Elitsa Bozhkova

The seminar I took part in “Non-Formal Tools for Immigration Youth Workers” was held in Romania, at Casa Seciu in Prahova county, near Ploiesti from May 24 till June 4, 2019. We were three participants from Bulgaria, representing CVS-Bulgaria. There were also participants representing Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Turkey and the host country – Romania.

The seminar was very well-organized with role-plays, debates and different tools of non-formal education so that to get a better idea of the migrants’ situation and try to walk in their shoes. Gradually we got introduced to specific terms and we made presentations about the migrant situation in our own countries in order to get a better understanding of our realities as well. Apart from the organizers from the Romanian Youth organization D.G.T. (Do Great Things), there was an invited expert in immigration, Rodica Novac, who led us most of the time introducing us to the topic and taking part with us in the activities, including the energizers we enjoyed a lot.  There was also a day session with invited experts from UNHCR Romania who gave practical input to the seminar with concrete examples from their work.

Among the most useful activities, from my point of view, was the study trip to two NGOs in Bucharest where we saw into practice what has been talked about and could compare it to our own countries.  I admired the initiative at ARCA where they are trying to provide refugees with job opportunities. There was a database that, by using google translator, was giving access to job offers in various languages so that to make the offers easy to reach by foreigners. By getting work chances refugees can integrate to society and feel useful and better accepted. The AIDRom supports families by providing them with accommodation facilities and helps the better integration of children to school. The environment was extremely hospitable so that to make them feel at home.  

Apart from the study visits we had a secret trip to Brasov, a town in Transylvania where we had the chance to see a place, inhabited initially by Germans from Saxony and how it developed throughout time which was very useful for our purpose and the topic of immigration. The organizers had prepared a list of places of interest to discover so that to get to know the place better. We also tried some traditional food. Coming to this point, I would like to underline there were three cultural nights during the seminar as there were seven participating countries so that to get better idea of the typical food, customs, information and traditional dances of each country. Concerning the location of the event, Casa Seciu is in the countryside on the Wine Route and the landscape was very beautiful with vineyards and a nice view from the hills towards Ploiesti. The accommodation was in double or triple en-suite rooms and an apartment with two single and two double rooms with shared bathroom. The place is used for weddings and different celebrations and we had a very quiet and relaxing atmosphere for our activities with outdoor spaces where we sometimes had lunch or dinner, apart from the coffee breaks and a barbecue and wine testing we enjoyed a lot.

The last part of the seminar was dedicated to the production of workshops according to our interests in order to come out with methods for migrants’ integration. We chose six topics which we developed and tested. Among those I enjoyed most were the topics related to art and education. The ones about finding a job – writing a motivation letter and tips for a successful interview were very useful too.

Last but not least I would like to thank the organizers: Raul Dragan, Andrei Daicer and Adrian Cocardan as well as all the participants who made this experience unforgettable!

 Posted by Shirin at 10:06 Volunteer activities

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