INSIDE RIDE project focuses on young people living in Brasov and a small town, Intorsura Buzaului, and it takes place between 01.08.2014 and 31.11.2015. The aim of the project was twofold: by implementing different non-formal education methods raising awareness about cultural and environmental richness, and contributing to personal development of these young people. Four international volunteers: Maija from Latvia, Daniel from Germany, Grytine from the Netherlands, and Sandra from Latvia, spent 11 months in Romania in frame of Inside Ride project, between the 1st of October 2014 till the 31st of August 2015.
Different non-formal education activities were offered by the volunteers of the project: from handicrafts to playful activities for children to workshops, hiking trips, and board games evenings for teenagers. The volunteers regularly visited different target groups for offering these activities: a Roma primary school, an orphanage/family house, and high schools.
Main project aims:
A. Increasing the access to diverse non-formal educational opportunities for children and youngsters from rural and urban communities;
B. Fighting stereotypes and exclusion based on socio-economic conditions, ethnicity, or geographical position;
C. Increasing active participation of youngsters from rural and urban areas;
D. Developing environmental friendly attitudes;
E. Developing a rural- urban partnership.
Main activities& results:
First period (October 2014 – March 2015) focused on exploring and discovering personal and common interests with the target groups, both in Intorsura Buzaului, and in Brasov. The methods that were used were adapted from adventure and experiential education, and were intended to help volunteers discover interests, ideas or community problems that they would like to be involved in. Several activities had been carried out in this regard:
- presentation visits in Brasov highschools, and in schools, highschools and other institutions from Intorsura Buzaului;
- establishing regular activities in two highschools from Intorsura Buzaului, under the Inside Out concept;
- bi-monthly activities in Casa Familiala no.1 from Intorsura Buzaului;
- and in primary school from Floroaia Mica;
- boardgames evenings in Brasov, organized every second week by Maija.
The activities from this period focused also on the intercultural learning and exchange between the volunteers and different target groups. There were organized different events such as:
- Traditional Romanian gathering (Sezatoare traditionala) organized in Intorsura Buzaului together with local people of different ages, sharing traditional crafts, music, dances, food and different stories. The second Sezatoare was organized internally, among Mirakolix members, and it was focused on sockets knitting technique.
- Non-formal education Day event, organized together with the volunteers from Inside Ride and Inside Journey project and focused on sharing childhood games and activities from volunteers’ countries and regions, as well as from Romania;
- Vrei sa fii europanar?, organized on the 1st of December in Brasov, and consisted in different funny and interesting activities related to our knowledge about different countries and cultures;
The activities intensified in the second part of the project (March – August 2015), together with the role and responsibilities of the volunteers. They integrated the environmental dimension more visible in their activities, as well as the interests and passions they discovered in common with the target groups. Besides the regular activities from the previous period, volunteers organized different events in this period:
- “Un weekend diferit” (A different weekend)- were events organized for and with the youngsters from Intorsura Buzaului. Each of this weekends started with a board games evening in a local bar, and continued next day with a hike on different routes from Intorsura Buzaului and surroundings.
- Theater workshops – initiated by Grytine, from the Netherlands and focused on increasing self confidence and self-esteem through theater for the teenagers in Intorsura Buzaului.
- Baltic party- organized by Maija (Latvia) and Egle (Lithuania, Reshape Urban Places project), as a two-sessions workshop about different traditional dances, food, interesting facts about the Baltic countries, and different ways of spending free time in these countries.
- Afară în parc într-un Braşov de poveste- (Out in the park in a fairy tale Brasov) – outdoor events organized in parks in Brasov between May – August 2015, aiming at promoting the activities of the project and building a connection between activities from Intorsura Buzaului and activities from Brasov, and the different target groups.
- „Ceva de Vară Festival”, 2nd edition, 18-19 July 2015, Întorsura Buzăului, Covasna county.
Other achievements of the project:
- over 5500 hours of volunteering (local and international volunteers)
- 2 personal projects:
Maija: boardgames activities in different forms and for different target groups during the volunteering stage (regular boardgames evenings in Intorsura Buzaului, bi-monthly boardgames evenings in Brasov, boardgames activities during outdoor events, including a games area in frame of Ceva de Vara festival 2015)
Grytine: theater workshops for teenagers in Intorsura Buzaului.
- personal development
„I became more aware of myself and others and I know better now what I like to do. I also became more confident which gives me a lot of courage and energy for new ideas back in the Netherlands .” (Grytine, the Netherlands)
” Working here with teenagers and children of different age groups taught me a lot of flexibility and an open attitude. It was great for me to discover differences and similarities between the people and conditions in a big city like Brasov compared to a remote town..” (Daniel, Germany) .
- professional development:
“EVS gave me an opportunity to work with youngsters and I discovered that I like it. I had work in the office and I had work with people, and I discovered that I like it.” (Maija, Latvia)
- Direct beneficiaries of the project were the 4 European volunteers from Latvia, Germany and the Netherlands.
- Beneficiaries of the activities:
- 60 Rroma children for Floroaia Mica primary school, Intorsura Buzaului;
- 15 children and teenagers from the Orphange No.1 from Intorsura Buzaului;
- 70 teenagers from Mircea Eliade and Nicolae Balcescu highschools from Intorsura Buzaului;
- approximately 100 youngsters from different highschools from Brasov that could find out about different volunteering opportunities and about activities offered by Mirakolix ;
- around 20 teenagers from Brasov participating at different board games events;
- around 100 visitors and participants in the outdoor events organized in Brasov;
- 30 youngsters from Întorsura Buzăului, Braşov and Predeal that participated in FestCamp;
- 35 volunteers from Braşov, 27 volunteers from Întorsura Buzăului, 9 volunteers from Predeal and 27 people from partner organizations involved in preparing the second edition of Ceva de Vară festival;
- over 750 visitors of all ages from Ceva de Vară festival.
INSIDE RIDE project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects only the views of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of information contained herein