Experiential Learning Forum (A2)
an European Solidarity Corps project
9th August- 21st September
The mission, principles and objectives of the second activity are the same throughout both ELF activities. However, the activities will be varied, the working method is being changed and adapted to the new team. The team from this period consists of 14 volunteers from different parts of the world such as India, Morocco-Hungary, Yemen, Greece, Spain, Italy, Moldova and Romania.
Volunteers are those who manage to implement the objectives of the project, their involvement contributing to the major positive impact on the community and beyond.
All participants benefit from the development of the project both professionally and personally. The project offers all the conditions: in addition to covering travel taxes and pocket money to social support, mentoring, training sessions, intercultural evenings and others for them to have an unforgettable experience. In order for the experience to be marked and the abilities of the volunteers to be recognized, they will receive a European Solidarity Corps certificate of participation, issued through the European Solidarity Corps Portal by the organization that provided the activity.
The first day of the second activity (A2) within the Experiential Learning Festival that takes place in Harja, Romania is here. Our volunteers arrived well and we are looking forward to meeting them and embarking on a 7-week trip in which we will have various team building activities, intercultural social evenings, mixed feelings, but also with a positive impact on both organizers and volunteers, as well as the community in which we are.
What do we do until September 21?
Our objectives that we pursue are the following:
1. Ecology activities in the area of Harja and Oituz, decoration and refurbishment activities for serving the children in the organisation and the community (activity space, mural art, camping area, cleaning by the river and open areas, decorating).
2. Online campaigns to raise awareness of EU programmes, EU values and community cohesion, growth possibilities for youth within the local and international communities.
3. Cultivating the sense of solidarity and community, active citizenship through online NFE activities and campaigns we are organising at local level, regional level, by running workshops for youth in various areas nearby the HQ of the organisation in Harja.
What do we do in the first days?
Considering these objectives, for a better organization and efficiency of their fulfillment, the first days were destined to know the volunteers and their development through team building activities. Thus, the basic element in any team that has to work together is trust. The development of group trust was achieved through multiple activities that involved being blindofld. The fact that the participants did not see what was happening at the beginning caused some a slight state of fear, but over time they managed to realize that nothing bad can happen, and as a result fear diminished and confidence increased. Thus, the first day of the first week focused on trust both between us and ourselves but also on the logistics part such as signing contracts, rules of internal order and other documents of interest.
The next day was a creative one, in the sense that different sounds, choreographies and scenes were created based on the project objectives, creativity being another important element in a team. Also, the social rules were discussed and the three work teams were created: Outdoor, Social Media and Arts, Painting & Decorations. It’s like making something both entertaining and useful.
In the remaining days of the first week, the volunteers were divided into teams and started working on how they will carry out their activity to meet the objectives. Thus, Social Media finalized the areas in which they will work and they brainstormed for each task, being efficient and on point; The Arts & Painting team took care of researching and reviewing the materials needed to start the art creation, and the volunteers from Outdoor started in force literally and figuratively, being the only team that starts at 8 o’clock because of the sun that can be too powerful at noon. Thus, we are satisfied with the way they started the second activity, the flexibility and efficiency of the volunteers but also with their enthusiasm.
Friday is intended for activities with childrens from the Friends of Romanian Children but also from the Kolping Romania association. Our volunteers were divided into two teams and prepared games and activities for kids.
During the two hours they spent together, they were energized with a game called statuettes. When the music stopped, everyone had to freeze in a different and funny position. The next activity involves dancing but also paying attention to the movements that had to be made after the lyrics of the song. Attention and energy were also used through the game in which they had to group in different numbers (groups of 3, groups of 5, etc). In the last activity, the little ones took on the role of pirates, where they had to pay attention to the instructions of the volunteers. Also, at the other house, the children enjoyed seeing the volunteers again and played hide and seek.
The pictures are more expressive than any description.