ROCultural Platform – resources for pupils, teachers, schools, companies and local Romanian communities and foreign ones

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The Project is implemented by Lume Bună NGO and co-financed by The National Cultural Fund Administration

“Where do you like it the most, in Romania or in Ireland?”, asked Maria, a 14 years old girl, from Vaideeni (Vâlcea). “I would say Ireland, I have friends and more of a life here, but if should start from the beginning I would say Romania.”, answered Darius who is 13 years old, was born in the US and lives in Cork (Ireland) ever since he was little. He’s still coming to Romania to visit his grandparents.

This is how ROCulturalstarted in March, with the heritage workshop, along with the following ones: creative writing, photography and acting, in a series of 10 ateliers, in 3 months. This time 20 children from 4 Romanian villages (Piscu - Galați, Vaideeni - Vâlcea, Corlățel - Mehedinți, Faraoanele - Vrancea) meet 10 Romanian kids from abroad (Cork – Irlanda). They embark on a virtual journey, in which they tie in the 3600 km in between, while they discover and highlight the local and personal heritage. The ones abroad are reconnecting to their roots and get to practice their mother tongue. All the children benefit in gathering new perspectives coming from areas that are so culturally diverse. In the end they will show the people in their communities the beautiful things around them and how proud they make them feel. More information on this education through culture experience, as well as all all the kid’s’ creations - in the section PROJECTS.

Name, age, locality of the attendees for ROC Workshops

The coordinating teachers that guide the children along the way, will be in a direct experience exchange with the specialists from the cultural area, they will also benefit from guidance over how the workshops work so that they can replicate them in the future and gather good practices amongst their community. All these will be available in the EDUCATION section - a continuous learning area.

In parallel, we are making a list (actually an advanced data base) with the material needs that the schools from the villages we work with have (wether a video projector, or a book fund, an internet subscription or school supplies)and publish them, make them known. We know for sure that there are companies or even people that have these RESOURCES (for example electronic equipment in working condition, which some companies periodically replace). They have them in their possession and they can offer them to those who need them the most, without additional investments, to be reused. We act as the link between them and ensure that each object reaches its new owner.

PROJECTS – EDUCATION – RESOURCES

These are the components of the ROCultural Platform of resources offered to the communitiesROCa unique space in the area of non-formal education. With the 10 years’ experience of activity, the Lume Bună NGO creates this unique space in the non formal education through culture area. It is integrated in the association’s website www.www.asociatialumebuna.com , we initiated it in March and we will finalize it in June.

ROCultural Platform is a fertile ground. The most diverse resources - materials, ideas, knowledge, experiences, implementation guides - will be the seeds for meetings between children, teachers, cultural education specialists, companies that want to help. Everything will be channeled in complex projects, designed for long term, which aim to form a cultural identity, social responsibility and develop children creativity. Being put in different roles and situations, the youngsters gain a series of practical abilities which prepare them for future jobs: cooperation, communication, decision making, meeting deadlines, artistic creativity as well as solution and resources finding to achieve proposed goals. The Platform will contribute to ensuring their continuity and sustainability.

All the projects that we work on, have as main purpose, the contribution to a successful life and youngsters’ fulfillment, with an impact in the development of the local communities.

The participants of ROC Workshops

Argument

In our villages, the cultural or educational initiatives are extremely scarce, the spaces in which the children can spend quality time after school is almost nonexistent. Sometimes you cannot physically reach some far away places. Last year, when we adapted our whole activity online (children and teacher’s ateliers, even a camp), we realized that we can get in touch with a lot more people, kids and adults, then before. That’s because the distances fade online, the big costs for travel disappear.

This year we brought 4 experienced specialists in cultural education who will not only guide the kids and teachers, but will tie these workshops from a theme standpoint, which will help the children to connect several creative domains.

Iulia Iordan, museum educator and children’s books author, helps them “discover how to get closer to their heritage, such a diverse domain, complex and nuanced, in a personal and naive way”. Together with Veronica Leca, museum educator at the Bucharest museum, they will look for the “way home, which is the road to ourselves. Each of us starts the journey with a personal heritage, to which we can add meaning by sharing it with others. And how other than with words can we do this?”. They will then practice photography “as a way to enrich their imagination, dream, experiment, persevere and express visually” with Monica Bumbeș, cultural educator and photographer.

Katia Pescariu will guide them at the end to pass on the results of their work in their communities, as expressive as possible. Katia says that she “promotes the art, accessible to everyone, preoccupied by the issues of the contemporary society: education, justice, discrimination and racism. The artistic instruments used in education determine results such as: empathy, solidarity, critical spirit, self knowledge, trust, courage. I believe that developing some interdisciplinary educational programs dedicated to children and teenagers is one of the most important directions that the public politics should sustain.”

30 children connect the 3600 km that separate them and pin the ROCultural project on the European map

At the other end of the 3600 km there are a few other teachers from the diaspora, who are desperately trying to organize and involve Romanian children in activities that will help them remember about their roots. Among them there is Mihaela Drăgan, Romanian and French teacher, living in Cork for 7 years. “I have always searched (together with Liana Ghidel, Cristina Zamfir and Cristian Mihart with whom I created the Romanian Community in Corkto organize events for the Romanian children in Cork ( I estimate around 5000 Romanians here), to keep them close and improve their knowledge in Romanian language. Most of them are born here, so we can say that their first tongue is English. But they still have relatives in Romania or Moldavia, where they still spend their holidays and they need Romanian language, they need to remember their roots. Their parents often wish that they could speak and write as grammatically correct as possible, which is pretty hard for them, considering that they study in English. So I always try to organize interesting activities for them, to raise their interest in learning and practicing Romanian language. It is difficult also because we don’t have a dedicated space in which to organize classes or workshops. That’s why it was wonderful to meet Larisa Popescu from Lume Bună las summer and join this project. Especially because since the start of the pandemic, I stopped having this type of meetings in Ireland. Anyway, this would be the first project where children from here are brought together with kids from Romania and we have high hopes that this will be a win!”

About

In The Lume Bună NGO we build motivation though meaningful education, joy and creativity. We harness the cultural heritage in the Romanian village in complex long term projects, which aim to form a cultural identity, socially responsibility and enhance children creativity in the rural areas. Being put in different roles and situations, the youngsters gain a series of practical abilities which prepare them for future jobs: cooperation, communication, decision making, meeting deadlines, artistic creativity as well as solution and resources finding to achieve proposed goals. All the projects that we work on, have as main purpose, the contribution to a successful life and youngsters’ fulfillment, with an impact in the development of the local communities.

We mainly focus on the children from vulnerable groups in the rural environment, whose educational chances are affected by the family’s condition - a low educational level, one parent families, or marked by poverty. They are exposed to a higher risk of early school dropout and in the case of those that continue frequenting schools, a risk of lower educational absorption. Poverty and a low life standard mane of the rural communities a much les favorable environment for learning, gathering knot and abilities which can later by used in the adult live, on the work market or in economic relations. This difficult situation was much aggravated by the pandemic.

ROCultural is este co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration. The project does not necessarily represents the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible by its content or the way in which the results can be used. These are completely in the responsibility of the funding beneficiary.

Media Partner: Radio România Cultural

If this material is of interest and you will publish it, please send it to us at monica.bumbes@asociatialumebuna.com


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