Evaluation – seven months in Bucharest
7 months in Bucharest Romania. Nothing less than an amazing experience.
I was working for an association called A.C.T.O.R: Association of Culture, Theater and Origami in Romania. Our work revolved around spreading intercultural awareness through non-formal learning and activities.
Our job was to teach the children of Bucharest about international culture, through the means of art and creativity, and to provide a little extra help to children in exposed areas.
We primarily provided three different kinds of work:
Non-formal lessons about interculturality in schools, kindergartensand highschools.
Clinical animation for children in hospitals.
Humanitarian help for hospitals, special schools and an orphanage.
We were more than 20 volunteers from different countries living and working together, so the intercultural environment was extremely rich. The social bonds became incredibly strong in a very short amount of time and our sense of community in our volunteering group became equality as strong. I would definitely consider this social aspect to be the most enjoyable and most memorable part of my stay. Probably also the most influential. I would consider myself to have done a fair amount of traveling in my life and I have made a lot of friends from many different countries. But nothing compares to what I experienced in Romania. Being surrounded by the same people from the moment you wake up, until the moment you go to bed, is bound to bring you close together. This also came in conjunction with all of the traveling we did, whenever we had free days.
Prior to my stay I had only hitchhiked on two occasions. But there, it pretty quickly became the preferred means of transportation. Almost every friday we would be standing at the edge of Bucharest, with a raised thump and a piece of cardboard with big marker drawn letters, that would inform the bypassing cars about our desired destination. Thess trips, which at the time honestly felt more like small adventures, was one of the highlights of social interaction.
Traveling together, in this manner, broad me very close to my fellow volunteers.
I also really enjoyed the cooperation and the level of teamwork that was needed in our work. We would conduct a christmas campaign, were we collected soft toys from kids in schools to give to the kids in orphanages and hospitals. This campaign was a big project that required all of us being able to work together. It was also just a very enjoyable time to spend with my fellow volunteers. But even more enjoyable was the gratitude and pure happiness that came from the kids who received those toys. All of the humanitarian work that we conducted throughout the project, was in general very pleasing work, but also very thought provoking. Being from a wealthy country like Denmark, which has a lot of resources, really broad some things into perspective.
This Project has really helped shaped my view upon international relationships. Both on a personal level, but also from a society based aspect. I really feel like I have seen the benefits of cross-border cooperation and interaction. Nothing less than an amazing
Malthe Vraa Heldbo