Kei Morikawa

Добър ден! I am Kei Morikawa from Japan. I would like to share a great experience in Romania.

 I joined a training named “Non-Formal Tools for Immigration Youth Workers” at Casa Seciu in Prahova in Romania, from 24th of May to 4th of June. I was one of three participants from Bulgaria, sent by CVS – Bulgaria. There were also participants from Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Romania.

 The aim of this training organized by Romanian Youth organization D.G.T. (Do Great Things) was to provide participants with professional competences regarding the topics of migrants/refugees, social inclusion and cultural dialog. This is also a reason why I participated the training. I wanted to get more knowledge and skills to work with immigrants and refugee because I used to a member of a volunteer program “The refugee Project” organized by two NGOs including CVS – Bulgaria and had worked with refugees, especially children. 

 In the 10 days, we were always together and have worked on many topics hard. I introduce some activities.

 First, before each activity, we started with a game as energizer, distributing potatoes, imitating dancing, just admiring someone… they might not have nothing to do with this topic but I think we were able to focus on following main activities more thanks to these energizers. They are also useful to get people to get closer, especially for those who are from different cultures. 

 Secondly, we discussed controversial issues which Rodica Novac, one of our trainers, gave us. The one was “how should we manage a Mosque which has been built by immigrants and caused some problems”. The other was about an amendment of the law regarding wearing a helmet during ride on a bicycle, taking account of people who wear Turban because of their religion. We worked on these discussions by being given each role such as citizen, immigrants, politician and chairman. They were lively and we conducted each role. On the other hand, I realized again how difficult dealing with integration is. While we have to protect rights of minorities, we also need to respect local rules and cultures. Because there are different perspectives on one thing, if we took one, we would have problems on the others. Anyway, it is important to think things from different views.

 Next, we were able to hear from experts. We visited two NGOs: ARCA, helping refugees with the integration to their societies and AIDRom, offering refugees accommodations.

We also invited representatives from UNHCR Romania. We learned there are abuse against human rights, discriminations and violents. I still remember words from a representative. What she said is “We have no obligation to help refugees but we have moral, humanity, responsibility, value..” Yes, exactly we can’t force anyone to help them but we all came in Romania to learn the way to help them. I felt something like human nature and what mean to be a person from her words.

Lastly, we finished the training with testing workshops. First, we suggested as many workshops as possible by brainstorming. Afterwards, we narrowed them down to 6. We made groups, tested each workshop and evaluated. “Photo Voice workshop” was very interesting for me. We took photos which express what integration means.

I especially learned two things through this seminar.

 One is about merits of non-formal tool and education. I wouldn’t say which is the better between formal and non-formal but make sure non-formal method gives people positiveness and subjectivity to think more. I think this is an important attitude on integration. As I said, it also makes it easier to get along with people. When you introduce yourself, you would probably say your name, nationality, age, profession and so on. However, what we did was that we introduced each name and one funny movement and tried to memorize them first. This activity generated a very good atmosphere, even though we didn’t know each other much at that time. I felt like we already build good relationships.  I think that’s how we can get rid of some barriers when you meet anyone you don’t know and make a good mood when we talk more afterwards.

 The other thing is that I was impressed how EU is trying to tackle big issues about refugee and immigration as a group. As you know EU has a huge economical power. This seminar was funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union so I didn’t pay anything for joining this training. You can find more programs in different fields all over Europa from Erasmus+. That’s why Experts can provide more chances with people and we can join them even for free. Furthermore, as I experienced, we are able to meet many nationalities and exchange new knowledge through projects of Erasmus+. I think this is quite important, especially for this issues, because we accept people from different cultures. It would make it easier to find solutions. EU is doing in the way. On the other hand, the situation in Japan looks far from that so I think we have many things to learn from EU.

 Other than these activities, we did many activities: role play of what happen at border, cultural night, NGO fair, exploring a nice town Brasov, dairy evaluation …

 Thank CVS – Bulgaria and D.G.T for giving me a great opportunity and thank all participants for many memories. I could not ask for more!!!

 Posted by Shirin at 10:52 Volunteer activities

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