MIDTERM EVALUATION MEETING
During the EVS, two of the appointments to which you can not miss are the On-Arrival Training and the Midterm Evaluation Meeting. I recently returned to Bucharest from the Midterm, which took place in the second half of April at the small but beautiful Predeal, a small town in the district of Braşov. This appointment was a pretext for meeting old and new friends-colleagues with whom I shared five wonderful days. Unlike the On-Arrival, which took place in Sibiu in the second half of January, focused solely on the discovery of the EVS and the host country, the Midterm is, as its name suggests, an assessment of everything accomplished so far. The Midterm provides a sort of analysis of the activities that are being carried out, or in progress, to see if these have been achieved by giving the maximum of ourselves, if something on our part has failed, if we could give more, if we liked what we did or not. A second topic covered during the Midterm EVS is the post, that is what to expect after the experience of volunteering. Although EVS can rarely be a valid tool for finding a job position, this may, however, be the cornerstone of our lives. Many of the people involved in volunteering projects can fully appreciate the choice of living in a foreign country, appreciate their language and culture, so as to embrace the idea of continuing to experience new experiences in one or more countries in order to increase their skills and, perhaps, to find their place in the world. Midterm’s intent is to put ourselves in front of ourselves to better understand who we are, what we want and how to do it to improve ourselves.
FLORII & PASTE
One of the permanent activities of the A.C.T.O.R. association is the flower campaign during the Easter period. It is a campaign designed to collect offers from the Romanian community to buy food, clothes, toys and any other useful item to donate to centers that deal with children in need. Implemented on the day of Palm Sunday, this campaign began a few months ago, with the preparation of paper flowers made by us volunteers. For about two months we worked almost to erase the fingerprints from our fingers and filling our homes and the association’s office with boxes containing hundreds of flowers. A huge and admirable contribution came from the local youth community; Young high school students who have devoted part of their time to our cause. The palm Sunday, divided into several groups formed by us volunteers A.C.T.O.R. and Romanian volunteers, we have positioned ourselves in front of the churches in Bucharest during the usual day’s Mass. Usually, people look at this type of activity with skepticism, but the Romanian people wanted to trust us. How much was harvested and purchased was subdivided to be delivered to several institutes. One of these is located in Brădet, a kind of county in the Braşov district. I myself was involved in the transportation. After placed all the materials in the store of the community, I and other volunteers shared part of the time with the young people who populate this community and then return to Bucharest.
One of the main activities of the A.C.T.O.R. association are the lessons realized by us volunteers at kindergartens and elementary schools. These are lessons for non-formal education and vary from type of school to volunteer. Each of us, in fact, has its own plan, consisting of three lessons, where various information on our country of origin is presented in various ways. For example, my lessons are focused on music. Being a graduate in musicology, I preferred to feed children with my greatest passion. As I said before, these lessons are articulated and apply differently depending on the target. For example, in kindergartens, children have the opportunity to acquire some basic knowledge of my country of origin, Italy, then get to paint musical figures and learn the name of musical notes by performing a simple melody on a toy keyboard. As far as elementary schools are concerned, the discussion is definitely another branch. In fact, what I want to tell children is the history of Italy through its songs: from the national anthem to the Sanremo Festival, from the Neapolitan song to the seventies, from the eighties to the advent of talent shows. The reading and the singing of a song treated during each lesson frame the entire work. It is to be said that teachers are especially enthusiastic. I can not say how many times I have seen teachers follow me in singing, for example, the famous Neapolitan song Santa Lucia or the famous Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare). On the other hand, children also appreciate this program. I can not forget when once, after a lesson, after school, I heard children singing Volare; let me say that it was a great satisfaction. It is also true that things are not always good, because some children can disdain what I do, but it is obviously something I have to accept. Nevertheless, the results collected have always given me a reason to carry on what I started. What I hope is that I have given children a different aspect of Italy, far from the classic stereotypes that characterize it.
written by Nicola Placanica