Call for Applications – Passport to Education (PtE)!

Pasaport spre Educatie MICA            A good education is, in our society, without a doubt, the best possible policy to follow for a head start in life. However, at a closer inspection, this seems to be restricted to a privileged few. In fact, people that struggle with poverty, come from a dysfunctional patriarchal family background or are discriminated against on various grounds – in other words, those of us that belong to a vulnerable social group (irrespective of the nature of the criteria used to define it as such) – lack the kind of social and material privileges that the more fortune of us take for granted.

            Being left to fend for yourself, experiencing financial difficulties, struggling with personal trauma/emotional issues or social stigma, in turn, leads to dedicating less time to studying and more time to pressing issues that affect your immediate, day to day existence. Institutionalized children are one such vulnerable group. It’s easy to see how personal history coupled with specific socio-economical factors might cause some to stay behind with their coursework. More often than not, instead of receiving a helping hand, having someone reach out to them, they are met with hostility and punitive measures, that only serve to further alienate them and widen the gap between them and the very institution that should provide a safe and secure, all-inclusive learning environment.

            This steep curve sometimes proves too hard to climb. In the absence of large scale tailor made educational programmes, we, the people, can lend a helping hand by doing our part as active members of our communities.

            PtE educational programme aims to be a long term mutual assistance and developmental support project, spanning throughout the whole academic year. The purpose of the project is to pool together knowledge and resources, in a coordinated, community-based effort, fostering cooperation, empathy and altruism and in doing so demonstrating that viable solutions to many of our common problems can be found among the community itself.

            While at PtE you will have the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, learn from one another, share your life stories, and bring your contribution to better someone’s life, while gaining a feeling of self worth. Your experience here will help you broaden your perspectives and suite of experiences and will equip you with valuable transferable life skills and competences in various fields of expertise such as:

– team building, team work and cooperation

– structural and organizational skills, structuring, analyzing and synthesizing information

– constructing a coherent discourse, public speaking

– you will learn how to better relate to others and become more tolerant

            The project takes place between 1.08.2014 and 1.07.2015 in Bucharest, Romania and will directly involve approximately 75 young people: 50 participants and 25 tutors. The call for applications will open starting August 1st and will stay open to pupils and students for the whole of August.

            In order to apply for this programme, please submit a short motivational letter at voluntar@desenamviitorul.ro. Be sure to point out the top 3 school topics that you would feel most comfortable helping others with. Let us know how would you like to be able to share the gift of knowledge and thus gain experience and fulfillment seeing how you can truly make a real difference in the life of one of your peers.

The selection process will take place in the first two weeks of September.

            The chosen candidates will benefit from a two days training session where experienced psychologists and other professionals will provide the necessary means and materials. The tutors will learn about:

– interpersonal communications and reaching out to those around you

– games-based approaches to education and simulations of real life situations

– interactive discussions,

– though development, critical thinking

You will also benefit from receiving a volunteering certificate according to current legislation.

            In addition, you will have the opportunity to meet several volunteers who already took part in similar projects to hear their testimonials.

SHARE THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE, CHANGE THE WORLD, LIFE BY LIFE

It’s out! – DVTEN!

Backup_of_Untitled-1Drawing Your Future in Nonformal Education!
Towards the end of this week, DVT (“Drawing Your Future”) launched the project “Drawing Your Future in Nonformal Education”, with a press conference that took place at the Bucharest Students’ Cultural House.

Through those invited at the event, there were members and volunteers of DVT, journalists from IQool magazine, representatives of the association of the local police forces in Bucharest, supporters/media partners and other people who are passionate about nonformal education that answered positively to our call launched through the medium of online social networking channels.

The three speakers at the press conference were the organization’s president and the two vicepresidents. Vișinel Balan (president) underlined the purpose, objectives, parties involved and the general unfolding of  DVTEN (“Drawing Your Future in Nonformal Education”). As those involved in the project would be institutionalized youths, youths from ordinary family backgrounds, representatives of 6 NGOs and representatives of 6 public institutions, Virgil Balan (vicepresident), as a professional psychotherapist, talked about the benefits of such an initiative, explaining the emotional and psychological background of an institutionalized child, compared to other children. Anca Cujbă, the organization’s second vicepresident, shared her experience in working with youths in the two projects already conducted (“Their lives, our responsibility” and the partnerships with “ÎngerAlb” child care center), as well as her motivation to get involved in volunteering work, urging us there, but in the same time appealing to all the other members of civil society in Romania, to take part in different activities by means of which we can make a difference into our communities.

In the aftermath of the conference, we debated in great detail the steps that need to be followed and also we managed to acquired new friends and partners that showed a great deal of interest in taking part in the next series of events that the project involves. 

The end of the conference was crowed with ovations and encouragements to carry on with the project and to reach our goals.

For more on the topic, please see the attachment that accompanies this document.