- 24 November 2017
- Posted by: Team for Youth Association
- Category: Volunteering Stories
We asked our international volunteers from the ”IN for EVS” project to share with us their opinions regarding the title of Romanian Youth Capital that Baia Mare city received for the upcoming year 2018!
Sometimes young people from Baia Mare tell us that it is a very boring city to be young in, but I do think that there is a lot going on that makes it deserve the title of youth capital of Romania.
The main reason for me is the young people in Baia Mare. Sure, the city might not offer as many activities as some of the bigger ones, but the youngsters here surely make up for it. Maybe it’s because I am mostly surrounded by volunteers, but I do get the feeling that the youth of Baia Mare is really involved in making their city better and building a community. Many of them are not only working on one volunteering project, but two or three. For me it is this young involvement that makes the town interesting and worthy of the title. If enough people work on building a vibrant community, the interesting events and locations will follow for sure.
And therefore this next year is a great chance for the youth of Baia Mare to realize some projects and events that they have been dreaming of for their city, but haven’t had the chance or means to realize yet.
For me the most important reason why Baia Mare should be the Romanian Capital of Youth is that here there are a lot of friendly and helpful youngster. Since my arrival, I met many young people and I can say that they are open-minded with motivation and they really want to make the city a better place to live in. I believe that people don’t really realize (yet) that Baia Mare is a good place to stay in and that they are better than they think than other cities.
To sum up, organizing this ”event” can be very beneficial because the people can take into consideration the place where they live and the things they can accomplish.
I don’t have much to say about Baia Mare being the next Romanian youth capital, because I have not seen many other Romanian cities. But I think there are some attractions in Baia Mare that young people might be interested in: for example the only planetarium in Transylvania or the municipal library. Also, there are festivals happening in Baia Mare, like the chestnut festival every autumn, where you can buy a lot of food and there is a big firework at the end.
Thinking… Why should Baia Mare be the capital of youth next year? For me there are a lot of reasons.
The first one coming to my mind is when yesterday some volunteers went out to spend time together and have fun. There are a lot of places to go! With different music and styles, so you have options to choose. But not only about going out. In Baia Mare you can find associations and clubs with different aims: for youngsters, arts, sports… They have activities, and something else: the potential to create unique spaces for youngsters and teenagers who are living or spending their time in Baia Mare.
During my service here I met a lot of youngsters who are disappointed of their city Baia Mare. They said that there is nothing to do here and they live like in cage. Hope this title will bring to life young people to better enjoy each day.
As we recently found out, Baia Mare is going to be the Capital of Youth of Romania in 2018. As a critical mind, as I am, I and a foreigner here, I will share my honest and impartial opinion of ”what you already have to be” as good holder of this title and what is still needed to be improved for it to be perfect.
First and the most important, essential things you already have are enthusiastic young people. Working with them while presenting EVS at schools and other public areas, having our social hubs, being surrounded by the local volunteers, we meet a lot of youngsters from Baia Mare, who want to make a good impact in their environment, improving what is good and changing what is not.
The second good thing is that their ideas are supported by the local community, because there are organizations providing activities.
Third, I am also glad to see, that formal and non-formal education is combined very well, because teachers often let us actively participate in their lessons. It is so great that people are aware of the importance of this combination and they are willing to change.
But, communicating with the youngsters, we also see, what is done up to this date is not really enough, because they don’t have things to do here. They often complain that they are bored, because they lack youth activities in the city. I believe that people of Baia Mare do everything what they can to improve, but it would be much easier, if there were more initiatives from the whole country. And the main issue is that the city is quite difficult to reach and it takes a lot of time. Yes, you can come here from Bucharest, but it takes 12 hours by uncomfortable train (another issue) or Brasov (10 hours), Cluj Napoca, it is unpleasant to go through the mountains. But this is a problem to be solved in years and it is the same in the whole country. Although, I believe that the status Baia Mare received may be helpful to make this process faster.
So, there are issues to be solved, but what is the most important, there is a will of young people to change the situation. And if you really want to make a difference and believe that you can, there is nothing impossible to do! This is what really matters as the titles are temporary and the changes to be made stay forever.
Skaiste and Juste (Lithuania), Rosa and Sarah (Austria), Jorge and Inma (Spain) are hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “IN4EVS” project, an European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus Plus Program.
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