EVS Stories – ”Romanized”

My name is Laura Cano, I am an EVS volunteer in T4UTH Baia Mare, Romania.

I had been checking EVS projects for a long time before I chose ”ReAnimate” in Romania. I started out of curiosity, as I was always busy, working and living abroad. But I think I knew that I would pursue EVS and make time for it before it was too late for my age.

I was waiting for the proper occasion and for a captivating project. I knew that moment had arrived when I found T4UTHs project. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt like that before, as my aims had been growing until I realized I really wanted to go to Romania. My previous attraction to this country is difficult to explain, as the reasons belonged to the intuitive sphere. Actually, I knew nothing or very little about this country and that also fuelled my motivation to choose it. What I have found is much bigger than expected.

This is a beautiful country with beautiful landscapes and beautiful people. But the beauty is sometimes preserved, sometimes content as it has to be discovered in the hospitality of the whole and the big effort towards local change of individuals; but also in the still remaining opportunities of development, of bringing and sharing new ways, projects and perspectives.

I think Romanians are more open to change than they tend to believe about themselves. And I think so because of their openness to foreigners who arrive as volunteers.

I am amazed by the big force of associations of Baia Mare and how they collaborate with each other and try to bring information to the people in the city through fairs and other actions. Still, things are not closed, not so stuck, in this country where I have felt I could build and create from my own ideas and these ideas will be welcomed. In Team for Youth I have had the opportunity of working in different places (foster homes, hospitals, associations for disabled people, and kindergartens for autistic children). I will always treasure our visit to the autistic children center where the therapist showed us how she was using music as a therapy tool. She was interested in what my project mate and I had been trying so far with children and she gave us some ideas.

The experience with the beneficiaries of my project has overcome my already optimistic expectations. I did not expect to be that amazed by what I thought a center for disabled people would be. I think they have taught me more than I could have possibly taught them and I only wish I had more time to continue with these activities. I see my personal growth now but I have been seeing of each workshop we have done. They were immediate. Non formal education is definitely more than I thought and I will leave convinced of having gone further in my suspicions of what creativity and education can achieve together. I am also very proud about my project mate, Jennifer, and how both of us have achieved team working and friendship. Romania is not and won’t be a short-term experience for me but a very long-term lasting set of knowledge, growth and emotions.

Thank you so much Romania, Baia Mare, Team for Youth Association, EVS actors and all volunteers for making this happen!

Laura Cano  (Spain) is hosted by Team for Youth Association in Baia Mare, in the “ReAnimate” project, a European Voluntary Service, financed by the European Commission, through the Erasmus Plus Programme. 

22 Romanized Laura