Experiential Learning Forum

Founded in 2019, ELF festival started as an event created to highlight and promote experiential learning.

Aiming to include social inclusion, active participation, solidarity, diversity, ecological thinking and volunteering, ELF Festival brought together all kinds of education to the region of Oituz:

  • Public, free and private education;
  • Formal, informal and non-formal education.

In the editions of 2020 and 2021, the ELF Festival happened in a different way, being divided into 4 teams of activities: Activity, Art, Outdoor and Social Media.

  • Activity Team: Developed activities based on Non-Formal Education methods and taught english to the children and teenagers of Oituz.
  • Art Team: Created activities based in Non-Formal Education and developed them through the artistic methods. Painted murals on the Copiii în Sanul Familiei and on the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence, from Oituz.
  • Outdoor Team: Developed an Ecological Campaign to teach the Oituz inhabitants how to recycle and how to build and use compost boxes, prepared ecological activities for children and trash pickings with the local community. 
  • Social Media Team: Created flyers and content for the Social Media posts and Ecological Campaign, took and edited photos and videos, supported other teams, promoted the events and activities.

Location: Harja, Romania

Date: 1º Part – 2020 (July, August, September)

          2º Part – 2021 (March, June, July)

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Our Organising Team of Volunteers 2020 – 2021

The ELF Festival could not happen without a big cultural exchange. Our European Solidarity Corps team was complete with volunteers from Bulgaria, Croatia,  Cyprus,  France, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Moldova, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal,  Romania, Spain, and Yemen.

With the purpose of sharing, teaching, and learning through Non-Formal Education, our volunteers also brought their traditions, habits and desire to make a difference in the Harja community.

WHAT IS ELF?

  • ELF allows everybody to learn through Non-Formal Education.
  • ELF makes solidarity happen.
  • ELF gives cultural exchanges.
  • ELF develops personal and professional skills.
  • ELF facilitates change, growth and cooperation.
  • ELF lets everyone teach, learn and share.
  • ELF offers opportunities to generate ideas, to share experiences and to co-create alternatives for change.

Activities in the Festival

Trash Picking

Surrounded by beautiful nature, Harja also has a lot of trash that accumulated during many years. With the aim of improving the landscape and the well-being of the inhabitants our volunteers got together with the local community and other associations to pick up the garbage around the town and the river.

Ecological Event

To give awareness and to promote the more ecological way of living, our volunteers organized an event with many workshops to promote the reuse, reduction, recycling, composting, and to teach about the ecological impacts and the sustainable lifestyle to the local community.

Composter and Ecological Campaign

Composting is a natural process that our food goes through after we throw it away. Our volunteers built some composters for the local community and taught them how to use it, how to avoid the waste and how to be more eco-friendly in their food consumption.

Egg Hunting

When the Orthodox and Catholic Easter happened our volunteers organized many outdoor activities for the kids from Harja to celebrate the occasion and to take advantage of the good weather! They looked for eggs, sang and danced a lot!

Activities with children

During their stay, our volunteers developed activities with the kids from Kolping, Copiii în Sanul Familiei and Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence. The activities were prepared to make the kids have fun and learn through art, outdoor games, and non-formal education. 

Workshops

During their stay our volunteers prepared and got involved in some workshops to share their knowledge in many different areas like ecological awareness, political debate, art, self-development and spirituality!

Intercultural Evenings

Our volunteers came from all around Europe! To celebrate differences and teach each other about their unique cultures and traditions they organised intercultural nights with amazing food, traditional singing and dancing, cultural stories and a lot of fun!

Free Time

During free time our volunteers took advantage of the amazing landscapes of Romania to travel and learn more about the country. They have a lot of places to explore, mountains to trek, cities and villages to visit and monuments to learn from.

Mural Painting

To make the children’s spaces more colorful, our volunteers painted murals in their houses, places where they were developing activities.

Art

Self-expression is very important, and because of this, our volunteers implemented some activities with the kids to incentivize their creativity and make them explore themselves through the art.

Children’s day

During the Children’s Day, our volunteers collaborated with Kolping to bring joy and playful activities to the kids from Oituz. Together with the Kolping volunteers they danced, sang, played games outdoors, and learned about recycling.

We are aiming to create a space where public, private, institutionalized, free, formal, informal and non-formal education can be positively affected, innovated, debated, and most experienced.

 

Organizing a project through solidarity intervention of volunteers from various countries and backgrounds, including those with fewer opportunities, plays a big role in bringing also various inputs, perspectives on education, youth, adulthood, growth, cultural heritage, employability, environmental sustainability, and underlining inclusion through the factual presence of so many individuals, backgrounds, ages, and cultures in the same place, with the same purpose.

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How to find us

Address

Village: Harja, County: Bacau, Romania, 607368

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