Creative Solidarity

The rationality for our project, Creative Solidarity, is grounded in the synergy among various organisations and people from different communities to promote solidarity and work together for the
common goal of developing the 10 rural communities through education and promoting European identity and values.

Check out our promotional video:

Our project is aimed to contribute to community development through education. Also we aim that by the work of our 3 volunteers to empower young people from the 10 communities to take advantage by the international opportunities offered by programmes such as the ESC and E+. The objectives of our project are the
following:

1. Raise awareness through 150 workshops of street animation and nonformal activities in the 10 rural communities we work with from Harghita and Mures Counties (Bilbor, Corbu, Ghimes-Faget, Lunca de Sus, Lunca de Mijloc, Lunca de Sus, Deda, Siculeni and Sancraieni and Sandominic) towards possibilities of community development by education and the European identity and values, especially in Unity in Diversity by opening these communities to different cultures and international opportunities.

2. Capacitate the three volunteers to use street animation and nonformal learning activities in promoting community development and the European identity and values while working with more than 1500 young people aged 13-18, facing fewer opportunities from rural areas;

3. Increase the synergies between the 10 rural communities, Young Europe Society and international volunteers to collaborate in developing together quality solidarity activities with long term mutual benefits.

4. Contribute to the chances of all our three volunteers to access the labour market in
positions that reflect their specialisation and training

ESTONIA

INVOLVED is non-governmental organization aiming at creating possibilities for life-long learning and fostering development of individuals and different targets on local and international level.

Via broadening horizons, developing practical skills and offering information and activities, we aim at more active participation in civil society. Involved is interested in and active at youth mobility projects and development of youth and voluntary work, intercultural learning, integration and migration, equal and human rights.

Which requires, among other things, the following activities  carried out:

  • Develop practical skills, broadening their horizons, thereby providing opportunities for active participation in society of persons;
  • Information gathering, processing and distribution;
  • Preparation of publications, review and issue;
  • Preparation and execution of projects, and its service offering and related consulting; counseling and information services;
  • Camps, youth exchanges, training, seminars, training, conferences, courses, workshops, exhibitions, events, etc., and the commemoration of the organization;
  • Theater as a method of social integration, demonstration, development, and implements both locally and internationally;
  • Volunteering in developing, promoting and coordinating both local and international levels;
  • Organizing events and projects in areas such as, but not limited to: youth work, social work, education, culture, music, art, photography, dance, sports, environment, health, intercultural learning, integration and migration, equality and human rights.

People involved with an organization have long-term experience in various programmes such as all actions of Youth In Action; and Leonardo da Vinci including working with young people with fewer opportunities, not only in Europe but outside as well.

 

HUNGARY

Hírös Agóra Kultūros és Ifjúsági Központ Nonprofit Kft. Started its joint work on July 1, 2015 by merging the previously three separate units. These were the Kecskemét Cultural and Conference Center Nonprofit Kft, the Kecskemét Youth Home and the HELPI-Kecskemét Youth Office and Development Workshop. The complex organization also includes the Hetényegyháza Community House, the Parádfürdő Youth Camp, the Home Cinema, the Kecskemét Dance Ensemble and the Kecskemét Symphony Orchestra. All the components of the great joint venture date back several decades in the fields of community culture, arts education, community and youth development. Just a brief summary:

Cultural Center: Hírös Agóra Kultūros és Ifjúsági Központ Nonprofit Kft. as the largest cultural center in the region, opened its doors to visitors on January 11, 1975. Its predecessors included a county cultural center, an art school and a conference center. On January 1, 2010, it was transformed into a Ltd. Its main task is to satisfy the cultural, artistic, leisure and community needs and needs of the citizens of Kecskemét, to help with recreation, entertainment and entertainment, to spend useful free time, to provide opportunities for community culture and to develop creativity. Every year, the institution receives 900,000 visitors at more than 4,000 different cultural events, which in 2001 won the Kecskemét Prize for Public Culture. In 2014, the title of Qualified Public Cultural Institution. Among the many areas of community culture, the art groups stand out: Kecskemét Dance Ensemble, Kecskemét Symphony Orchestra, Kecskemét Community of Fine Artists, Kecskemét Sunflower Patchwork Circle. He is the organizer and organizer of several festivals of the Cultural Center (Kodály Festival, Spring Festival, Kecskemét Folk Music Meeting).

 

SERBIA

Association Etno – forma from Serbia is a non-profit, non-partisan, civic association operational since 2010 in the Pomoravlje region. Our work and mission are multifaceted in the sense that we work in four main areas: 1. Promotion and revival of old crafts from the Pomoravlje region (handcrafts, natural building crafts etc.) 2. Platform for learning about other cultures, traditions and etno crafts (esp. through our annual international etno fair, and theatre plays) 3. Encouraging creativity, hand crafting, entrepreneurial values and entrepreneurship 4. Educational activities, workshops and theatre plays where we promote recycling and upcycling as a response to hyper production and over-consumerism; human rights issues, tolerance and respect for others; promote European values and multiculturalism. One of our main focuses is to promote crafts, handcrafting and traditional etno artworks from the Pomoravlje region in Serbia (Central Serbia, Sumadija) and to create a platform for showcasing traditional etno atworks from different regions and countries in the world. Moreover, we use crafts as a medium in our regular educational activities we have for children and youth (eg, we make puppets and write screenplays for our puppet theatre where we deal with topics such as tolerance and respect for others, promote education, human rights etc). Our activities are open to everyone, but we strategically work on including youth and children, and marginalized women (women who are longterm unemployed, or unemployable because of their age, and women with disabilities). Etno-forma also works as a social enterprise as well since it engages vulnerable groups (disadvantaged youth and marginalised women) during its annual international Etno fairs in Jagodina, Serbia. Etno-forma has been recognised locally and nationally and has been awarded the Cristal Prism by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, for its outstanding achievements in promoting and popularizing traditional etno crafts, and culture, and for organizing a leading international etno fair in Jagodina. Our regular activities include: – Workshops for children and youth, women, and everyone who is interested, in which we teach handicrafts (type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools), studio crafts (textile, sewing, pottery, metal work, weaving, wood turning, paper, puppet making, and other forms of wood working, glass blowing, and glass art etc.); – Regular presentations and plays about traditional artworks and crafts we hold in schools in Jagodina – Provide a space where our members can come and engage in any creative activity they wish – educational activities and theatre plays that mostly deal with human rights, tolerance and active citizenship, recycling and upcycling

PARTNERING SCHOOLS IN HARGHITA COUNTY

Toplita, Liceul Teoretic O.C. Tăslăuanu

Corund, Liceul Tehnologic Corund

Subcetate, Liceul Miron Cristea

Zetea, Liceul Teoretic Dr. P. Boros Fortunát

Bilbor, Scoala Gimnaziala O.C Tăslăuanu

Borsec, Liceul Tehnologic “Zimmethausen”

Danesti, Grup Şcolar “Petofi Sandor”

Joseni, Liceul Tehnologic Söver Elek

Toplita, Liceul Teoretic “Kemeny Janos”

Sanmartin, Liceul “Tivai Nagy Imre”

Corbu, Liceul Tehnologic Corbu

Ditrau, Liceul Teoretic Puskás Tivadar

Alice, Kristof, Marci and Ogi implemented a series of workshops in the partnering schools for which they have prepared in advance with the support of YES team. They have wrote a short description on how to implement each of them and what are the outcomes among the participants, have a look below.

1. Juggling balls

Divide students in groups of 2. Each pair get 3 balls. Step 1: a volunteer is showing how to throw 2 balls correctly. Students are trying without focusing on catching the balls. Step 2: Students are focusing at catching balls too. Step 3: Students are doing the same but holding 3rd ball in one of the hands without using it. Step 4: a volunteer is showing how to throw correctly 3 balls. Students are practicing with 3 balls without focusing on catching. Step 5: Students are practicing to juggle with 3 balls. Competences: coordination, ability to focus on different tasks, ability to ignore reflects (catching ball)

2. Flowers-ticks

A volunteer is showing how it looks, how it works and how to start to play, slowly from the ground, and after few more simple tricks to try. Students were trying it. A volunteer is explaining how to make them using bicycle tires. Competences: coordination, ability to try new things without fear of failing

3. Poi

Participants are getting pois, a volunteer is explaining how it works, showing it and showing how to start. Students are repeating after volunteer. Then volunteer is going from one to another and explaining, helping and showing more tricks. Competences: coordination, ability not to give up even if it is hard and not very pleasant if you do a mistake and it hit you.

4. Staff workshop

Shave the balloon is one of those outdoor activities that can be a little messy, but is a lot of fun despite. Here you need to select 3 or 4 people to compete against each other, and then given the task to shave a balloon covered in shaving cream. Although it may seem easy, one little nick of the razor will cause the balloon to pop, sending shaving cream everywhere. The first person to successfully shave their balloon, wins! Caution: This game requires sharp objects. Make sure you have qualified staff on hand to assist. You may consider buying safety razors and a cheap pair of leather gloves. Activity contributes to increasing the participant’s focus as well as team-work and coordination.

5. Balloon maker

A volunteer is making balloon and inviting students who want to try, showing him/her in front of others how to do it and helping. During the activity while more and more people are trying a volunteer is explaining how simple is this tool to make and how it attract people. Once you take this toy and playing with it in front of people, it’s easy for strangers to ask to try and you might have a new friends. Competences: overcoming a fear of public, ability to initiate interesting activities in the community

6. Fire workshop

A volunteer is performing a small fire-show. After that is telling a story how to learn, importance of safety, tools and materials. Competences: overcoming fear of public, strong understanding of your own skills, understanding of safety importance with the public

7. ESC presentation

As the title of the activity suggests, the volunteers held a presentation in front of the participants pointing out what is ESC and how volunteering works in Europe under the solidarity corp. for the ending of the presentation they used a video already made by them in which they presented how a normal day from the life of a volunteer looks like.

8. Community development

Volunteers are preparing a technology parts in class (laptop, projector) while students are not there. When students are in the class, volunteers start from some short energizer to energize them and make them smile and more open for the presentation. Then volunteering are sharing their stories and experiences. Explaining how it can be connected with their communities and how much it can change their lives. Competences: understanding how to make changes in their lives and their community, how to be more open-minded, more outgoing and use opportunities.

9. Role-play for application in a project

A role-play activity in which the volunteers simulated together with the participants at the session the process of applying for and European Solidarity Corp project. They have introduced the public into the platforms which make this process possible, such as PASS and European Youth Portal. They have explained how to create an account, how to make a profile, what is the personal reference number, how to get the CIGNA insurance and told the story of their adventure signing up for the project.

10. Europass CV workshop

Europass CV is a document to present your skills and qualifications effectively and clearly. Our volunteers presented its characteristics to the students and they came up with questions. The session was an open dialogue. Find more about Europass CV below

11. Youthpass workshop and 8 key competences

A volunteer is explaining what are 8 key competences. Competences: to be more focused on the personal learning experience, to be able to put into words what did you learn.

12. Why should I involve in E+ and ESC?

This activity was organised under the form of a Q and A (questions and answers) in which the participants were asking questions about the Erasmus+ programme in general and European Solidarity Corp in particular. The volunteers opened the session with an introductory video about Erasmus+ that has been debated lately with the students.

13. Dealing with fear

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body. The session begins with a short introduction about fear, the volunteers explained that it is normal to be afraid, on the side of expressing yourself to strangers but also in trusting them. After that, they made a trust game between participants, which consists of being blindfolded with a bandana and letting another person guide them, after that they switched, this happened both outside and outside. And in the end, the participants had the chance to express what they felt and if it was hard or easy for them to have trust in the other person.

14. Protection and safety

Inside this activity the volunteers held a workshop in which they presented the safety and protection features of youth work. They exemplified how to organised the group in order to make their voice heard when talking, how to keep a safe environment in the working area, what are the secrets of a successful workshop and how to adapt and overcome obstacles. The group became more aware about the methodology of working with youth.

15. Involving in making projects

Volunteers have been involved into the process of implementing a project even before their stage has begun. Alice, Kristof and Ogi contributed with their personal knowledge and info to the draft of the application which brought them to Romania. During an open dialogue they have presented what is the importance of getting involved into the community’s projects and in this way contributing to and active citizenship spirit.

European Democracy Needs You!

Have you ever asked yourself “Do I need to go to vote”, and if the answer was “YES” did you asked “Why?”

On Monday, 6th May 2019 at 10:00 AM in the gym of the Liceul Teoretic O. C Tăslăuanu from Strada Dealului 9, Toplița you can find answers to these question at the participative workshop hosted by Ognjen STAMBOLOVIC, European Solidarity Corps Volunteer.

During the event Ognjen will put in light a short evolution of the European Union, of the democratic processes and will invite the public to a structured discussion about the role of young people in the democratic processes of the European Union.

The event will focus on the added value of encouraging the young people to take part in the upcoming European elections on 23-26 May 2019.

If you want to find out more we invite you to take part.

Update: The event was a great opportunity for the pupils in Toplita to find out about European opportunities dedicated to them. They asked the volunteer of YES how can take initiative and what support can receive from different stakeholders.

Kristof – Hungary

I had the great opportunity to participate in the project named Creative Solidarity in Harghita County, Romania. Since I have been there before I already knew that the environment would be something that I would really like, and my assumption proved to be absolutely true. We had the privilege to work with youngsters with different minorities, social states and I think that our work there helped a lot of them to realize the wide variety of programs that the European Union provides them to improve themselves. It was also beneficial for us volunteers to explore another way of living and we also gained some learning skills on various topics such as communication, presentation skills and figuring out how to work together as a team. If I could go again I would definitely go since I gained so much valuable experiences and skills, met a lot of wonderful people that now I can call my friends. The hosting organization was also unbelievably helpful and helped us in every possible way. So I whole hardheartedly encourage everyone who is considering to volunteer with ESC, because it can really be a wholesome and character building experience.

 

Alice – Estonia

Becoming a volunteer was one of the most important decisions I made and it turned out to be an unforgettable experience! Volunteering. I heard about (at that time) EVS for a few years, and I knew just a few people who used this opportunity. I saw it as a great one and I knew I must do it too. At that time I did not know what country to choose or what topic to choose. I started to search for information about different countries and on the way I found my sending organization. First I had an idea to go to a completely different country, but it did not work because one day it just came to my mind: Romania! I must do it in Romania! And my hosting organization made everything work for it to happen.

Country. I love Romania. I love the people there and their culture. It’s very different from what I was used to. And it has a special atmosphere of creepy fairytales. I love this weird-sounding language which now sounds so familiar and warm to me. I love Romanian nature. Her mountains with bears, her rivers with caves, her sea with dolphins, her sunflower fields. So many places to hike, to kayak, to paddle surf, to paraglide, to explore. Romania is an amazing playground for adventurers!

Place. I was living in a Miercurea Ciuc. It’s a little town, where public transport barely exists, where people speak Hungarian and where you can take a straight train to Budapest for 50 euro. Miercurea Ciuc is really tiny, there are not so many places for entertainment, so it forces you to be creative and to explore everything around. There are places I miss now. The best hot chocolate place in all of Europe! And of course our apartment.

Apartment. We were living in a very bright and comfortable apartment on the ground floor. Big rooms, a lot of space, office next door. Sometimes I did not even feel a need to go anywhere, I was just opening my huge window and sitting on the windowsill, enjoying fresh mountain air. It was really the heart of this town.

Team as a flatmates. Living with other people is something what I can call “outside of my comfort zone.” I was afraid to end up in a student type apartment. Where people are barely taking care of it. But together with our hosting organization we implemented some basic rules and the rest went very smooth, because it was the apartment of a few mature and responsible people. Of course we had a mess from time to time, dead food in the fridge but we fixed it by adding more rules as a team.

Topic. When I was thinking about a topic I knew for sure that I want to work with young people. It’s where my passion is, it’s something I love to do from the bottom of my heart. Our topic was focused on 2 things: Non-formal education and street art. We were visiting schools of Hargita county and met so many young people. We were telling them about volunteering, we were teaching them street art, and explaining how they can use it to improve their social and physical skills. We were reminding them how lucky they are to have a few cultures around and most importantly we were learning from them. And what really surprised me during this time is that language is not that important! We were using Romanian, Hungarian, English and body language, and everything worked! I can write about it till the morning, so let’s stop here.

Team as Team. I can say we were a great team. We all spent this time wisely, we contributed to our passions, we improved skills that are important for each of us, we gained new good habits. In our free time we were focusing on ourselves but when we needed to we were became the team with the most important tool: communication.

Conclusion. If you think to do or not to do. Just do it. There is no try.
All you need is to choose 1. interesting for yourself topic 2. country you are interested in. 3. great hosting organization. I am very thankful to Y.E.S. (my hosting organization) for being helpful, supportive and amazing.

Something emotional for the end. There is always a special place in my heart for Romania.

 

Marci – Hungary

Hi, I’m Marci from Hungary, Budapest and I was a volunteer in Miercurea Ciuc for five months. At first glance it seemed like a crazy idea, to live in a different country for that long, but my long-time friend Kristóf convinced me that it will be a life changing experience, and damn he was right. I bought a ticket to Miercurea Ciuc took fleeting 15-hour train ride and the dream team, Alice, Kristóf and me assembled in our magnificent apartment. At first, we had to compose a presentation and prepare workshops for high school students around Harghita region. The goal was to motivate them to take part of the opportunities the European Union provides to young adults like them, with the help of our projects theme, street arts. This theme at first was a challenge for me, because I didn’t have performance art experience, like Alice had, and couldn’t juggle or spin balls like Kristóf could, but with a little bit of practice I was ready for work. I had to get comfortable with public speaking in English in front of a whole class of students, but after a couple of presentations it was like a walk in the park and improved my confidence a lot. The whole event looked like this: first we started with an energiser, a silly game to cheer them up a little bit, and get them excited, then we shared our experiences with the European Solidarity Corps and Young Europe Society through our presentation, and at last we started our workshops in our theme, street arts, which involved juggling with balls, spinning balls of “fire”, blowing huge soap bubbles and plenty of more activities. I must say we achieved our goal, to motivate the kids, and the excitement in their eyes meant a lot for us. In our free time we could experience the city life of Miercurea Ciuc and enjoy the company of each other or had a well-deserved rest. Overall, I learned a lot about myself and made a lot of friends through this journey, and I’m really glad I took this opportunity.

 

The European Solidarity Corps offers young Europeans the chance to learn and (re) discover themselves through volunteering, traineeship, jobs or projects that provide solutions to the challenges faced by communities. E.S.C. aims to promote solidarity, one of the fundamental values of the European Union, mainly through volunteering, in order to increase the involvement of young people and organizations in solidarity activities of a high quality. The activities of the European Solidarity Corps contribute to strengthening cohesion, solidarity, democracy and citizenship in Europe, responding to societal challenges and focusing on promoting social inclusion.

The European Solidarity Corps is for you if you are between 18 and 30 years old. For this you need to register in the database of the European Solidarity Corps Portal (https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en).

When you register, your data will be included in the European Solidarity Corps system, and organizations will be able to search this database for the right people for their projects. If your profile matches the one requested for a specific project, the organizations will invite you to get involved in their activities.

During the activities unfolded by YES, the volunteers disseminated the results of the project and shared their experience with other young people. They promoted the opportunities of the European Solidarity Corps and Erasmus+ and encouraged the participants of the events to engage in volunteering activities.

 

Alice presented her volunteering experience to a group of young people that are still in high schools and need to find out about what opportunities they have after graduation. They asked questions on how can enroll in ESC and engage in solidarity initiatives.

 

The volunteers Kristof and Marton had organised a Zoom event where they shared their experience and presented the activities unfolded during the volunteering period. They presented the opportunities of the European Solidarity Corps and what benefits brought them their participation in “Creative Solidarity”.