Aleksejs and his Romanian experience

Aleksejs – sau Alex, cum îi spunem noi – face parte din marea familie de voluntari Team for Youth Association. Alături de colega lui, Anna Alexeeva, a venit la noi pentru 6 luni, tocmai din Letonia. Despre prima lui experiență ca voluntar internațional puteți citi mai jos.

Aleksejs Prokofjevs, 25:

Before I was invited to join this project for 6 months, so far from my home country, I had some experience in working in social field with small children. Sarma from the youth organization “Jaunātne PAR” asked me to join this project and I found it really interesting.

I have only participated in small local projects in my country and one time in Poland (Youth Exchange). I was there only for 2 weeks and it was my first experience working with youngsters from other countries. The project was called “Youth in the Kitchen” – about cooking and learning from cultures. After this, I had a long period of “rest” because of studying. After 3 years, I met Sarma and she invited me to my first ”big project”, here in Romania, in Baia Mare. I have arrived here with another girl from Latvia, named Anna. Sarma, our sending coordinator, organized the trip from Latvia to Baia Mare for 2 days by car. During the trip, we visited Poland and Slovakia. And in 12th of May 2015 we have arrived here. Yay!

I was exploring a lot of places in the city of Baia Mare. In the first two months of my EVS I did not have so many activities, as I have now.  That’s why I was trying to explore as much as possible. In the end of May, we went to Firiza for ”Let’s do it!”. A lot of local people and other EVS volunteers came to Firiza’s lake to clean it. We also have a similar event in Latvia, I don’t know if it goes by the same name. In 9th of October I went traveling to Cluj-Napoca. For me it was like ”I am in the middle of the history of Romania”. I’ve seen a lot of monuments in the old town of Cluj-Napoca. Also, in the next days, we visited the Botanical garden. For me, as person with disabilities, it was very hard, but I’m glad I did it. My favorite areas of the garden were the Chinese area and American flora. Also I saw a lot of bookstores in the old town – there was a festival happening. I’m very glad I had time to visit this city.

In the first months I was trying to do as much as I could inside in the office. I have reinstalled all computers in the volunteer’s room. I was managing the plants and stocks in the office. But when at last I joined my first event, in Bastionul Macelarilo, I understood I was doing nothing on my own. And actually, when Bastion activities finished, I started thinking about what I can do for the children in other instances. I also had activities in orphanage and Romanii centre. From October I was working in Caritas and a kindergarten. In some cases, Remus, my mentor and friend, helped me to understand what I’m doing wrong. Then, till the end of the project I was trying to make activities for kids as much as possible.

I want to thank my parents first, for supporting me during this volunteering experience, since I started my journey to Romania. To my mentor Remus – that was of real help being a smart, funny guy and fixing the flat, my coordinator Solvita, Steli who pointed out most of my mistakes and encouraged me to change my thinking and improve myself and for all the Association and, of course, for my sending organization – for giving me this unique chance!

THANK YOU for this entire big journey. I will miss all of you!

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