know all the other volunteers and what will be the accommodations for the next 10 months.

Now that almost two weeks have passed much can be said about this experience. For starters being in touch with a multicultural group is something that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime, like getting to know a little something about others’ cultures and languages, sometimes thousands of miles away from our own countries. The support and commitment from our organization, Pro Prietenia is for sure something to be amazed as well.

Furthermore, the chance of visiting some typical places from Romania is always an interesting experience, such as the picturesque market in the city centre, where traders sell all sorts of goods every day, especially vegetables and fruit. Worth of mentioning is also the botanic garden in Macea (some kms from Arad) where one can see a most astonishing palace surrounded by beautiful nature.

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The palace at Macea’s botanic garden.

And of course one cannot forget about the special events that take place once in a while such as:

  • An incredible Flash Mob organized by people at Pro Prietenia that took place, first in the children’s park and then at Parcul Pandurice.

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The guys from Flash Mob
  • A concert from an excellent Portuguese singer (living in Romania for 8 years now) together with a brilliant 14 year old blind pianist at Loja bar, performing great classics such as Sinatra’s Fly Me To the Moon, some Romanian songs and even a Brazilian song Garota de Ipanema from Tom Jobin, which he dedicated to all the Portuguese speaking people in the audience.
  • Last but not least coming with Rita, the other Portuguese volunteer, to TV Arad to talk about our first impressions of the city and project as well as hopes and expectations, and.

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Me, Rita, and Cristina (Pro Prietenia’s project coordinator) at TV Arad

That’s all for now, even though so much more could be written about these first days, I’ll leave it for another time for sure.

La revedere…

 AS

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

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EVS experiences in Arad

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EVS experiences in Arad