Posts Tagged With: volunteers

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.

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

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

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EVS experiences in Arad

Empower your EU citizenship

EVS experiences in Arad