Flashback to Eastern Campaign!

The Sunday before Easter, A.C.T.O.R’s volunteers went to the front of some churches of the capital with baskets filled with colorful flowers. Made out of paper napkins, the roses represent a lot for the Association. For eleven years, European and Romanian volunteers have gathered donations at the occasion of the Palm day. The money is used to help the children of hospitals or centers we are working with during the rest of the year: we give them bags with toys, food, clothes… This year was fruitful. I went to the golden Russian church, with a group of volunteers, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am not a religious person but I always like this type of event.Where I am from, in Corsica, the religious celebrations like the Palm Sunday have an important place in the local culture. It is the occasion to make beautiful artworks out of palm leaves. Here in Romania, ”Floriile” is a popular celebration too. A lot of people came to the Russian church, where my group was, a branch of willow in their hands. Our roses started to complete almost every bouquet! This generosity was amazing, we also gave a lot of flowers to the children who were playing around.After that, we prepared bags that we decorated first. We have put inside some presents for the children : toys, craquers… Then, we distributed the bags in the centers where we usually make performances: Centrul de zi Neghinita, Centrul social Micii magicieni, Bradet… We thought of making the presents a bit different for next campaign (for Christmas, for example): we could offer educational toys to the children, or books, less crackers and more fruits… Also, some of our partners have specific needs (clothes, washing machine…). In the future, we could ask them a list of what they need, and we could try to provide these things with the money that we collected during the campaign. It can be challenging concerning the toys as well: some partners want different toys for boys and girls, and we think that the toys don’t have gender. In a way, this action could also help to change the mentalities concerning gender stereotypes, in time.The Easter campaign was also the occasion to work in group and have fun, during the making of the flowers. We had quite a short time to make approximately 1000 flowers! Fortunately, it doesn’t require a lot of skill to make a flower out of a napkin. The difficult part was to keep them intact until the Floriile day, because they are fragile. Some young Romanian people came to help us on the Saturday. We trained how to approach the people, speaking in Romanian. Some of them had experience from the previous years, they gave us some tips and important notions to respect the sacred aspect of the place and event. On the Sunday, the Romanian volunteers helped us a lot, because most of us don’t speak Romanian enough to be able to answer to any question. I liked this experience, because I felt useful, and we collected quite a lot of money with a simple thing.

Alice Galzin

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